What’s going on in the Azure Nebula? New fiction from Starbase 86: “Let Cooler Heads Prevail“
It’s been a long road, making our way through the year. It’s been a long road, but the year is finally clear. Questionable theme tunes aside, 2021 has been a great year for Task Force 86! We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve seen two fleet actions come and go. We’ve seen staff depart (who will be sorely missed) and we’ve greeted more than a few new faces on Starbase 86. It’s been a competitive year, too, full of ribbons, medals, and competitions hosted by us; the shiny red multi-pronged task force.
But, as Vic Fontaine and Sisko once sang, the best is yet to come. The hype train is again leaving the station for the Stormbreaker Campaign that’s due to start on Feb 5th. I can’t wait to see the kind of stories TF86 will be weaving for this one. If it’s anything like our previous efforts, then we should be bracing ourselves for anything from pirate subspace radio stations to space whales.
Speaking of which (and it’s been far too long since I have last done this) let’s get up to speed on where the ships of the task force are as the 25th Century dawns on the Bravo Fleet universe.
Previously, in Task Force 86
- May, 2374 – In the midst of the Dominion War, the USS Denver travels to the Tyra system as part of the Seventh Fleet.
- May, 2399 – Lieutenant Commander Heather Kowal assumes command of the USS Serenity. The change of command is made official at a ceremony in the ship’s mess hall, presided over by Captains Erill’Yun Mek and Francesca Shilo.
- July, 2399 – Captain Jackson Porter undergoes an elaborate final test before reporting to the USS Solstice to take command.
- July, 2399 – Captain Felrak Vordenna of the USS Ahwahnee continues the search for an Omega molecule on the surface of planet Gorman III. Finding himself in the middle of a war between mammals and reptiles, he flies into battle to defend the Gürm city of Sandastrom, bringing him ever closer to the molecule.
- September, 2399 – After unearthing and beaming aboard an ancient artefact from the ruins of Je’lon IV, the crew of the USS Crazy Horse attempt to find out why it appears to be emitting low level gamma radiation. To their great surprise, they discover that it is in fact a primitive transporter system, inscribed with symbols from a language strangely similar to the historic Earth languages of Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Irish Gaelic. The symbols make reference to “lighting of time”, causing Lieutenant Commander Erin Hayden to suggest bombarding the artefact with a tachyon pulse.
- October, 2399 – Captain Thomas Forrester is assigned to command the USS Challenger as it undergoes refit at McKinley Station. He receives orders to depart on a diplomatic mission to Darox III, a planet in the Eden Cluster of the Gamma Quadrant whose government has requested Federation membership. Upon arrival at Darox, Forrester encounters Romulan Commander Tarnek Oreth’s D-7 battlecruiser in orbit. Can Forrester and the crew of the Challenger inoculate the Daroxi against Romulan false promises?
- November, 2399 – Commander Nicholas Malcolm Wilde assumes command of the USS Asger. While docked at Starbase 92, more of his crew begin to arrive.
- Late 2399 – A mysterious signal, broadcast by an unknown organisation identifying themselves only as “Radio Free Triangle”, is picked up on subspace frequencies throughout the region and beyond into Klingon, Federation, Romulan Republic and Free State space. Listeners are perplexed after renditions of four hundred year old Trill musician Authon Datonly’s Turn the Key, and ancient Earth band The Beatles’ Revolution Nine.
- January, 2400 – Captain Erill’Yun Mek’s holodeck sailing program is rudely interrupted by Klingon Ambassador Grecht and General Metraq. An incident at an archaeological dig site in the Azure Nebula has forced them to ask Starfleet for help in a very Klingon way.
- January, 2400 – An abandoned Breen asteroid listening post has been reactivated and crewed by personnel from the USS Altai, now permanently assigned to assist with outpost operations and reconnaissance. The crew settle into life as best they can, despite a lingering sense of unease due to their proximity to the Breen and the creatures dwelling in the caverns beneath them.
- January, 2400 – Lieutenant Caroline Metrios is dispatched to the Breen border to perform a psychological evaluation of the USS Altai’s crew. While piloting her Danube-class runabout on the long journey, she reviews the Altai‘s logs and ponders the horrors faced by that crew in the depths below Listening Post 1-SZ.
- January, 2400 – Commander Ethan Talon and his wife, Trinity, track down Lieutenant Jolie Kyo in a bar on Starbase 72. Ethan reveals that his mother served together with Kyo’s parents on an assignment from years past. Kyo agrees to accompany Talon, accepting a promotion to Lieutenant Commander and Executive Officer of the covert operations vessel USS Zebulon Pike.
Promotions and Honours
Since the end of the Echoes of the Tkon Fleet Action, we’ve still had plenty of action going on that deserves to be spotlighted! Here’s a list of our current Task Force high achievers, and what they’ve been up to:
- Jacob Wishmore aka Dan promoted to Lieutenant! A long time member of the Endeavour NX-06 game, Dan has been a consistently active member during his year in Bravo Fleet. Congratulations!
- Caroline “Carrie” Metrios promoted to Lieutenant (Junior Grade)! Carrie has made steady progress with the ongoing tales of a small Counselor on a big journey. Well done!
- Jonathan McReynolds aka Hardcover promoted to Ensign! Here’s to the new officer. Nice one!
- DaveP awarded the Meritorious Service Cross! Dave’s stories have kept on coming in the latter part of 2021, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!
- Stephen awarded the Medal of Achievement! Stephen’s been doing some great work with the RPG team and has rightly been recognised for it. Superlative effort!
I think that just about sums up goings on in the Task Force of late. It’s been great to see so much fiction being produced, and it’s been a good laugh having such a lively bunch of you around to spice up the Discord. Our next big adventure as we move into 2022 will be the Stormbreaker Campaign. This will no doubt be an excellent opportunity for our longstanding members to tell their tales, game away, and clock up some more activity points! For our newcomers, it represents a great way to cut your teeth and see what it’s all about.
Stock up on snacks, caffeine, or whatever writing/gaming fuel you need because come February 5th things are about to get real.