“A Line in the Sand”
Following the Archanis Campaign, Task Force 72 had been busy picking up the diplomatic pieces strewn around the galaxy by the conflict. Starfleet’s swift response had been lauded internally and had given the Federation’s enemies pause, but there were now real concerns about the safety of the Federation’s frontiers. One of those frontiers happened to be in Task Force 72’s back yard: the former Demilitarized Zone. This region had given rise to the Maquis terrorists of the 2360s and 2370s, but now that the area was completely under Federation control, it had spurred a resurgence in the True Way movement: a particularly xenophobic group (even for Cardassians, which is saying a lot), they wanted to re-establish Cardassian supremacy not just within their own space but across the Alpha quadrant.
Admiral Belvedere was sitting in his office high in the tower levels of Starbase 72 reading a report from the station’s commodore about their communications array. There was a black-out of the local Subspace Relay Network for several hours after the station’s message processing hub was bombarded with junk data from multiple sources within the network. Physical bugs had been placed on a number of relay stations that had flooded all levels of the spectrum with Starfleet Intelligence discovered to be a message: the True Way will return to Cardassia.
They were always spreading that kind of propaganda, but it was concerning to Belvedere that they apparently had access to the physical infrastructure of the all-important Subspace Relay Network. “Captain Bancroft, I want you to work with Captain Mendoza to divert some of our ships on peacekeeping duties to keep watch on the relay stations in the former DMZ. Have the Corps of Engineers come up with a solution for hardening them against future tampering,” Belvedere ordered over the intercom to his Chief of Staff.
“Understood, Admiral,” Bancroft replied. The task force was spread pretty thin dealing with the aftermath of Archanis, but the True Way were an immediate and localized threat that needed to be dealt with. Belvedere was by no means an expert on the Cardassian situation, but it seemed that they were making headway in the former DMZ through a hearts and minds campaign; he was reticent to escalate that with a heavier Starfleet presence, but lines had to be drawn.
Since the Archanis campaign, TF72 has been relatively quiet on the fiction front, but check out these stories from our members:
- VividShado as Captain Vax of the Heracles visited Starbase 11.
- Aelle as Captain al-Haajid of the Orpheus got to know his new ship.
- David as Captain Michael Lancaster of the Arcturus prepared to engage in a war game with the Andorian Imperial Guard in an interlude before the ship is due to travel to the Delta Quadrant.
- Revvaric as Captain Reva Sarrik had a fascinating dream.
We’re working diligently to expand the background information available to Task Force 72 writers, especially for those of you assigned to Starbase 72 before you’ve earned an avatar ship, so check out our Infobase entry, as well as the thread on the forums. There have been two official releases since our last announcement, one geared for the whole task force and one targeted specifically at Starbase 72—these releases are meant to serve as prompts and inspiration for your own fiction, so feel free to use them how you like! Task Force 72’s niche is diplomacy, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do other things, and, as the releases show, diplomacy involves a lot more than just talking around briefing room tables; you need engineering and medical support missions, tactical missions, and intelligence to make diplomacy work!
One thing that I wanted to clear up after talking with a few folks recently is that you do not have to write at your fleet rank in fiction. If your primary character is an ensign, a commander, or a captain, that’s fine! Or if you’re writing the history of a character before 2399, feel free to stick it in the TFHQ area as well. Think of your primary character as the captain of your avatar ship–whether you have one or not–so they can be at any command-appropriate rank. It’s not like a “sim” where you have to rely on someone else to approve/deny a particular rank, as long as it’s reasonable. If you want to try to stick close to your rank that’s fine, too–have the character grow and get promoted over time, or even have a different character for each rank. It’s up to you!
In terms of a ‘storyline’ for Task Force 72, we’re handling it not as an overarching narrative exclusive to this TF but instead providing prompts that help piece together the time between campaigns and fleet actions, with eventual event weeks/fortnights with small-scale stories. Any of the prompts we produce can be used at any time, as well, so you don’t have to ‘keep up’ with the rest of the TF to still be able to engage in its story. We’re trying to keep the fiction releases relatively short with a clear guide to what they mean for the TF theme, but if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out to a member of TF staff.
Thanks to all who participated in the TF72-hosted competitions this month. We ran a cryptogram, a crossword puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle, and a sliding puzzle. As hinted in the short fiction piece above, the answer to the cryptogram was “The True Way will return to Cardassia.”
Task Force Recognition
Between this report and the last one, there have been many, many promotions and medals earned across the task force, for work well done!
Medals of Achievement
Meritorious Service Crosses
Promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade
Promotion to Lieutenant
Promotion to Lieutenant Commander
Promotion to Commander
Promotion to Captain
Congratulations to all of those who were recognized!
Since the last report, we said good bye to Angel as TGCO of Task Group 21. I thank her sincerely for her work. We also have welcomed Revvaric as Task Group 47 Commanding Officer!