Operational Readiness Protocols: All I Ask for is a Tall Ship…
Dathan hesitated. ‘Sir, this remains the most likely outcome within the scenario parameters -’
‘I understand probability and prediction, Lieutenant.’ Beckett tapped the console before him, the beating heart and pulsing brain of Fourth Fleet Intelligence’s Strategic Analysis Centre. ‘And everyone prepares for the most likely. But we’re talking about how these ships, how these task forces, respond to unprecedented crises. I want to see how the outliers play out.’
‘Those are often dependent on factors we can’t control for. Crew composition -’
‘Again. I understand. We can assemble the best crews in the fleet, Lieutenant, but what they can do will still be influenced by the ship beneath their feet.’ Beckett nodded at the projected tactical map, bold with markers of Starfleet and enemy vessels. ‘I want to see the limits of our starships.’
She tried to not glare at her controls, and let out a slow breath. ‘Very good, sir. Re-running Simulation Delta-Six: Task Force 86 engagement with D’Ghor starships in Azure Nebula…’
When a Bravo Fleet member reaches the rank of Lieutenant Commander, they can request their own starship. No, that’s not the same thing as a sim. It’s not requiring you to write a vast fiction. That starship is just yours. And it’s these starships – commanded by your primary characters – that make up the Task Forces of Bravo Fleet. They’re the ships boldly going, fulfilling the Task Force mission, on duties of exploration or protection or diplomacy.
That ship can be the beating heart of a story you write, or just one you imagine. Or it can be like your medals and ribbons – just there as a sign of the hard work you’ve put into the fleet.
Star Trek loves to show off its ships. The introduction of the USS Enterprise in The Motion Picture is infamous as the longest, slowest beauty shot of the new model. Every commander will remember the first time they looked at their ship and thought, “That’s mine.”
This competition is to write a flash fiction about that moment, that first time. Perhaps your primary character has just beamed aboard the first time. Perhaps they’re approaching by shuttle. Maybe it’s just a picture when they receive their orders. Or you can get inventive; perhaps they felt nothing about bulkheads and deck plating, and only really felt connected with their ship, really felt that captain’s sense of belonging, at some later moment.
If you have an avatar ship assigned to you, you should write about that ship. If you’re a junior officer, look at the ship classes list at the bottom here and pick one from the Lieutenant Commander list – even pick one from the registry if you like! – and imagine that moment in your character’s future when they get or truly connect with their ship. This is just for fun, not carved in stone!
- Entries must be a maximum of 300 words. Submission directly into the competition box is preferred, but a link to a Google Doc or other web document is acceptable. Invalid links or Google Doc links that cannot be accessed will not be judged.
- Entries must be about the first time your primary character saw the starship they command, or really felt like that starship was ‘theirs.’
- If you have an avatar ship assigned on BFMS, you must write about that ship.
- Entries should be evocative of the character’s feelings or the visuals of the moment.
- Entries will be judged on creativity, adherence to Star Trek canon, style, and adherence to the prompt. Grammar and spelling will not be important judging criteria but will be used to break ties.