Captain Erill’Yun Mek could almost feel the walls reverberate as high notes soared through the auditorium. Stretched out in his high box seat to the left of the stage, he rubbed his greyed temples and rested his chin on the palm of a wrinkled hand. Guttural roars gave way to a staccato recitative and the spectators sat, enthralled. The overture’s final crescendo exploded in a furious howling burst. Teeth gnashing, inflated lungs belting out cry after tempestuous cry, the prima donna cast her arms wide before suddenly she fell silent. The lights dimmed. The audience; a mix of fine suits, gowns, and a peppering of service uniforms both Starfleet and Klingon Defence Force stood immediately in ovation. Whistles and cheers rose above thunderous applause for what seemed like an age until the cast took their final bow before the billowing red curtain.
“I’ve always had a special place in my tired old heart for the Bride of Kor’Vatch. I never tire of seeing her vanquish her enemies with a warrior’s poise.” Ambassador Grecht slammed a hand down on Erill’Yun’s shoulder, causing the captain to wince. They filed out of the auditorium with the other spectators onto the Starbase 86 promenade.
“Truly a masterpiece, Ambassador…” Erill’Yun rolled his shoulder, checking he still possessed full mobility, “Really, very intimidating.”
“Hmph yes, the enemies of the Empire would think twice before crossing such a woman. They’d flee like Grotis cattle before the brutal lash of her tongue.” The immense, grey haired Klingon roared with laughter as the two of them walked together on the mezzanine, “Come Captain, such an evening is deserving of a bottle of bloodwine.”
“I’m afraid not, Ambassador. With Captain Vordenna gone, full responsibility for Task Force 86 operations now falls to me,” Erill’Yun sighed.
Grecht frowned, “Ah yes… Vordenna. A strange being. Very well, captain.” The elder diplomat’s voice was laced with a tinge of disappointment, “No doubt you have your hands full with all the k’pekt coming out of The Triangle of late.”
“The situation is challenging.” Erill’Yun now stood facing Grecht as the promenade hubbub moved around them, “We have at least fifteen colonial administrations reporting everything from slaving rings to illegal substance production taking hold. There’s no rest for 86 until we can kick them back to where they came from, or bring them in. We’re already stretched from the House of D’Ghor’s little excursion and 93’s up to their ears cleaning up that.”
“A swift round of executions is what you need, Captain. Strike fear into the hearts of those who dare to subvert your laws.”
Erill’Yun rolled his eyes, “As tempting as it sounds, Ambassador, you of all people have been around these parts long enough to know that we don’t go for low effort solutions when it comes to policing our borders. You know, stuff that can’t really be actioned the morning after a skinful of bloodwine.”
A low, rumbling laugh came from Grecht at the expense of Erill’Yun’s visible irritability, “Well, Captain, I’m afraid your plague of criminality has rather spoiled my evening. Then again, it’s nothing a skinful of bloodwine won’t remedy. If you do require any assistance from the Imperial Fleet, you know where to find me. I’m sure we could help with some low effort tasks.” Grecht’s final word coincided with his large hand clapping down on Erill’Yun’s shoulder again, accompanied by a knowing look. Turning with a flourish of his long, silver curls, the Klingon merged away into the meandering flow of passersby.
Erill’Yun stood in thought for a moment after Grecht’s departure. It took him a while to realise that his previously severe expression had faded into a smile.
Some possible plot points for your stories:
- Cassiopeia Outpost long-range sensors have picked up what seems to be multiple modified freighters travelling at speeds exceeding warp 9.4 out of the Rutia system into The Triangle. TF86 command requires the disruption of any smuggling operations at Rutia, apprehension of those involved, and an investigation mounted into The Triangle to find the source of these freighters.
- A freighter convoy containing a hugely valuable shipment of Hupyrian beetle snuff has been raided while transiting shipping lanes protected under Federation security guarantee. A Ferengi trade delegation along with the Marauder Kraylen under the command of DaiMon Brux has arrived at Starbase 86 in an attempt to sue Starfleet for compensation.
- A large increase in criminal activity on the Federation border with The Triangle has in turn increased the number of detainees in custody awaiting justice. Detention and security facilities on Starbase 86 require expansion in order to process those awaiting transport to stand trial in their home jurisdictions. Starbase security staff must balance Federation ideals against the stark realities of housing a growing populace who have lost their liberty.
- On stardate 76512.6 at 0230 hours, a Klingon war party, having moved from bloodwine onto the chech’tluth, initiated a drunken brawl spilling out from a bar onto the Starbase 86 promenade. Frenzied, and with battle fresh in their minds from a recent skirmish with Romulan Free State border incursion forces, blades were drawn. A passing Acamarian dignitary was severely injured in the fray and now Starbase 86 staff must deal with the resulting diplomatic fallout.
Previously, in TF86
- In July 2156, Phoenix NX-08 intercepts communications from the Romulan warship Decius containing repeated references to a mysterious “Tal’Shiar”. After hiding in an asteroid field, Decius is pursued towards Vega Colony in time to intercept a fleet of Romulan raiders. The crew of the Phoenix is invited to a victory celebration in the colony’s capital, Eagle Falls.
- On June 9th, 2399, civilian Captain Walter Jones shares a drink with a Klingon in a bar on Starbase 86. On an unnamed planet in The Triangle, the ragtag crew of the SS Warden is involved in an unscrupulous but successful business deal.
- On June 10th, 2399, Lieutenant Tyler Bardot arrives at Starbase 86 ready to begin her assignment as small craft pilot. She immediately begins familiarising herself with the station.
- On June 29th, 2374, recently reinstated Commander Rebecca Sandoval bids farewell to her father, husband and children before departing to assume her post as Executive Officer of the USS Denver. On arrival, she is greeted by her Commanding Officer, Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Meanwhile, at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, Rear Admiral Montgomery Scott completes a preliminary design for the new Erebus Class starship.
- On June 18th, 2399, the USS Tesla, under the command of Captain Michael Ryder, is docked for repair at Starbase 38 following damage sustained during recent action in the Archanis Sector. While preparing for an exploration assignment to the Delta Quadrant, Ryder receives a communique from his grudge-bearing brother.
- In June 2399, Ensign Nate Beckett reports for duty aboard the USS Endeavour as it completes repair work at Starbase Bravo. The ship receives orders to recover Dr. Karl T’Sann of the Daystrom Institute Archaeological Council from the hands of the Romulan Rebirth Movement on Teros IV. En route, the runabout USS King Arthur is dispatched to on a reconnaissance mission to gather more information about this xenophobic terrorist group. On the planet’s surface they locate Nevantar, a scientist with links to the Daystrom Institute, in the hopes of learning more about Dr. T’Sann’s fate. Lieutenant Rosara Thawn discusses her betrothal while visiting her great aunt and Matriarch of the Twelfth House of Betazed.
- On July 1st, 2399, the USS Trafalgar, under the command of Captain Thomas Forrester, is docked at Starbase 86. Forrester’s old Academy classmate and friend Lieutenant Alexander Mitchell, recently catapulted ten years forward in time by a subspace anomaly while serving on the USS Hypathia, reports for duty as Chief Flight Control Officer.
Where We’re Going
Absolutely loads has happened! Perhaps the biggest change to TF86 over the last month has been the addition of DarthCrusader as our new TFXO. He has already been super active, helping out with activity reporting and a big presence in our TF Discord area. Huge welcome to you, Darth!
Andrew, our master of the trumpets, hits the news again this month with his promotion to Commander. Congratulations to you!
Orlaith also continues to cruise through the ranks and is now a Lieutenant, well done and thanks for joining in with all our Task Force goings on!
I’ve been a bit slow this month on the lore development, but David has kindly given us a helping hand with some updates on the wiki. Our members have been cranking out some great fiction as snippeted above which is really bringing our whole area of operations alive. We’ve been absolutely loving what’s been produced so far, and we want more! Our overarching task force narrative is of course our policing operations in and around The Triangle borderlands. Feel free to make use of the story prompts given above to kickstart your own fictions, whether you are hunting down criminal ne’er do wells or conducting your own shady dealings, we want to read about it. Don’t feel limited by this setting, however. We’ve got fictions all over time and space, from the Delta Quadrant to the NX era.
Last but not least, it’s time to get our hype on for the upcoming fleet action! Echoes of the T’Kon will have a huge range of activities not limited to fiction writing. There is going to be loads to do, and if previous efforts are anything to go by, then TF86 is going to smash this one out of the park! I’m really looking forward to seeing how your crews and characters react to what promises to be some very mysterious action with galactic ramifications.
That concludes this month’s mammoth report. Keep it up everyone and hope you have an excellent July!!
~ Captain Erill’Yun Mek, Task Force 86 Commanding Officer