Off We Go
Deep Space Nine had, over the years, settled into relative comfort. With no threat of Dominion ships pouring out the wormhole at a moments notice and Bajor joining the Federation years back the station embraced its role as the hub of all travel in the Bajor sector and settled into that role nicely; it simply had become another deep space station. Now, however, times were changing and yet again decisions that effected the entire sector, if not quadrant, were once again being made at Deep Space Nine.
Some of the most pivotal decisions made during the Dominion War had been made in DS9’s Wardroom and the Treaty of Bajor had been signed there. Since that time it had fallen into relative disuse but today it once again hosted a contingent of Admirals. Rear Admiral Elisabeth Basmanoff sat the had of the table, arms crossed with an rather unpleasant expression on her face.
“How in the bloody hell did Starfleet Intelligence miss that the Cardassian Union had started the Obsidian Order back up? Is it not their job to be aware of things like this? It is an inexcusable mistake.” The coffee next to the Rear Admiral had gone cold, but she sipped it none the less. If she didn’t occupy her lips with something other than speaking she knew she’d say something that would get her tossed out the Admiralty; that much she knew for sure.
Vice Admiral Kellogg exchanged a rather irritated look with Admiral T’Lut. “It’s not like our focus was on the Cardassian Union, Elisabeth. In case you didn’t notice the entirety of the Romulan Star Empire was shattered apart and we have three different factions duking it out. The Cardassian Union was not our top priority.”
Elisabeth rolled her eyes. “Perhaps if you all hadn’t cocked it up so badly over the last 10 plus years, we wouldn’t be in this mess. For all we know, when you made the decision to pull back on aiding the Union you left the political structure of the Union vulnerable to destabilization. When Cardassians are backed into a corner they tend to make poor decisions.”
Anger flashed over Vice Admiral Kellogg’s face. “Hard decisions had to be made and it was deemed appropriate to wind down the Union’s aid in light of our limited resources. Our internal projections showed they would be able to complete their own rebuilding in less than 17 months thanks to the considerable effort we put forward. It was the correct action.”
Admiral T’Lut placed her hands on the table, folding them as she cleared her throat. Elisabeth was very well aware that meant ‘shut it children and let the adult in the room talk’ in Vulcan. “The past can be argued until you are both our of breath but it will not serve us well in this moment. What happened has happened and can not be changed and we now must look to the future. At this time we have no idea what the current state of the political structure is in the Cardassian Union aside from the fact that the Central Command and Detapa Council seem to be on the verge of open warfare with one another. As you are aware, Rear Admiral Basmanoff, the Federation Council considers this an unacceptable threat to the stability of the southern Alpha Quadrant. At this time Starfleet does not have the resources to pour into Task Force 72’s territory. With the issues surrounding the Romulan factions and the recent Breen attack we are starting to be stretched thin. Overt hostile action must be avoided at all costs. As such Task Force 72’s primary mission is a covert one. You must determine the current political situation of the Union so we can take action to stabilize it and prevent any open warfare from spreading to Federation territory.”
Kellogg leaned back. “We can’t risk the Cardassian’s finding out that we are sticking our noses in their business; they’ve already made that clear. You will have significant intelligence assets at your disposable and we’ll be assigning multiple starships to the Bajor sector under your command. We feel that if they are going to try anything, it’ll be in the Bajor sector. Other than that, keep the borders worlds calm, keep an eye on the Tholians and maintain heavy patrols of the Cardassian border.”
Basmanoff nodded. The task ahead was daunting, but not impossible. “Should be an easy to do list.” She said, a slight bit of humor in her voice. “Starbase 72 will finish it’s overhaul and resupply in 53 days and from there will run the intelligence side of things. With any luck, we’ll have some answers in the next 6 months.”
The 4th Admiral in the room, who so far had kept to himself, decided to make his presence finally know. “There is one further matter to discuss.”
T’Lut shot a glance at the man. “It was my understanding that we had settled that matter to your satisfaction and there was no need to discuss it.”
Elisabeth sat up in her seat; this should be good.
The man, who barely looked 40 despite being a Rear Admiral, shook his head. “It bears mentioning. The Bajor sector is a key target for the Cardassians, it always has been, but we are overlooking on important thing.”
Elisabeth rubbed her temples. She knew what was coming next.
The man continued. “During the war the wormhole aliens took significant actions to, as best we can tell, save the Bajoran people. It’s clear they have some sort of affinity for them. It’s not unthinkable to say they may step in again and that needs to be part of the calculus.”
Elisabeth leaned forward and held up her hand to keep the other Admirals quiet. “I can assure you I am very aware of the wormhole aliens and what they did. However they have not made themselves known since Captain Sisko.” Elisabeth paused to find the correct word, but did not manage to find it. “Went wherever he went and quite frankly unless the opt to spit Benjamin Sisko out of the wormhole sometime soon, I’m not concerned with them. On the slim chance they do something, we’ll be ready.”
The comm chime cut off any further debate. “Von’Kad to Basmanoff. We just received a priority one transmission. Captain Caldwell of the USS Hyperion is requesting permission to enter Cardassian space to pursue a hostile ship.”
Basmanoff arched a brow. “Permission denied. A Sovereign Class ship entering Cardassian space is too large a provocation. Order her to bring the Hyperion to DS9 and meet with me immediately.”
“Yes ma’am, Von’Kad out.”
Elisabeth looked at the other Admirals at the table. “Well then, looks like we may just have our first opportunity to poke around the Union’s doorstep.”
Task Force Updates
- New Staff – Please welcome Jonileth to TF72 as the new TFXO! He comes with a wealth of experience and will be a tremendous asset to 72. Sadly we had to say goodbye to Rippy as real life made things just a little too busy for him to be able to focus on BF. He was instrumental in helping develop TF72’s new cannon and several other things we haven’t rolled out yet. We wish him well!
- Infobase Updates in progress – You may notice that the TF72 section of the Infobase is getting a big overhaul. We are working on updating everything to fit in line with the new cannon. As you would expect, this is an undertaking so you may see things that are a work in progress until it is done.
- New pre-made games coming – The goal for the TFSS right now is to have several pre-made game ready to go for ambitions Bravo Fleet members who wish to jump into being a GM. Much like in the other Task Forces these will have websites and ideas ready to go so you can hit the ground running. If your OOC rank is Lieutenant or higher and you are interested in running one of these upcoming games please just contact a TFSS member on Discord or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to have those up in the next week or two.