“It is agreeable to see you again, Admiral. I trust your return at a higher rank signifies Starfleet’s intent to deploy a larger number of ships to the Gradin Belt.”
Knox chuckled; the Vulcan fleet captain floated above his desk, thanks to the magic of the Pathfinder Project which allowed them to have forty minutes a day of real-time communication, rather than the month-long delay from messages sent through the patchwork of relays they’d managed to install over the years.
“Perceptive, V’Sal, but not entirely accurate. We are increasing the number of ships in your area from eight to twelve; I’m sending you the dossiers and our preferred mission deployments,” Knox said, swiping up off of one of the other holo displays to send him data on the four extra ships he’d chosen. “In addition, the Ptarmigan will be relieving the Gormagander as your support ship.”
“Understood, Admiral,” V’Sal said, before arching an eyebrow, likely wondering what he’d been incorrect about.
“We’re also sending twelve ships through the other end of the wormhole to scout out the Nacene Reach, followed next year by twelve more to the Swallow Nebula and a further twelve to the Nekrit Expanse. We’re ramping up operations in the Delta Quadrant at a level that, frankly, I was surprised to get approval for,” Knox explained.
“A monumental undertaking, but not something that we are unprepared for,” V’Sal replied, steepling his fingers. “As you Humans say, ‘keeping an eye’ on the Borg and the Voth is essential to Federation security.”
The admiral laughed again. “Well, yes, absolutely, but we’re also sending you out there to do some exploring, not just surveillance,” he said, before tossing the captain another data file. “There’s one other thing: the IKS VaQbach was on a mission deep in the Beta Quadrant when an unknown energetic anomaly threw them wildly off course–we’re not sure what caused it, but based on our best estimates, it’s somewhere between your position and the other end of the wormhole. Keep an eye out for them and render aid if you can. It’ll be a long-shot at finding them, but they’re out there somewhere.”
“Understood. Is there anything else, Admiral?”
“Stay safe out there, Captain. Starbase 38 out.
A New Area and a New Ship!
Admiral Knox was right about one thing–the IKS VaQbach was thrown out of the Beta Quadrant and is somewhere in between the Nacene Reach and the Gradin Belt. To be precise, they landed in the Nekrit Expanse, a region of strange energy currents and gravitational anomalies that makes it difficult to explore. Very little is known about this area of space, and Starfleet wants to know how such a natural barrier between the Borg and the Nacene Reach came into existence. TF38 is now opening up its third area of operations, with the VaQbach as the first ship in the area and the only Klingon ship in the fleet!
Other Task Force Updates
As Stacks has been incommunicado for a number of weeks, I have made the decision to open the Task Force Executive Officer position back up and have taken over Starbase 38. We wish Stacks well, and I’ll be opening up that position for applications later this month or next month; if you’re interested, please reach out and we’ll talk about it.
Updates from Task Force 38 Sims
USS Arcturus – We should begin at the beginning, so the Arcturus has been sent to make contact with the Ocampa, but when they get to the system there is no sign of them other than a mysterious dampening field. Can they crack the code to find out what’s happened to them?
USS Apollo – With a brand new crew and captain, the Apollo is also getting ready to set out for new shores, having been assigned to track down a ship lost nearly ten years prior–the USS Banting–which was swept into the Nacene reach unexpectedly, like the Equinox and Voyager before her. What brought her to this region of space and where is her crew?
USS Ganymede – Few ships or captains could successfully deal with the Malon, but that’s exactly what Captain Darby-Holmes and the crew of the Ganymede are doing–trying to make the Gradin Belt a safer place by reducing the amount of toxic radiation being dumped in it by Malon garbage scows.
USS Meridian – The Meridian is fresh out of a refit with a new captain and is ready to keep the exploration vessels in the Nacene Reach safe.
USS Newton – The Newton has been sent to investigate a spatial anomaly that is spewing forth both energy and entities from uncharted space.
Outpost Kumalo – The only fixed outpost in the Delta Quadrant, Outpost Kumalo is still just a cluster of prefabricated buildings on a lonely planet, but the Federation Diplomatic Corps is beginning its outreach efforts anew in the Gradin Belt.
IKS VaQbach is a lost ship with a mixed Klingon and Federation crew that offers an incredibly unique siming opportunity and has openings in most areas.
Starbase 38 is looking for new folks to join, as it becomes the Deep Space Nine of the Delta Quadrant, the last stop for crews leaving for exploratory missions and the first line of defense against anything that might come back with them.
Work on the wiki continues as we bring new information from Memory Alpha and other sources to develop a rich sourcebook for writers to use as they tell their stories in the Delta Quadrant. Stay tuned on Discords for updates about this and updates from the Task Force fictions.