‘Task Force 17’s deep space exploratory force was delayed in deploying to the Delta Quadrant because of Archanis. Forces pushing Federation interests in the Triangle, in the old Neutral Zone, on the Cardassian border – doing more than sitting back and playing it safe – were redirected to protect this sector. It was an emergency, and we are sworn as Starfleet officers to preserve lives. But the emergency has passed.’ Beckett straightened his back and his uniform. ‘And I’ll be damned if I let political interests tether us to playing nursemaid to a backwater sector because elements in Command don’t want us returning to our primary duty.’
Lockhart watched him a moment, and he knew she was realigning her perception of him. She was not the first to think he had nothing but ice in his veins and politics in his priorities. Not that this was inaccurate, but Beckett certainly had no qualms about ruffling the feathers of his superiors and colleagues to do what he felt was right, however hard it might make the future.
But she nodded and tapped something on her PADD. ‘I’ll make the request of the Task Force Commanders. And perhaps liaise through some of my contacts in Starfleet Intelligence to ensure the severity of the situation is known elsewhere?’
Beckett gave a thin smile. ‘Excellent, Commander. It has been a pleasure working with you so far.’
‘Thank you, sir. It’s an honour to be of service.’
‘And above all, I look forward to seeing what you bring to the challenges to come.’ His gaze shifted to his office window and the sprawling view of tired hulks of graceful starships built for deep space and further frontiers instead now resting, worn and beaten from the battle at their front door. ‘After this tired place and its parochial concerns, we are due more distant stars.’
Today marks the end of Bravo Fleet’s first Lore Office Campaign, the Archanis Campaign! With the vicious Hunters of D’Ghor flooding across the Federation border, the 4th Fleet rallied to defend beleaguered worlds and peoples against their savage raiding. After a final battle that spilled over three star systems, the enemy ships were destroyed or routed, and their leader Kuskir, son of D’Ghor, taken into Federation custody. The work is not yet complete: there is rebuilding to be done, a border to watch, and the whisper of ensuing tensions with the Klingon Empire. But the crisis has come to an end and so, after all their efforts, the 4th Fleet has been stood down from this emergency.
In real terms, you all kicked some serious writing arse. The campaign lasted for 10 weeks, and I have been beyond delighted with the engagement, the activity, and the storytelling which has come about from it. And don’t just take my word for it! The event ran from February 13th to April 25th, resulting in:
- 136 separate chapters
- 23 distinct storylines
- A whopping 248,947 words!
All of this writing has made a distinct and tangible impact upon Fleet Canon. In the coming weeks, I will write the Archanis Campaign article for our wiki, establishing these events as part of Bravo Fleet in-character history. Your words and stories will go into the timeline and the fleet narrative in a way that hasn’t happened in many years. While I will be closing the campaign section of the forums in a fortnight or so (allowing writers to tie up their stories or the aftermath), they will remain public and visible, an archive of our work.
We have honestly surpassed my best hopes, and this is a splendid sign of things to come. I believe the campaign has also done a great deal to bring the writers of the fleet closer together, instilled us with a better sense of collaboration and kinship, and inspired us to carry this forward. There will most certainly be more Lore Office Campaigns – keep your ears pricked around Q4 2021! – but I hope the spirit continues in our everyday writing.
And for those who have participated, I have a little something more to demonstrate my gratitude – and to recognise that you’ve taken part in a once-in-a-fleet-lifetime, never-to-be-repeated event! Everyone who contributed to the Archanis Campaign Archives and earned at least 5 Service Ribbons with their writing is eligible for the Archanis Campaign Badge. We’ll be putting it through the system soon for those eligible members, who will get to boast this little beauty on their dossiers:
Nobody else will ever again get to earn it. Participants: it’s yours, your way to show future writers, ‘I was there.’ Keep an eye out for them arriving, and if you think you’ve been missed out when they go out, contact me!
There’ll be more from the Lore Office in coming weeks, but this event is personally a huge milestone for me; it’s something I’ve wanted to do since becoming Loremaster back in autumn, and while I need to go lie down for approximately an ice age after all this writing, I’m hugely grateful to every participant, and I’m excited for where the fleet is at creatively. I feel this has truly shown the worth and opportunities in our fiction writing: the freedom and flexibility it brings, and the chance for folks to write at their own pace and in their own style and still contribute to the wider narrative. But I can waffle about that later. Time for the Loremaster to sleep, and then return to the Great Wiki Mines!
You’re all magnificent. Live long and prosper, nerds.