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Official Fleet-Wide Mission

Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

After twenty-five years, Starfleet's most formidable enemy is back...

Mission Description

In 2374, a Dominion Fleet from the Gamma Quadrant entered the Bajoran Wormhole. Had it arrived, it would have crushed the Federation Alliance forces entrenched in the Battle of Deep Space 9. Only the intervention of the Prophets, entreated by Captain Benjamin Sisko to act, stopped them, the fleet seemingly vanishing before it ever reached the Alpha Quadrant. For over twenty-five years, it was assumed the Prophets had destroyed them, and the so-called Lost Fleet became a favourite topic of discussion for armchair admirals and Starfleet historians.

Now, in March 2401, at the dawn of the twenty-fifth century, the Lost Fleet has returned. And with Starfleet Command failing to recognise the danger at their door, only the Fourth Fleet can stop them.

 

The Drums of War

The coreward border of the United Federation of Planets reaches across the Deneb Sector, nestled between Breen, Kztinti, and Ferengi territory, and the edges of unknown space. It is a rugged frontier often under threat from those powers or the rough and lawless groups who make their living far from the heart of the Federation. Colonists are accustomed to a hard life but do not go without the support of Starfleet, who base their operations from facilities like Farpoint Station and Starbase 514. The Breen attacks of 2399 saw defences shored up, but this is still a frontier of border squabbles and piratical raids, not war.

Until now.

From the unknown space beyond even the territories of the Breen and the Kzinti, the lost Dominion fleet has appeared as if from nowhere. Despite the passing of decades, despite being hundreds of light-years from their expected destination, they have arrived at the border of Federation space and attacked as if their invasion orders from the Founders were issued yesterday. Completely unprepared, the defences of Federation worlds and facilities immediately crumbled.

Some, the Dominion devastated before withdrawing, causing catastrophic damage to Federation infrastructure and morale without over-extending their forces. Others they have conquered and seem intent on keeping. Jem’hadar soldiers have landed on Federation colony worlds to enforce martial law. The Vorta have extended their will over local industry and turned it to support their war machine. Setting up bases of operations from what they brought and what they have conquered, Dominion forces have rapidly annexed multiple systems and established new lines of defences and supplies.

 

Old Enemies, Old Allies

Initial reports make it clear that this fleet did not wander for a quarter of a century. From sensor scans by fleeing Starfleet ships, it seems no time at all has passed for the Dominion forces. They vanished from the Bajoran wormhole in 2374 and appeared, near-instantaneously from their perspective, in 2401. Why they are here and not at Bajor is a mystery. But lines of communication between the Federation and the Dominion of the Gamma Quadrant have been limited for decades, and no Founders have appeared to order their Lost Fleet to stand down. Initial efforts by Starfleet to communicate and explain fell on deaf ears, Vorta and Jem’hadar commanders making it clear they feel they have their orders. But the Lost Fleet has listened to someone: the Breen.

Two years ago, factions in the Breen Confederacy reopened hostilities against the Federation. The borders were contained, Starfleet defending itself. What passes for official channels from the Breen’s fractured hierarchy of warlords continues to maintain that any attacks against the Federation are being prosecuted by rogue elements. But the Breen have plainly made common cause with the Dominion fleet, seemingly updating them with all they have missed these past twenty-five years, and reigniting an old alliance. There is no telling what lies or manipulations the Breen may have weaved to keep Dominion weapons pointed at the Federation long after the war’s end. But it means the Lost Fleet has more than the Breen forces at their back—they have the Breen supplies and infrastructure. This is an open war in all but name.

The rebirth of this old alliance has precipitated one source of support for Starfleet, however. The Cardassian Union, long-uneasy in its accord with the Federation, has emerged to unequivocally condemn this renewal of hostilities from the Breen and the Dominion. Once allies in the war, the Cardassian people remember well the mass slaughter of billions of their people in the conflict’s final days, carried out by the Dominion and abetted by the Breen. As soon as word of this crisis reached the wider galaxy, the Third Order, itself a veteran of the Cardassian rebellion against the Dominion, was dispatched to aid and reinforce Starfleet’s defence and counter-offensive.

 

The Wolf Within

This is the truth as the leadership of the Fourth Fleet knows it, the truth disseminated to its commanders and officers. But it is not the truth heard by the rest of the Federation, or even Starfleet. Since the attack began, the Federation News Network and Starfleet Command alike reported it as solely a matter of Breen hostilities. Official records insist that the Breen have struck across the Federation border, seizing worlds and sowing chaos. Official records insist that the lost Dominion fleet is nothing but rumour, lies, and hysteria, and that any sightings of Dominion ships are merely technologies the Breen secured during the war.

Indeed, while it is clear that the whole of the Lost Fleet cannot have arrived in Federation space—it was expected to be thousands of ships in size—Starfleet Command seems set to dismiss the scope of the military threat, insisting this is nothing more than a border skirmish, and that the local forces of Task Group 514 will restore control soon enough. Reports from the front and lobbying by principled Starfleet leaders have gone ignored.

Why Starfleet is so reluctant to face the truth is unknown. But seeing this danger for what it is, Fleet Admiral Ramar has ignored Command and invoked the Fourth Fleet’s galaxy-wide mandate to respond. Never before has the whole fleet been deployed without Starfleet Command’s blessing, but Admiral Ramar’s actions are, so far, within the bounds of his authority. It is unknown if Command will seek to overrule him, or what will happen if they do. Nor is it known why some officers of Task Group 514 have expressed dismay at the Fourth Fleet’s deployment, insisting they can defeat an enemy when they are plainly overrun.

One enemy is at the gates for certain. What enemy, real or imagined, of hate or fear, has slipped into Starfleet’s heart?

 

Fighting Back

With Task Group 514 driven back by the initial Dominion onslaught, the Fourth Fleet is rushing to the battle-ravaged border. There they must reinforce defences, defeat the enemy, and spearhead the counter-offensive. With the Dominion secure in their beachhead in Federation territory and now reinforced by the Breen, this will be no mean feat. But the Fourth Fleet was born in the Dominion War, and they stand reinforced by the Cardassian forces of the Third Order.

Fourth Fleet Command has issued the following orders:

– To defend Federation space against invasion by Breen and Dominion forces;

– To liberate territory conquered by the Lost Fleet;

– To render aid to Federation worlds devastated in the initial assault;

– To shatter equipment and supply lines of the enemy;

– To learn more about enemy movement and operations, and seek to understand this returning threat.

These orders came to Fourth Fleet captains directly from Fleet Admiral Ramar. But an additional message came from Vice Admiral Beckett, Director of Fourth Fleet’s Intelligence. It was brief:

Trust only the Fourth Fleet.

 

Writing

The campaign of The Lost Fleet is a series of independent stories all contributing to the greater narrative around the first 2023 Fleet Action. Members will write the stories of their ships and crews responding to the crisis, and the Intel Office will respond to these and advance the campaign’s events.

Any member is welcome to participate in The Lost Fleet. If you have a primary command, you can write the story of your starship and crew rallying to the defence of the Deneb Sector. You can start a Mission on BFMS under this fleet-wide Mission. If you want to write with another member, you can do so! Your ships or characters can work together on missions. BFMS supports this.

 

The Story

Unlike past campaigns, members do not have to generate their own plot ideas, though are free to do so, so long as it remains within the framework and guidance provided here and on the wiki by the Intel Office.

The Lost Fleet includes Mission Briefings written by the Intel Office. These are unique story prompts focusing on a specific location or plot, and often revolve around locations established in fleet canon on the Deneb Sector. While many of them may be concepts akin to what a member could generate themselves—defend a planet from Dominion attack, liberate slaves captured by the Breen—they are rooted in the development of the region and the story of the Lost Fleet. Participation in these missions also makes it easier for the Intel Office to monitor individual ships’ stories, and gauge the impact on the wider narrative.

Most Mission Briefings are open-ended, setting up opportunities and options for telling a story entrenched in fleet canon and the fleet action’s narrative, but giving members the freedom to decide how they do so. They are a starting point rooted in the fleet canon, and the Intel Office has strived to make it clear where the boundaries are—and are not.

There are three kinds of Mission Briefings:

– Special Assignments, which are specifically designed for members who expect to write only 1-6 Stories over the fleet action but still want their plotlines to make a difference.

– Key Missions, which focus on major canonical events in the Deneb Sector

– Critical Operations, which are storylines critical to resolving or advancing the Lost Fleet storyline. They come at the expense of a higher expectation of adhering to Intelligence Office guidelines.

The list of missions can be found here.

If you wish to come up with your own story idea, you may. As with past campaigns, here are a list of generic suggestions to get your ideas flowing:

– Federation planets across the frontier have fallen to the Dominion and Breen. They must all be liberated. Your ship has been assigned to repel the invasion forces on one such colony world.

– Many locations around the sector are under threat from the combined forces of the Dominion and the Breen. From colony worlds to Starfleet defensive outposts, incursions must be repelled.

– Protecting the border requires a vast network of defensive technology, from weapons platforms helping locations protect themselves to monitoring outposts observing enemy movement. Now more than ever these facilities must be built, deployed, protected, or repaired.

– The Breen are keen and cruel slavers, and where they have attacked the Federation they have often abducted civilians and Starfleet officers alike for labour. Hunt down slaving parties and liberate the abducted.

– The Dominion did not occupy all territory they attacked in their initial strike. In many places they sought to weaken morale and Federation infrastructure before withdrawing. Across the sector civilian and strategic locations alike are in need of humanitarian aid and repairs.

– Not all of this frontier, nor the region beyond the border from which the Dominion struck, is fully mapped by Starfleet. Conduct reconnaissance missions, mapping out these regions and local phenomena – and maybe find something which can provide a strategic advantage.

– Fog of war is sometimes the greatest enemy. By use of remote probes, deep space telescopes, hiding in stellar phenomena, or physical infiltration, monitor enemy movements and forces.

– The Cardassians have dispatched forces to help repel the Dominion, remembering the atrocities inflicted on them at the end of the war, atrocities in which they feel the Breen were complicit. Work alongside these former enemies to defeat this invasion.

– Kzinti raiders have seen the Federation’s focus turn on the Dominion. Small parties are taking the opportunity to conduct hit-and-run attacks on less-defended targets, aiming to steal what they can while Starfleet’s attention is elsewhere.

– The Ferengi were quick to establish non-aggression arrangements with the Dominion, and are keen to exploit the chaos for their own profit, trading in information and weapons, and sometimes brokering mercenary agreements. Either shut down these black market operations which could undermine Starfleet defences – or exploit it against the Dominion.

 

 

Picard Season 3

The latest season of Picard depicted a renegade group of Changelings who had not accepted peace with the Federation, and infiltrated it to destroy it from within. While the conspiracy will ultimately be rooted out using the transporter systems, the Lost Fleet as a story takes place in March 2401, in the weeks and months before Frontier Day. While the Lost Fleet has indeed appeared as if from nowhere and its origins remain a mystery, they are not the only mystery afoot.

Unbeknownst to any characters at the start of the Fleet Action, including Fourth Fleet Command, the renegade Changelings play a key part on both sides of this conflict. Their infiltration is why Starfleet Command refuses to recognise the seriousness of this threat, or indeed acknowledge the presence of the Lost Fleet at all. More than that, these renegade Changelings long ago infiltrated the Breen Confederacy, provoking their attack on the Federation in 2399. Here and now, those Changelings have seized the sudden opportunity presented by the Lost Fleet, contacting and manipulating the Dominion forces displaced by twenty-five years to continue hostilities.

This plot element is not present in many Mission Briefings, but it may be invoked in any of your stories. The renegade Changelings have infiltrated the Breen and are present among the forces of the Lost Fleet. They may even be in Starfleet, having infiltrated Task Group 514 —or, despite the warning of Vice Admiral Beckett, the Fourth Fleet itself. You are free to include themes of suspicion and paranoia as your ship tries to repel the invading force but may experience sabotage and betrayal, not only from the Changelings of the Lost Fleet but those of the modern-day conspiracy itself.

This Fleet Action takes place during the run-up to Picard season 3, far from the heart of the action but dealing with a different thread of the conspiracy which has canonically consumed Starfleet Command for some time. With weeks until the heroes of Picard bring the conspiracy to an end, your characters are free to realise more is afoot, within the invading forces and within Starfleet itself, as the Fourth Fleet will be too busy saving the Deneb Sector to save the Federation at large.

To make it plain: the renegade Changelings are a canonical feature of this Fleet Action, responsible for the Breen’s hostilities in recent years, responsible for inciting the Lost Fleet’s continued hostilities against the Federation, and responsible for Starfleet trying to turn a blind eye to the threat (whether they are responsible for the Lost Fleet’s arrival in the first place is a mystery to all). Your characters are free to learn of this conspiracy because they will be in no position to reveal it and save the day before Picard and his allies do.

Associated Missions

About the Mission

Status
Complete
Total Stories
438
Start Date
06/05/2023
End Date
18/06/2023

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Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

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16 June 2023

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15 June 2023

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Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

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8 May 2023

Links

Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

First Dazat’ugal’s footsteps rang out, heavy and loud, and still the two Vorta stood in the command centre did not react as he arrived. The doors slid shut behind him but the arguing continued as if he was not there. This suited him fine. His duty was not urgent, nor did he need their approval. [...]