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Part of Bravo Fleet: Frontier Day

USS Arcturus: Middle Decks

Middle-level officers on the Arcturus find themselves crucial in solving the mystery of the Farpoint Cnidarians.

Mission Description

On a starship like the Arcturus with a crew of over 2,500 spread across six divisions, forty departments, and over a hundred sections, shifts, and teams, there are nearly eight hundred lieutenants and lieutenants junior grade serving as specialists, section heads, department deputies and other so-called middle-deckers. While they may not be toiling down on deck 37, they’re the glue that binds the upper and lower echelons together.

Four of these middle-deckers have been sent out into the Deneb Sector aboard the Flyer-class runabout Seginus Flyer with orders to locate a group of Farpoint Cnidarians before they are found by the last echoes of the Lost Fleet Campaign: missing Ferengi thought-maker devices that have been turned into a weapon capable of controlling these normally gentle beings and transforming them into warships of immense power.

Lieutenant Paulo Costa, the only redshirt on the team, is nominally the mission commander. Cocky and energetic, his approach to life is somewhere between “win or die” and “it will all work out.” For the Assistant Chief Flight Control Officer, his first goal is to drop the word ‘assistant’ from his title and his ultimate goal is to have his own starship—something a little bigger than a runabout.

Lieutenant Tristan Hawthorne led the science team that was able to discern through linguistic anthropology where they were most likely to find Farpoint Cnidarians: in the hearts of stellar nebulae. As cool and aloof as he is brilliant, Hawthorne is more or less content as Deputy Head of Social Sciences, but the glint of promotion and the chance to move up to the bridge one day is extremely tempting.

Lieutenant Ezrah Andretti is the ship’s Assistant Chief Tactical Officer and brings calm professionalism into every situation he walks into—on the surface, anyway. He has been raging internally for the past several months after not being selected for the Chief Tactical Officer role. While outwardly sweet, he will not let his fellow lieutenants stand in the way of a promotion.

Lieutenant Adrian Fox is a computer virtuoso who has been propelled through his career on sheer brilliance. He can visualize complex systems and mathematical problems with savant-like accuracy, but his professionalism leaves much to be desired. He has no desire to run a department, but he likes the idea of not having his current boss around to tell him to lay off of his snakeleaf vape.

The four young men selected for this mission have competence and drive behind them, and their mission stands a high chance of success—just so long as no one ends up dead or in the brig by the end of it. Staff Captain Alesser hopes that dangling a promotion to lieutenant commander in front of these ambitious officers will be enough to keep the peace. While Fox and Andretti have never worked with one another or their other two colleagues, Hawthorne and Costa have been at each others’ throats for the better part of eight years. Their missions usually result in equal parts brilliance and disaster.

Will this be the mission where Hawthorne and Costa can finally turn a corner, or will their Academy rivalry finally end one of them up demoted, discharged, or dead?

A full PDF version of this novella is available here.

About the Mission

Total Stories
Start Date
End Date

6 November 2023

6. Liberation

USS Arcturus: Middle Decks

After their unexpected diplomatic overtures on the flight deck, Costa and Hawthorne slipped quietly back into the rear compartment. Costa’s heart was racing at how quickly everything he knew about Tristan Hawthorne had changed. Among other things, he felt a pang of regret that they hadn’t been [...]

6 November 2023

5. Détente

USS Arcturus: Middle Decks

Stardate 2398.6 The shuttle ride from the Opportunity down to the surface of New Java went smoothly. After some initial squabbling, Hawthorne and Costa had settled into a more professional tenor and set to work on their survey mission to the ocean world. While Hawthorne’s specialty was social [...]

6 November 2023

4. Tête-à-Tête

USS Arcturus: Middle Decks

Stardate 2398.6 With three years of active Starfleet service under his belt, Lieutenant J.G. Tristan Hawthorne was hitting his stride as Head of Linguistics aboard a deep space explorer, the Opportunity, commanded by Commodore Elizabeth Hayden. His training in linguistic anthropology was geared [...]

5 September 2023

3. Narrowing In

USS Arcturus: Middle Decks

Stardate 2395.3 Redundant star system surveys were one of the many exciting tasks passed on to the aging exploratory cruiser Arcturusthroughout the latter few decades of her service. The old Ambassador-class vessel had seen a lot in her day, but by the time Tristan Hawthorne was serving on her, [...]