The Devil to Pay
Conference Room: Starbase 217
“Seems a bit bold.”
Colonial Planner Madison looked away from the holographic projection and gave the Starfleet officer a level look. “Thank you, Commander,” she said acerbically. “Nobody’s pointed that out before.”
“I just would have thought,” said Lieutenant Commander Vikar, crossing the conference room to nod at the multitudinous planets on the holographic display, “a settlement could have been found with more room.”
“Let’s cut to the chase,” said Madison. Steely-haired and steely-eyed, she had done enough rounds with Starfleet over her long career to know how to handle them, and to be rather tired of it after thirty years. “You would rather the Pergamon IV negotiation to have been unsuccessful.”
“I would rather it had not been attempted. Sharing a world with a Cardassian settlement -”
“A whole world, Commander.” Madison shook her head. “If Starfleet’s return to the Gavarian Corridor is to be successful, Federation and Cardassian interests are going to have to co-exist. I’m aware of all of the reports of fraught confrontations between your ships -”
“That’s one way to put it,” grumbled Vikar.
“- but there are two ways to establish peace. At the barrel of a phaser rifle, or with an outstretched hand. Surely this is the better way forward?” A flick of the wrist expanded the holographic display to focus on the lush world of Pergamon IV, the latest venture in the Federation’s ambitions for the Gavarian Corridor. “There’s more than enough room that the settlements won’t be rubbing up against one another. But proximity to give opportunities for trade, mutual support, cultural exchanges. Two peoples living side by side to build something new on the bold frontier. That brings people together far more than it tears them apart.”
Vikar looked as if he might argue more, but stopped himself. Tore his gaze from the holographic plan, already shining and bright, of the Pergamon IV settlement. Looked at the optimistic faces of the Colonial Planning Committee, all neatly appeased by these words of a bright future. Looked at the impassive gaze of Madison, who would brook no further obstacles to her latest gambit.
He sighed. “Very well.”
“Then I can trust Starfleet’s continued support for the development and protection of this colony?”
“Of course, Ms Madison. After all, if this little venture doesn’t go smooth?” He gestured at the display. “There’ll be the devil to pay.”
News from Task Force 72
- USS Hiryu: Finally embarking, the titanic Hiryu has set off for a diplomatic assignment in Ferengi space – but not after a stop at Lagash for some final business.
- USS Magellan: En route to Starbase 295, along the Tzenkethi border, the Magellan has picked up a long-range sensor echo, emanating from somewhere near the gravimetric anomalies of the Inconnu Expanse.
- Deep Space K-17: The old starbase, left to fall to ruin with the isolationist policies of the Tzenkethi, finally sees a return of personnel, resources, and attention with the rise of the Alrakis Pact.
- USS Pandora: A fraught encounter with the Breen has been averted by a diplomatic victory of the USS Pandora, the crew uniting a region of the Inconnu Expanse against the aggression of the Alrakis Pact.
- USS Boadicea: While making her transit down the Gavarian Corridor, the Boadicea has encountered a group of Keldon class scouts, using sensor masking technology. Attempts to peacefully parlay with them have failed.
- Deep Space 12: The station has been wrecked by an explosion, and the new crew of DS-12 race to find the culprits – and come to terms with their place on a frontier of renewed political importance.
- USS Sutherland: Examining a subspace distortion in the Wastelands, the Sutherland is investigating sensor readings suggesting Federation escape pods in the region – but there exist no records of Starfleet ships this far out.
- New Lakarian City: Weapons fire has been exchanged by Starfleet ships and a mysterious, aggressive runabout of unknown origins in orbit. Amid this confrontation and an incident of kidnapping, the embassy staff are endeavouring to investigate while avoiding a diplomatic incident with their Cardassian hosts.
- CDS Damar: Ordered to the Hugora Nebula by Cardassian Intelligence with little warning and no information, the Damar is racing to prepare for any and all possibilities despite the uncertainties ahead.
- Enigma’s Restaurant: As autumn grows colder, the leaves come off the live oaks and the river drops to a low ebb. Enigma’s Restaurant, however, remains as it ever is.
While our Area of Operations covers the whole Alpha Quadrant, most of Task Force 72’s attention of late has fallen along three major plotlines:
- Alrakis Pact – Since the destruction of 14 Pact ships in the Wastelands, Starfleet has dispatched an Exploration Task Force. Rumors have arisen of an independent faction within the Alrakis Pact itself, and Starfleet will be monitoring the situation closely
- Gavarian Corridor – Starfleet’s recent return means finding their footing in the new politics of the Corridor, especially with renewed Cardassian confidence. With both factions far from their governments and diplomats, politics becomes a matter for captains to figure out between themselves – by words or phaser-fire.
- The Cardassian Front – Increased Cardassian ambitions in the DMZ, the Corridor, and Breen space have created new challenges for diplomats and for Starfleet border forces, all charged with protecting Federation interests as they keep the peace.
Bravo Fleet and Task Force 72
There have been some exciting changes in Bravo Fleet this month – the new website! Our all-new logos and makeover! And, most significantly, the news of the upcoming change in Bravo Fleet’s timeline to the year 2399 to follow the new canon of the Picard show. It is absolutely the ambition of the Task Force 72 team to make the most of the time we have left in the year 2389 to tell satisfying stories over this period, and to end them so we can all advance into new canon with fresh ideas and closure on this wonderful period of Fleet history.
Also pertinent has been the reform to our operational policies (https://wiki.bravofleet.com/index.php?title=Operational_Policy#Simulation_Standards_.26_Status_Classifications) on classifications for our games. I heartily back this policy, allowing games to better advertise and define themselves according to what’s the most fun for their players. I encourage all COs of TF72 to take a look at this and advise me if you require reclassifying.
Task Force 72 is only going from strength to strength. We’ve had some new games join us this month, ones with original and interesting ideas. Our consolidation of TF72’s canon proceeds apace; our games are telling fresh stories with the Alrakis Pact, and the return of the Gavarian Corridor to Bravo Fleet’s storytelling is an opportunity about which I’m personally excited.
This ongoing return to form couldn’t have been done without the commitment of players and especially my GMs, old and new, to whom I am profoundly thankful for their enthusiasm and support.