Part of Lead Expeditionary Group: Task Force 17 Releases – The Archanis Array and Bravo Fleet: The Archanis Campaign

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