Life on an Azure Wave
Protostars hung shining in their gaseous, volatile cradle of purples and blues. The rays dispersed from their half-formed bodies passed through a filter of volatile gases, ionized by ultraviolet radiation to form swirling patterns that twisted and danced over hundreds of light years. Ships that disappeared into the billowing depths were near untraceable. Sensors were scrambled and mirages were frequent. For millennia, the Azure Nebula had remained a realm of secrets and intrigue. Not all those who entered returned, and the fortunes of those that did were often changed forever.
The USS Ahwahnee had charted a course around the Nebula’s outer edge. The ship was far enough away to keep sensor readings optimal, but still the eerie colours streamed through the viewports to cast long shadows across the deck. That same light washed across the bridge as the ship moved at half impulse, the tiny spindle form of Starbase 86 rotated in the distance.
“The Azure’s bright today.” Commander Tursk observed from the First Officer’s seat, monitoring the docking control frequency.
“It does have a certain allure,” Felrak leaned over, “I’m beginning to see why so many want to see what’s in there.”
Tursk snorted, “Orions must love it, plenty of naïve explorers like us for the taking.”
“Yet another reason for Task Force 86 to be in this neck of the woods.” Felrak’s scaly mouth pulled back in a smile, revealing a row of pointed, irregular teeth.
“Speaking of which,” Tursk raised a hairy eyebrow, “is it true what they’re saying? We’re being reassigned here?”
Felrak exhaled, figuring it was about time he let his tellarite friend in on the news, “There’s been a big shake up. What happened at Archanis has got Starfleet reevaluating deployments across the quadrant. The relief effort has got things stretched thin, so yes, I’ve been asked to step in for the time being.”
“I see. What is it? 71 years in Starfleet now? Can’t say I’m surprised about it.” Tursk lowered his voice to a gravelly rumble, “So that makes us- the Ahwahnee– we’re a flagship now?”
Silent disbelief was all that followed.
“Very temporarily.” Felrak felt compelled to add.
Starbase 86’s gigantic bay doors began to inch their way open as the Ahwahnee passed into its identification zone. Interlocking magnetic clamps, each the size of a stardrive section, parted to reveal the cavernous interior. No tractor assistance was necessary. The ship was small enough for Lieutenant Delfino to pilot unaided through into the dock. Floodlights blazed across the interior, illuminating the ship to all watching from the observation decks. Work bees swooped from their bays, circling the newcomer and initialising preliminary repair scans. The Ahwahnee’s engines powered down. She was home, for now.
Previously, in TF86
The Task Force regroups after heavy involvement in the recent Archanis Sector incursion from the disgraced House of D’Ghor.
USS Endeavour is en route to Starbase Bravo after being heavily engaged with the D’Ghor in the Talmiru, Elgatis, Haydorian and Taldir systems.
USS Bonaventure assists in deployment of emergency aid in the Meronia Cluster.
USS Ahwahnee heads up a convoy delivering aid to colony worlds affected by the D’Ghor’s recent raids.
Cadet Jackson Porter and his classmates practice their dances for the Starfleet Academy Spring Formal.
Expect further Task Force 86 based story lines now that the Archanis has wrapped. Congratulations to all those who earned the very spiffy looking Archanis Campaign Badge!
Congratulations to Anth who was promoted to Lieutenant Commander this month. Looking forward to seeing that avatar ship!
Where We’re Going
We have some story line developments coming up, and I’d like to encourage everyone to get involved with these as much as possible. These will take place in the TF86 area of the Relay Station Bravo forums, where different characters or avatar ships will be able to interact with them if they want. Together we aim to move towards a cohesive TF-wide storyline that everyone can choose to interact with as much or as little as they like.
I’m also aiming to add details to a lot of our TF information on the BF Infobase. This includes a list of ships in the task force and a page for our TFHQ, Starbase 86. I’m hoping that we can come together as a Task Force and all make some contributions towards this!
Task Force 86 Competitions
Lastly, it’s time to announce the winners of the TF86 April Competitions!
The Smuggler’s Escape Champion Doodle Jumpers are:
3rd Place – MJ with 17711 points
2nd Place – Kyle with 19311 points
1st Place – Emily with 25001 points
Congratulations to all of you, and a big thanks to all who have entered the TF86 competitions. Medals are forthcoming! Our Borg writing competitions from Andrew; Rescued Borg, and The Borg Are Everywhere have been extended for another week, so still plenty of time to get your entries in.
Stay tuned for more!
~Captain Felrak Vordenna, Task Force 86 Commanding Officer