“Leaving Deep Space 9 local authority. ETA to wormhole three minutes,” the steely voice of the helm officer announced.
A flagship she was not, but Admiral Erszebet Virkov couldn’t help but admire the efficiency of the crew of the USS Opaka. The ship had been a relatively new build, despite being a somewhat older Steamrunner class starship. After the fallout caused by the Consortium in the Gamma Quadrant, Starfleet Admiralty had finally decided that New Bajor needed a ship assigned to the planet for defensive purposes.
Why they won’t just build the damned orbital platforms is an argument for another day, Virkov thought to herself, her face a mask of stoicism.
“Excellent,” she replied audibly to the helm. “ETA to New Bajor?”
“Twenty minutes, sir,” he responded.
She nodded affirmatively, and took a seat to the right of the vessel’s commanding officer, Captain Wojahn. She’d had conversations with the woman prior, and impressed upon her that regardless of the presence of an Admiral, the vessel and her crew were under the command of the assigned commander, and as such she would sit next to the command seat, not in it.
“What do you think of the Dominion’s new ultimatum, Admiral?” Wojahn asked, leaning in and speaking under her breath.
Virkov exhaled sharply, and replied, “Firstly, we are going to be working together quite closely, and while I may have a reputation of being a frigid ice queen, I prefer to have a familiar relationship with my direct reports. So please call me Beth.”
Thinking a moment, she continued, “I think that at the end of the day, the Founders are a group of blowhards asking for something they know they’re not going to get. The idea of them trying to reneg on the Armistice and limit our presence in the Quadrant is asinine, when one considers that we have assets on the far edge of their space, and ships assigned out there. I’m looking forward to meeting with them, and reminding them who won the war.”
Turning her head towards the Captain, she asked, “What are your thoughts, Captain?”
The woman took a moment, and replied, “I think they’re a civilization coming back from the brink of extinction. I think they feel like they got a raw deal in the Armistice agreement, and they’re trying to flex their muscle as best they can. I think they are, despite everything, a force to be reckoned with, and I don’t think we should underestimate them. They don’t want us to explore in their territory, that’s understandable. Most governments would make that request. I think we should honor it to every extent possible. But asking the fleet to stick solely to shipping lanes is…problematic, at best. I think if we can meet them from a place of diplomacy and empathy, we can smooth out the rough edges.”
Virkov smirked and nodded in agreement, and replied, “I am aligned with that.”
“Now entering the Celes…eugh…the Wormhole, sirs.”
“Steady as she goes, ensign,” Wojahn replied.
News from Task Force 9!
USS Ride: The USS Ride has encountered a terrifying threat to sentient life on the border of the Gamma and Delta Quadrants. Working alongside the Dominion, the crew are on a long, investigatory mission to ascertain the nature and level of this new threat, and what can be done to combat it.
USS Triton: Following much needed repairs and refits, the crew of the Triton is gallantly preparing to set off on their mission of exploration in the Gamma Quadrant once more.
USS Proxima: Following several command changes, the new CO of the Proxima is working diligently to bring the crew to order and get back to their mission at hand.
USS Trafalgar: The crew of the Trafalgar is diligently rescuing Federation scientists from a governmental collapse in the Sebrisan Empire.
USS Unification: The USS Unification has been tasked with tracking down one of the last leaders of the Consortium, Captain Sunon Mexena, who was responsible for the destruction of several starships during the opening moments of the Consortium attack on Deep Space 11.
USS August: The USS August is the newest addition to the task force and is currently taking on crew.
There are several canon updates in the works! With the closing of the Consortium story arc, and the addition of the Bajor system to the Task Force Area of Operations, the opportunity for compelling storytelling is here!
Bajor System – A new Kai must be elected, and while several candidates are vying for the position, a soft diplomatic hand is necessary… especially when several candidates express anti-Federation sentiments.
New Bajor – Rebuilding of the Planetary infrastructure has commenced in earnest. The Dominion, ostensibly our lukewarm allies in the Quadrant, have offered their assistance…but at a price.
Reliquary– The Reliquary’s database holds myriad wonders stretching through most of the Gamma Quadrant. But with the database being on the order of at least a millennia old, how useful will this information be? And who will take up the mantle of exploration to find out?
Bravo Fleet and Task Force 9!
There are some new policies in place regarding sim activity levels, which I know sounds scary out of context. These new classifications give you the power to tell the story your way, without having to be worried about volume.
I would strongly urge all COs to look over the new policy shift and determine which classification is best for you, your crew, and the stories you’re trying to weave. Full disclosure, I changed my ship’s classification this week!
As always, quality over quantity! We are a small but mighty Task Force, and our stories are grandiose and epic in scale.
The past few months of transition have been a little rough on the Task Force. We took a big hit, but I’m proud to say that rebuilding is going well!
Keep writing amazing stories involving amazing characters, keep coming together in the spirit of camaraderie, and most importantly, never trust a Founder!