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Task Force 17 Releases - The Archanis Array

Task Force 17's first mission is to defend the Federation border and assemble the biggest array along the Klingon Border

Coming Together

USS Discovery (NCC-82006), Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76048

The pleasantries were well underway after the official launching ceremony of the Discovery had taken place. After having the command codes officially transferred over to him, everyone stood around in their dress uniforms as the party took place in the ship’s crew lounge on deck eight. It was a very formal party, a jazz band played in the background while everyone mingled with drinks and canapés being shared out.

“So Zack, how many more captains do you need to find for this expeditionary force of yours?” asked Captain Thrian. Thrian’s short white hair was pushed back against his head while his white/greyish beard was a feature along his strong jawline.

“Only one more.” Bennet answered his counterpart from the Nobel and then looked at his first officer with a smirk, hoping that the other captains would catch on and make the suggestion themselves. “Just need someone to sit in the chair for the Tereshkova.”

Captain Romen Corbin, the Betazoid man, who had assumed command of the Shackleton the day before, looked at Rider surprised. The two men had served together many years ago. Standing only a few inches smaller than Rider, Corbin picked up on how Bennet was mocking his first officer. “It’s a shame you don’t know anyone who has had years of experience of serving on numerous postings and been a first officer for, I dunno, about five years at least?” Corbin scratched his forehead, just under his dark sandy blonde hair. “It’s a tough one Zack!”

“Exactly,” Bennet replied, still mocking his first officer. “If only I knew someone!”

Groaning inwards, Commander Rider downed his drink and excused himself away from the group of captains. As he walked away, Bennet chuckled lightly with Corbin and Thrian joining him.

“I don’t understand why Lucas hasn’t just sat down already and taken a ship of his own yet?” Corbin said.

“He must have given you a good enough reason Zack?” Thrian inquired.

Shaking his head, Bennet replied. “Not a decent one. I’ve told him he has a year before I kick him off Discovery.”

“Ouch! Now come on boys, I do hope you’re not going to be that mean to everyone on this little trip of ours?” Came a joyful and playful tone from behind them.

The three male captains all turned around to find Captain Rio Canção approaching them. A lot older than all of them, Canção was taking on the Triton after serving Starfleet in a range of missions that were mainly scientific based. The El-Aurian woman was a former starship commander herself, several years ago she led many of Starfleet’s expeditionary efforts in the fields of archaeology and cultural anthropology. A former professor of Starfleet Academy, she had numerous doctorates and was known for her flirtatious and fun-loving character. She was the perfect person to assume command of the Luna-class ship and lead its multi-species crew. Since arriving at Starbase Bravo the same time as Corbin, she had already developed a reputation for her mischievous antics. She was definitely someone that Bennet enjoyed having around. Canção had long frizzy auburn coloured hair that normally had bouncing just above her shoulders, but for this occasion she had straightened out some of the curls and tied it all up into a bun on the back of her head.

“Absolutely not,” Bennet said back to her. “But unless any of you can suggest anyone to take command of the Tereshkova, we may find ourselves stuck on this side of the Barzan wormhole.”

“I may know someone.” Canção stated as she took a glass of Bajoran spring wine from a nearby tray that was being held by a waiter. “An old friend of mine, but I am not sure how quick they could get here to Bravo Station. They may have to meet us at Starbase 90.”

“Who is it?” Corbin asked, taking a sip from his glass of Andorian ale.

“Nicola Duncan.” Canção said. “She commanded the U-S-S Carver but retired from Starfleet a few years ago with her husband on Kovar Prime, but he recently passed away.”

“Are you talking about Captain Nicola Duncan, the wife of Fleet Admiral Luke Duncan?” Corbin wondered.

“The one and only. Do you know her?” Canção asked.

Waving his head to show he slightly knew her, Corbin explained his response. “I think I met her once, but I trained with her son at the academy. Sad news to hear about the admiral’s death. It was sudden and out of the blue. Do you really think she will come out of retirement?”

“As you said Romen, the admiral’s death was sudden and unexpected. They both had planned to enjoy their retirement together, but with him now gone and her son serving on the Odyssey, she may consider returning. I believe she’s still on the active list.” Canção said. “I can ask her if you want Zack?”

Nodding to consider it, Bennet agreed to the idea. “Make it happen Rio.” He took a sip from his drink, Saurian brandy, “talking about the Odyssey, I heard from command that she will be joining us on our way into the Delta Quadrant.”

“Nice, at least we know we will have some extra support out there.” Thrian stated as he finished his drink.

Before Bennet could comment, his combadge chirped and he was informed by the duty officer on the bridge that he was receiving a call from Admiral Seagraves. She wanted to see him and the other captains at once.

Almost three hours later Bennet was standing in the centre of the large astrometrics lab with his own senior staff and those from the ships in his expeditionary force all present. The latter were there in holographic form. The news from Admiral Seagraves had come out as a complete surprise and the entire expeditionary force had to leave Starbase Bravo at once.

“So what do we know so far?” asked Captain Corbin. The holographic representation of him flickered slightly as he spoke.

“Admiral Beckett on Starbase Twenty-Seven has requested that elements from the fourth fleet assist in defending the Archanis Sector.” Bennet answered as he showed the portion of the Federation-Klingon border that they were all heading at full steam towards. “Multiple targets have been hit on our side of the border by Klingons associated with the Hunters of D’Ghor.”

“Sounds charming.” Captain Canção mocked.

Bennet continued with his briefing. “They’ve been undertaking numerous raids against Federation interests, mainly all civilians. Our colonies and shipping lanes are in danger from being overwhelmed. Already the fourth fleet is sending in ships to support with humanitarian relief efforts, to calm the leadership of the colonies that have been affected as well as to defend the border.”

Next to ask questions was Captain Thrian “What is it that Starfleet wants us to do? Our ships might be built to defend themselves, but a bulk of our equipment is designed for exploring not waging a small war.” 

“Indeed, but for the moment our mission to the Delta Quadrant is put on hold until this situation is dealt with.” Bennet informed them. “The biggest issue that Starfleet is facing in this area is that the Hunters have destroyed or heavily damaged our subspace arrays, listening posts and detection grid. We are barely able to see when they are coming, so we are going to lead the efforts in rebuilding what was lost.”

“Easier said than done Zack.” Corbin remarked. “Whatever we build needs to be something that can survive or repair itself if the Klingons attack.”

“That’s why it is down to us to solve the problem.” Bennet insisted. “The Odyssey is heading to Starbase Twenty-Seven where it will pick up something that will assist us with this operation.” The captain paused and pressed a few buttons on the console before him which opened a new window on the large astrometrics wall screen. It showed a schematic of a large sensor array.

“Isn’t that the Argus Array?” Canção enquired.

“Yes and no.” Bennet answered. “These are the plans for a brand new subspace telescope array based on that array that Starfleet had been planning to build in the area. It was going to be a joint effort between us and the Klingons to be used for scientific discovery. It was planned to be assembled at Haydorian Prime.”

“Haydorian Prime? That’s home to a large Andorian colony!” Thrian stated. “It was one of the first to be established after the Federation was formed. It did have a couple of dry-docks in orbit and one of the most advanced planetary defence grids in the area.”

“And so it remains. The governor of Haydorian Prime has given his permission for the new array to be assembled ahead of schedule and without the involvement of the Klingon Defence Force.”

“Should we expect the Klingons to attack us?” Commander Rider asked from behind Bennet’s right hand shoulder.

Turning to look at his first officer, Bennet nodded with a grim expression. “We should. The moment the Hunters discover what we are doing then who knows what they will send our way.” Bennet ordered. “I’ve officially taken command of Task Force Seventeen and I am ordering what ships we do have to head to the Archanis Sector, but I want us to come up with a plan to establish a well defended sensor network along the border. I want to hear every available idea, even if it sounds ludicrous.”

The room fell silent for a second and then the discussion started…

New Addition

USS Discovery (NCC-82006), Docked at Starbase 27, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76049

“I’m liking the idea that Thrian has suggested.” Bennet said as he read the PADD with the different ideas proposed for their new detection grid. While reading he was sipping on a mug of tea in his ready room.

Sat on the other side of his desk, almost doing the same as him, was his first officer. Lucas Rider had just placed his mug down as he asked for clarity. “Which one? The self-replicating sensor drones or the dummy subspace relay station?”

“The self-replicating ones.” Bennet answered as he blew on his mug to cool down the tea a bit more. Proceeding to drink more, the captain continued to read the idea further. After gulping his warm beverage, Bennet went on to share his thoughts on the idea. “If we could place the drones in small clusters, operated by some sort of central hub – be it a ship, outpost or colony, we might be able to ensure the grid is maintained.”

“It seems like a-” Rider was interrupted by the intercom chime going off.

“Bridge to Captain Bennet.” spoke the voice of Lieutenant Commander Michael Johnson.

Tapping his badge after placing his mug down, Bennet answered his security chief. “Go ahead MJ.”

“Captain Nicola Duncan is here to see you sir.”

“Excellent.” Bennet said. “Send her in.”

“At once sir. Johnson out.”

“Duncan?” Rider enquired towards Bennet. “What is she doing here?”

“She’s taking the job I offered you.” Bennet answered just as the doors opened and the two men stood up to welcome their arrival. Moving around from his desk, Bennet extended his hand towards the woman. “Captain Duncan, welcome to the Discovery.”

“Thank you Captain Bennet.” She said smoothly and shook Bennet’s hand. Nicola Duncan was a reasonably tall woman who was in her late sixties. A formidable woman, she had commanded the USS Carver, a Prometheus-class ship, for almost a decade before taking on the Sovereign-class starship USS Buckingham for another eleven years before she retired. Prior to her sitting in the centre chair, she had taught at Starfleet Academy along with being a science officer for most of her life on various other assignments. Her famous husband had risen through the ranks a lot quicker than she had, but from what Bennet had read about her she had never shown any interest in being a part of the admiralty. She had her dark hair, which had a few streaks of blonde in it mixed with some silver strays, all tied up into an almost beehive style. Experience sat behind her blue eyes. A few lines and wrinkles were apparent, nevertheless she was quite appealing to the eye. Her elegant and graceful mannerisms were apparent as she walked across the room and greeted Bennet.

Bennet introduced her to his first officer. “This is my first officer, Commander Lucas Rider.”

Turning to the other man, she smiled at him. “A pleasure to meet you commander.” She said as they shook hands.

“Likewise ma’am.” Rider said, sounding almost nervous in her exquisite presence. “I hope you don’t mind me seeing ma’am, but you’re a living legend from the fourth fleet.”

Smirking at the comment, Duncan appreciated the comment. “I’m not sure why though.”

“You’re the woman that led Starfleet’s efforts in removing the Cabal Pirate threat in the Kovar sector, you led Starfleet forces in re-taking Deep Space Nineteen from Romulan separatists, you went on to defeat a Borg Cube and then commanded one of the last deep space missions in the Beta Quadrant before the attack on Mars.” Rider explained.

Bennet gestured for Duncan to sit in the arm chair opposite to the sofa which he began to sit down on. As the two captain’s made themselves comfortable, with Rider perching on the edge of the sofa beside Bennet, Duncan responded to Rider’s list. “Actually it was my husband that led the efforts in removing the Cabal Pirate threat, I had just only taken command of the Carver.”

Rider blushed from embarrassment from getting his facts wrong. “I’m sorry ma’am, I should have-”

Holding her hand up to stop him from talking any further, Duncan smiled sweetly at Rider. “Please commander, I am honoured that you read about my exploits. But I expect I am not here to discuss what I did years ago.”  She turned to Bennet. “It is rare for Starfleet to have to re-activate retired officers, especially captains that had not been in the centre seat for some time.”

Bennet agreed with her comment as he nodded. “I must apologise Captain Duncan, but we are in a tight situation and we need as many available and experienced hands to assist us.”

Duncan nodded. “Yes, I read the reports that Rio sent me. The Klingon offensive in the Archanis sector needs to be dealt with swiftly.”

“Indeed and we have one more ship in our task group that requires a new captain.” Bennet said, making a look at his first officer before turning back to Duncan. “The U-S-S Tereshkova is an Inquiry-class starship. She’s newly built and has a young crew.”

“Then I accept.” Duncan said swiftly.

Surprised to hear that quick reaction, Bennet was taken back a bit. “Right, well I wasn’t expecting you to say yes so suddenly.”

“Why beat around the bush captain?” Duncan rhetorically asked. “Rio, filled me in with the situation and I have to say that retirement was becoming too lonely. With my husband gone and my son serving on the Odyssey, I don’t have much going on in my life. Returning back to what I know sounds like a plan to me.”

“Good, well I’m pleased to welcome you to the team.” Bennet said as he shook Duncan’s hand again.

“When do we leave Starbase Twenty-Seven?” Duncan asked after accepting her new assignment. “I read the briefing notes on my way here. This detection grid appears like it’s going to be a huge task.”

“It is.” Rider added. “And we have to get it up and running in a short amount of time.”

Nodding to accept and appreciate the small time scale they had, Duncan spoke up as she took out a PADD she had brought in with her. “I read some of the ideas that Rio had sent me. I like the idea of these self-replicating sensor drones. We could deploy them in small groups along the border. It will infuriate the Klingons that they can’t take them all out at once.”

Bennet smirked at how straight to the point Duncan was and leant forward to discuss the idea further with her and Rider. He was pleased that he had agreed to bring back this ‘living legend’ to the field. Perhaps they had a chance against the Hunters of D’Ghor.

So The Chaos Begins

USS Discovery (NCC-82006) en-route to Haydorian, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76052

Leading its task group, the Discovery was entering the Archanis sector at high warp. Working out in the ship’s gymnasium, Captain Bennet was running on the treadmill when his chief engineer walked in. A tall woman who had straight dark brown hair that slightly curved under her chin, Discovery’s chief engineer was one of the finest engineers that Bennet had served with. Making her way over, Lieutenant Commander Keh’lianna Mayer caught the attention of her captain by clearing her throat.

Slowing down his workout so it gradually came to a halt, Bennet looked over to the half-Klingon-half-human miracle worker. “Keh’lianna, what can I do for you this early in the morning?” He asked as he picked up a black towel that was on a nearby bench. It was almost oh-five hundred hours and the captain had taken the opportunity to have some privacy with barely anyone else around using the equipment in the gym.

As he dried up the sweat on his face, Mayer answered. “I had an additional idea for the detection grid that I wanted to share with you.” She held up a PADD in her hands.

“Go on.” Bennet asked as he went over to the replicator and got himself a glass of water. After gulping on the cold drink he realised he was topless, so went to grab his shirt as the engineer spoke. He was grateful that she was married to his security chief and that if anyone walked in on them it wouldn’t look too suspicious.

“I’ve been going over Captain Thrian’s idea of creating these small self replicating fields of detection drones and I think I may have come up with a shielding system that will prevent their self-replicating abilities from being disabled.” Mayer offered the PADD to him.

Pushing his top down, the captain took the suggestion from her and started to read it. “Do you think it will work?” He asked as he tried to make himself appear somewhat decent.

“I’ve run a few simulations and I think it will help prevent the Hunters of D’Ghor using an antigraviton beam. We’ve got a bit more internal room compared to self-replicating mines to house the components needed to create this shielding.” Mayers answered. “Plus it means that even if they wipe out some drones in the conventional sense, they wouldn’t be able to completely remove the field from existence. It would give us enough time to mount further defences.”

“Sounds brilliant, get these plans over to Captain Thrian at once.” Bennet ordered as he handed the PADD back to her.

“Yes sir.” Mayers said as she took her PADD from him. Before leaving him she hesitated and then looked back at her captain. “Sir, I’m not one to run from a fight but I recall my mother telling me tales about these Hunters as a child. They are ruthless, you do know they may not stop.”

“Unfortunately those tales share similarities from the reports I’ve been reading recently Keh’lianna.” Bennet admitted.

Shaking her in disbelief, she shared one more point of view. “I spoke with my mother and she cannot believe that the High Council isn’t sending the Klingon Defence Force in to deal with it.”

“Your mother was stationed at Ty’Gokor right?” Bennet asked for clarity.

“She was, my mother returned to the homeworld after my father’s death and made the decision to retire from active service. She was expecting to receive a call to return to active duty.” Mayer stated. “Anyway sir, I’ll get this to Captain Thrian.”

Before she had a chance to turn around the intercom went off and the gamma shift duty officer spoke up. “Bridge to Captain Bennet.”

“Go ahead Ensign Kymbal.” Bennet answered the Benzite officer after tapping his combadge.

“Sir, we are picking up a distress call from a Ferengi convoy near Ajilon Prime. They report they’re under attack from two Klingon battlecruisers.”

“Take us to red alert and lay in an intercept course. Tell the rest of the task group to follow us in.” Bennet ordered.

“Captain that’s not the only thing we are getting in. The Odyssey has also been attacked. Governor Thelis is requesting support to help them.”

Cursing to himself, Bennet said he would be on the bridge shortly. Looking to his chief engineer as they left the room together. “I think someone is trying to tell us that we need that detection grid up and running sooner rather than later.”

“Absolutely sir.” Mayer said as the door behind them closed.

Political Pompous

USS Discovery (NCC-82006), Entering the Haydorian system, Archanis Sector, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76053.5

“Entering the Haydorian system.” Lieutenant Tarendiz said in her deep, almost seductive Risian accent from the helm. The pilot looked over her shoulder towards Captain Bennet. “I’m picking up the Odyssey sir, she is adrift near to Haydorief.”

“Tell Captain Corbin to stay close to us.” Bennet ordered and then commanded that the Discovery went straight ahead to save their fallen comrades. The rest of Bennet’s task group had diverted to Ajilon Prime to assist the Ferengi convoy there. “Any word from Governor Thelis or the ships assigned to the colony?”

Lieutenant Gailwon, Discovery‘s Bolian chief science officer spoke up. “I’m detecting the two Andorian escorts still in orbit of the colony.”

Looking to his first officer concerned that the governor has not assisted Odyssey at all, Bennet looked at his helm officer. “Tarendiz, how long until we are with the Odyssey?”

“Two minutes sir!” She answered.

“Lieutenant Caitheris,” Bennet looked over to his Barzan operations manager. “Get me the governor now!”

Taking in a breath through her breathing apparatus, the operations officer responded and said she had the governor. Activating the holographic communicator, the Andorian-Aenar leader appeared on the bridge in a somewhat transparent fashion.

“Governor Thelis, I want to know why none of your ships have assisted the Odyssey?” Captain Bennet asked.

Shaking his head, the governor replied. “I cannot risk the safety of my colony Captain Bennet. My ships need to stay close in case the Klingons strike again.”

“Governor, that is an unacceptable answer when brave men and women have laid their lives down to save your colonists.” Bennet threw back.

The Andorian inside of him came out as he snapped at Bennet. “Captain, you can place a protest with Starfleet, even the Federation Council but I won’t move my ships away from our colony until we know the system is secure. Thelis out.”

“What a friendly fellow.” Commander Rider remarked. “I take it we are going to complain sir?”

“You’re damn right we are Lucas.” Bennet threw back. “Get us to the Odyssey straight away.”

Briefing The Troops

USS Discovery (NCC-82006), Haydorian system, Archanis Sector, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76054.7

Shortly arriving in the Haydorian system, Captain Bennet was hoping to hear from some of the other captains from his task force. Sitting with a mug of tea in one hand, he ordered the computer to lower the lights slightly in his ready room and to open the secure channel to the captains he was calling. This would be the first time he would be speaking to the most senior members of the task force since Rear Admiral Seagraves had issued him his new orders.

All of the captains appeared in his ready room thanks to the advanced holographic communication system installed on the Discovery. Her state-of-the-art computer technology allowed for such meetings to take place. It almost felt like they were all in the room. The computer had adjusted their feeds so they appeared to be sitting on the sofas and armchairs around the room.

To his left were Captains Corbin, Thrian, Duncan and Canção while to his right was Captains Langston and Sudari-Kravchik. The latter being his task force executive officer, this was the first time since his appointment that Bennet would meet with Kravchik. Unfortunately Captain McCallister was still recovering in the Odyssey’s sickbay and with a majority of his command staff busy making repairs to the ship, Bennet had opted to exclude them for now. He would catch up with its acting captain later.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for meeting with me at such short notice.” Bennet began. “I want to keep this short as we still have so much more to do. I also realise this is the first time we have all met one another, but suffice to say I have the utmost confidence in you all and your crews to achieve what Starfleet wants from us all. To give you all an update on our situation, the Haydorian system has been secure since Discovery and Shackleton’s arrival. The Odyssey was attacked and rammed by a ship belonging to the Hunters of D’Ghor. Captain McCallister was injured, along with several others from his senior staff, but we are quickly making repairs and helping them out.”

Captain Nicola Duncan, quickly spoke up. “Sorry sir, but who is in command of Odyssey?”

Smirking slightly at that question, Bennet was pleased the older woman spoke up. “Your son, Commander Max Duncan.”

A beam of pride spread across her face. “It wouldn’t be the Odyssey without a Duncan in command.” She remarked before showing concern for her fellow captain. “Is Captain McCallister expected to make a recovery?”

“He is,” Bennet answered. “I’m happy to keep Commander Duncan in command as Commander Cambil and Commander Reyas are also in Odyssey’s sickbay.” He realised that for Nicola she must be finding it weird to hear that her son, the ship’s counsellor and third officer, had taken up the lead mantra like his father had once done on the previous ship named Odyssey. “In the meantime, Discovery and Shackleton will take lead on deploying the Archanis array now that Odyssey is now unable to function in that capacity.”

“I take it we are preparing for more Hunters to return?” Corbin questioned. “If so, will Governor Thelis let the two Andorian Imperial Guard ships join our efforts?”

“Unfortunately the governor is still remaining strong with his convictions. I’m planning to meet with him but I have also placed a request for involvement from the highest office in the land.”

The Andorian captain in the room perked up by his antennas raising upwards. “You’ve called in the Federation President?”

Nodding to confirm, Bennet explained his strategy. “We’ve not got time to play the governor’s game. The involvement of the chief executive should be enough, I hope, to resolve this matter.”

“Good luck.” Captain Canção cheekily said.

“In the meantime, I’d like to know the status of the rest of you in your missions.” Bennet remarked to everyone else. He looked over to the skipper of the Fearless. “Captain Langston, what’s the Fearless’ ETA in the sector?”

“We’ll be arriving within the hour,” Ed replied as he scanned the room.  “I believe we are all caught up on recent activities in the area and we are eager to assist wherever we can.”

“Excellent, I want the Fearless to support the deployment of our detection net as soon as possible.” Bennet stated. “My chief engineer and Captain Tharis have developed several ideas on how we can ensure the sensor grid along the border can be maintained even if the Hunters attack. We need to get these up asap.”

Tharis cleared his throat. “The Noble has already deployed a successful grid in the Ajilon system. We’re about to move on to Ganalda Four to do the same.”

Pleased to hear their efforts were having an impact, Bennet issued orders to both Captains Duncan and Canção to proceed to two other systems near to where they were at Aijlon. “By the way what happened with the Ferengi convoy?”

Canção spoke up as she pushed her frizzy red hair back. “A horrible daimon, named Noq, was not impressed that we didn’t arrive sooner to help him. Besides a few scorch marks on their hulls and a few damaged relays, they were fine thanks to the orbital weapon platforms that Ajilon has. The Hunters did steal though from the convoy two cargo holds of food, deuterium and medical supplies.”

“And we had to repay Noq for the loss of his cargo.” Duncan added. “He is heading to the Orion Borderlands, we suggested he avoided the area but insisted he didn’t want to hear from us.”

“Very well,” Bennet said as he looked over to his task force executive officer, “Captain Sudari-Kravchik anything from your end?”

“Currently no Captain,” Alexandra spoke up. “I have been informed that USS Explorer is on its way to Starbase 27 currently. I will be boarding her when she arrives with a team of engineers to oversee installation of array elements further along the border. Commander Nagahi and I have been in contact and she is aware that I am not assuming command of her ship, merely utilising it as transport. I have informed her however that if something were to happen to you sir I would need to make further use of her vessel.”

“Well let’s hope that it doesn’t come down to that.” Bennet remarked as he looked around the room. “Any other matters?”

“One sir,” Alexandra spoke up after consulting a PADD in hand briefly. “If we have two Imperial Guard ships on hand in Haydorian, could we perhaps utilise them to lay an array of modified beacons around the Haydorian system? One of my engineers came up with a design he is calling a ‘pocket tachyon grid’ It does not have interstellar ranges, but could be useful for spotting cloaked ships entering into a star system, or within a certain radius of a planet, depending on how many probes you have at hand. They are pretty high maintenance though and drain their power supplies pretty quickly.”

“Send us the schematics over and we’ll see if we can do that along with the new array.” Bennet ordered. “Okay everyone, I need to meet with Captain Rourke and we need to light up the Hunters who think we can’t see them. Let’s get to work people. I’ll be in touch with you all soon.” He tapped his console and ended the call.

Eyes Wide Open

USS Discovery (NCC-82006), Haydorian system, Archanis Sector, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76056.9

“Runabouts Cook and King have returned to shuttlebay one.” announced Lieutenant Tarandiz from the helm station.

Captain Zack Marshall-Bennet smiled as he looked at the image before him on Discovery’s wide main view screen. “We did it.” Sounding almost surprised at how quickly between them and the Shackleton’s crew they had assembled the Archanis Array.

An unmanned structure, the Archanis Array consisted of eighteen hexagonal subspace antennae clusters, each powered by an individual fusion reactor and all regulated from a central computer. Sat in the middle of the Haydorian system, between the colony and the fifth planet, it would now serve Starfleet in conducting deep space scans, especially in detecting any ships crossing the Federation-Klingon border.

“You sound surprised.” Commander Rider remarked to his captain. The first officer was looking at his captain as he continued talking. “Are you ready to flick the switch on sir?”

“Any sign of any D’Ghor forces nearby?” Bennet asked first, “I don’t want them crashing the party?”

Lieutenant Gailwon, Discovery’s chief science officer, spoke up from the science station. “No sign of any Klingon ships sir, however I am detecting the arrival of the NobelTriton and the Tereshkova. They’re at high impulse heading in our direction.”

Looking over to the Bolian scientist, who had numerous degrees in physics and mathematics, Bennet smiled at the arrival of their task group. “Finally.” He said before looking back to his first officer. “Let’s do it, bring the array online.”

Rider smirked at the order and called down to their operations officer, “Lieutenant Caitheris, power up the array and connect us straight into its central computer.”

“With pleasure sir.” The Barzan woman said as she pushed a stray curly hair back behind her ears as she carried out her orders.

The Archanis Array started to power up before their very eyes, each cluster was lighting up one at a time as the subspace antennas were coming to life and beginning their first scans.

“It’s working.” Caitheris announced. “The array is at sixty percent operational capacity and slowly rising.”

“Good.” Bennet said before looking over to his chief engineer. “Keh’lianna when can we connect it with the rest of the border detection grid?”

“I want to run a series of tests to ensure the entire array is working correctly, but as long as they go well then it will be another hour or two before the array is connected in with the other clusters of probes, listening outposts and subspace radios set up by the task force.” The Klingon-Human officer responded as she was focusing on her work. “It won’t be long until we can see everything from here all the way to Qo’nos and back sir.”

“Let’s just hope the Klingons don’t see it as too much of a provocative move.” Counsellor Rozan said to Bennet’s left side. The diplomat in her had shared her concerns with the deployment of the array in straining relations with the Empire, but as Bennet had pointed out the raids by the D’Ghor Hunters had already caused more issues for them and their allies that this would be a small issue at best.

“Well as long as no-one uses it to work out what the chancellor has for their dinner, then we’ll be fine.” Lieutenant Commander Johnson said from behind at tactical. A beep came up on his station. “Sir, I’ve just had a message come in from the Aquarius, Commander Duncan is reporting the completion of their mission objectives with the crew of the Endeavour.”

“Excellent.” Bennet said as he stood up to look at the array further. “It would seem the Haydorian system is almost secure.”

“When do you want to deploy the weapon platforms around the array sir?” Rider asked.

Bennet looked over to his engineer, “Keh’lianna, would their deployment interfere with your tests and hook up?”

The chief engineer shook her head. “Not at all sir.”

“Then get to it Number One, while I go and speak with the good governor and inform Admiral Beckett about our news.” Bennet said as he headed towards his ready room. “The bridge is yours Lucas.”

You Can’t Please Everyone

USS Discovery (NCC-82006), Haydorian system, Archanis Sector, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76058

“Governor, I promise you that Starfleet takes the defence of the colony seriously.” Bennet remarked, almost exhausted and frustrated with how whiny and demanding the Andorian-Aenar leader was.

“It doesn’t feel like you do Captain Bennet.” Thelis countered back with. “You have a number of ships now in the system but you are more bothered about the defence of that new array of yours.”

Bennet was pleased he was in the private confines of his ready room, so that none of his crew could see him become so annoyed with Thelis. The man was near-impossible to work with. His holographic representation was sat on the other side of Bennet’s desk. “Governor Thelis, I’d like to remind you that construction of the Archanis Array will not only benefit the defence of the Haydorian system but every single Federation colony, outpost and station along the border with the Klingon Empire during this turbulent time. In the near future it will assist with our deep space exploration efforts of both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Alongside this, I know for a fact the Federation Council has signed off on further investment in the defence of the array, that will only further protect your people. There’s even discussion in the higher levels of Starfleet about building an orbital outpost nearby. What more could you ask for from us?”

“A fleet.” Thelis bluntly answered.

“I beg your pardon sir?” Bennet asked back. He wasn’t sure if he had the governor correctly or if he was starting to go insane from this conversation.

“I want a fleet to protect our worlds.” Thelis remarked. “We’ve already heard that Starfleet is forming armadas in three nearby systems in the sector. I want one of them here and a fleet commander that can properly liaise with my administration. One that is not going to go above me and have the Federation President order me to hand over our valuable resources.” 

Thelis was starting to get under Bennet’s skin. “Mister Governor, if you do not feel I have acted accordingly then please do pass on your complaint to Admiral Beckett or go to our Commander-in-Chief, the Federation President. In the meantime, until I am reassigned or a superior flag officer arrives, I am in command of our forces here and as I have already shared, the U-S-S Ni’Var will be here. She’s an Akira-class ship with a full complement of starfighters on board.”

“It’s insufficient.” Thelis said sounding annoyed. “I want to hear a battle plan within the hour, captain. Thelis out.”

The hologram of Thelis fizzled out and Bennet sighed heavily. Tapping his combadge he called out to the bridge. “Bennet to Rider.”

“Go ahead sir.” answered his first officer.

“Send a message to all of the ships in the systems, I want to meet with all of their captains in thirty minutes here on Discovery.” Bennet ordered.

“Thirty minutes? Cutting it fine aren’t you sir?” Rider inquired. “Or is this Governor Thelis being unhelpful?

“The latter Number One.” Bennet responded. “Just make it happen Lucas.”