The engineer that was currently acting as his assistant, Senior Lieutenant Tam Jacobson, continued summarizing the list for him. "Reserve power systems are down, enlisted crew quarters and cargo storage extensively damaged. Three phasers and a photon are out. We lost a tractor mount. We lost 75 percent of launch and landing capability in the shuttle bay. Both the Emergency Bridge and Auxiliary Control sustained damage."
          At the last, Folomar grunted. So much for the idea of putting Jones in the most protected place on the ship. At least he survived. Unlike thirteen others that I will have to write letters for, and a dozen more if Prouter can't save them.
Frustration and anguish dueled within him for a moment. Beings that trusted him to keep them safe had died because of a decision he had made. Was the decision to investigate the creature worth a single life of my crew?
          The thought died as it was born. Every member of Star Fleet knew that space was a dangerous place. Each also pledged their life in defense of the Federation. While the creature did not directly threaten Federation assets at the current time, it, or others of its kind would doubtless be encountered again. When that happened, the information bought with the blood of his crew would prove invaluable.
          Determination flared anew within him. If we do not yet have sufficient data to determine the means to destroy this creature, I swear, as my word is my bond, that we will not rest until we do. His eyes lingered over the list of thirteen dead. I swear to each of you, that your death will not be meaningless.
"Jacobson, get the forward shield back to full strength. We're going to need it."

Sickbay, U.S.S. Colin Powell

          Doctor Prouter ran the medical tricorder over the chest of the Andorian ensign grimacing in pain in front of her. She scanned the results quickly, interpreting them with practiced ease. Satisfied that the ensign was not in life-threatening condition, she injected him with a painkiller and directed a member of her staff to move him to the end of the line. Behind her, the rest of her triage team worked with her to quickly sort the merely banged-up from the injured in imminent danger of dying. The work was critical. Every moment counted when someone began to slide down the slippery slope to meet his Maker.
      "Doctor Prouter, we're losing Petty Officer Mestapolos." She turned to face the speaker. The voice belonged to Doctor Bardona, a golden-skinned Brecon, who along with Doctor Saradana, were the only two Brecons on the ship. Although quite large, the two had proven to be outstanding medical officers, and had a bright future ahead of them. He waved one of his four arms in the direction of the operating room.
        "Well, I hate to be the fly in the buttermilk, but I ain't going to let that happen," she answered in a matter-of-fact manner. She shrugged off the dirty medical gown she wore that had a rainbow-like smattering of blood from several species spattered across the front of it. A nurse produced a clean one for her, and helped her into it. She paused only long enough to re-sterilize and then headed for the operating room. Behind her, Bardona took her place as head of the triage team.
          Mestapolos was a mess, caught in a spray of shrapnel and phaser coolant when a refrigerant line for the Number 4 phaser had ruptured. Saradana moved back and let her take his place at the table. Within seconds, her hands became almost a blur, and her orders to the assisting personnel were clear and concise. She quickly zeroed in on the worst of his injury and set to work.
  Beside her, the tall Brecon could only watch her deft movements in awe. He knew that the skills she possessed were very rare indeed, and he felt it was an honor to have the opportunity to work with and learn from her. While he thought her country mannerisms were a bit odd, he also thought it a bit strange that the only other fleet doctor he considered as skilled if not more so than Prouter had also professed to be just an old country doctor from Earth.
          It must be something in the food there.
          Minutes later, Saradana noted that Prouter had stabilized the man. Although the road to recovery would be long, at least Mestapolos now had a very good chance to embark on that journey. He followed closely as Prouter impatiently moved on to the next operating table. It was important that he learn as much from Prouter as possible, if he hoped to be half as skilled. One day he and Bardona hoped to advance to become head of a starship's medical department, but he knew that would happen only if they proved equal to the challenges that would face them before that day. Any knowledge he gained today would be useful to that goal.

Damage Control Team Nine, U.S.S. Colin Powell

          Junior Lieutenant Jah Orin cursed as he struggled to turn the wheel on the balky hatch in front of him. The stout Prellarian was halfway through a tight crawl tube, trying to reach a set of damaged panels that controlled power from the left warp engine. A dozen feet behind him, he could hear other members of the damage control team he supervised as they struggled to set a hull brace.
          Because of the close quarters, there was no room to use a pry bar to gain leverage to help open the hatch. Taking a moment to gather his strength, he tugged at his work gloves, making sure they fit snugly. Then he gripped the hatch wheel and braced himself across the width of the crawl tube as best he could. He took a deep breath, his massive chest filling with air.
          With a deep grunt he began to apply pressure. His biceps and forearms resembled flesh-colored marble as the veins popped out with the intensity of his effort. For a long moment, nothing happened, and it was a testament to the willpower of Orin that he continued to increase the pressure. Then with a long, metallic scream, the wheel began to turn. After a quarter turn, the wheel began to spin freely.
          "If I hadn't seen it myself, I would not have believed it, Lieutenant." Orin looked behind him, and gave a lopsided grin at one of the humans assigned to the damage-control team. The man had crawled up behind him while his attention had been occupied.
          He pulled open the now-docile hatch and motioned for the human to follow him. Within seconds they were standing up on the other side, where the headroom was just enough to allow the human to stand. As the typical Prellarian, short and stout, Orin had no such problems. "Break for lunch?" Orin grinned.
          "Not bloody likely," the human returned the grin. Orin caught the accent, and studied the man for a moment. He fancied himself something of a history buff, and found the early British Empire period fascinating.
          "British ancestors?"
          "No, I just like British trivideo."
          "There is always that," he returned dryly, smiling at the man. The moment passed, and he went on. "The captain and damage control have a long list of items we have to work on. Let's get this panel fixed, before they have us swinging from a yardarm."
          His joke was lost in translation.