Part of Challenger: The Romulan War: The Tholian Stratagem


Challenger NX-03, Mars orbit
Wednesday, November 12th, 2155
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“Dear Mum 

So the entire crew is being encouraged to write these letters to their loved ones as we are about to engage in one of the biggest battles since the start of this war. I know this may seem dramatic, especially as we’ve only just seen you but I never got the chance to tell you how grateful I was for everything you put into the wedding. I know it was very last minute, but I do appreciate everything you’ve done for me over the years. It’s not been easy with dad not being around and I do hope you don’t receive this letter, but in case I don’t come back I want you to know how much I love you and grateful I am for everything you’ve done for me. 

I know having both of your sons in Starfleet right now hasn’t been easy, but I need you to know that my time has been worth every moment. I wouldn’t give up the past year for anything, especially at the fact I met Liam through it all. One thing you told me a dad’s funeral was how much you loved every moment you spent with him, that he was your best friend first and he was your whole world before you had me and later adopted Craig. I didn’t get it back then, but I’m starting to get it now with Liam. I truly love him and he is my best friend. So in case he survives me, please can you make sure you check in on him. Make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid and that he goes on to have an incredible life knowing how proud he made me when he married me. 

Tell Craig he still owes me that drink he promised me at my wedding. I’m still waiting on it!

Stay safe and strong. I promise to find dad and make sure he is behaving himself!




Niall sat there looking at the typed message ready to be saved. It was quite surreal to be doing, but the captain had insisted that before the ship left Mars orbit that the crew made sure that in case the worst happen that everyone had a chance to write a letter or two to loved ones. He didn’t want to be pessimistic about their chances, but they had been quite lucky not to lose anyone, yet.

Saving the message, the young nurse placed it on standby and went on to write a letter for his brother and record a message for his husband. 

“Hi Mack, 

I know right now you’re probably feeling upset and I want you to know that’s okay. You have been so amazing and I am so proud to be your dad. Right now you’re not going to be sure of where to go with how to deal with everything, again that’s fine but know you are loved by so many, especially mum. I promise in time you’ll smile again and you’re going to do great things!

I need you to be the man of the house, help out with what you can and especially in keeping your bedroom tidy. Work hard at school, go find something you enjoy doing and is worth doing then find someone to settle down to enjoy it all with. 

I promise to be smiling with you through all the important moments in your life. Hang on to those good memories and tell everyone you love them as often as you can. Enjoy life and live each day as if it is your last because none of us know if today will be the last.  

And most of all remember that I love you more than you will ever know! 


Taking a moment and reading his letter to his son one more time, Commander Walker wondered if his son would ever understand his reasons for going away. Nevertheless the new chief science officer hoped that his son Mack would be proud of him. Hitting the save button, he opened a new document and started to record his message to his wife. 

“Hey darling, 

I’m not sure where to start with this as I know you’ll be annoyed at me for saying sorry. My heartaches for not being there with you, to hug you, to kiss you, to say everything is going be alright. I love you and Mack so much that you both have made me the man I am today. My gratitude to you will be forever endless. 

When we first met, I never thought that I would fall so madly in love. Our time together has been filled with laughter so much that even just thinking about every moment with you makes me smile. Please don’t let what has happened stop you from smiling.  

I will never forget our first dance at our wedding, you picking that track where we put a whole tango routine together was amazing. You looked so damn sexy and if there was one lyric I want you to remember is that I will always want your extra time and your kisses.

Please find the time, when you’re ready, to move on and find someone who will love you as much as I have and someone who will be there for you and Mack. 

Just remember, after all of this time you’re still the one I love. Forever and always.



Looking over the words one more time, Walker hoped that he had covered everything. He knew Claudia would appreciate a shorter and straight to the point letter. It was the first time in his career he had actually written one for her. He feared it wouldn’t be the last.

“Dear Fynn

I hope this message finds you well and safe. I know that sounds stupid to say that, but I truly mean it. 

First off, you need to know I lived my life doing the thing I loved the most. Being a MACO has been the best thing that happened to me and if you plan to follow in my footsteps then all I ask is that you make sure you are certain about it, that you have found a way to resolve things between you and Olly. You both deserve one another and both are meant to be together, I am sure of it. 

I know as your big brother I’m meant to be looking out for you, but that’s not always possible in the line of work we do. Nevertheless don’t think you’ll be alone; I plan to haunt you forever! I will be the one that moves something and hides it from you just for my own amusement and your annoyance!

Fynn, I am extremely proud to be your big brother. Watching you have such a great life and career with your talents has been one of the highlights of being your big brother. However if you feel the time is to place your gifts and talents elsewhere, then go for it while you’re still can. Don’t leave it so when you’re old and wrinkly you have any regrets!

I can’t say being in the service is ever easy, it’s not but it is worth it. 

Stay safe bro.

Love Lu”

Contemplating whether or not his letter to his brother was too sappy, Captain Trommler sat back in his chair in his office and gazed at it one more time. He knew what he wanted to say to his brother as he knew that right now that Fynn was at a crossroads with everything and if anything happened to him, then he wouldn’t want Fynn to feel like he had nothing. 

“Dear dearest Tamara,

If you’re reading this then you know I am finally with our brother and I finally get to see Avram and Zivah. I’m sorry to leave you to deal with our parents in their retirement years, but I know Joud will be there for you to get through everything. 

It only seems like yesterday we enjoying that bottle of sauvignon on the balcony of your penthouse suit. I have to say that day was really enjoyable just to catch up with my sister. It felt like ages since we last did it, but I just want to thank you for being the wonderful sister you’ve been. 

I know you’ve never understood my reason to remain in service after we lost Ezra and then when Avram and Zivah were taken from me. I just hope you understand that the work I do is one where I feel I should be doing it. Helping others brings me so much joy. Before you say it, yes I know I could have left Starfleet years ago and opened a safe private practice in Tel Aviv, but this is difference. 

Frontier Medicine, that’s what they’re now calling what we Ro’fas do out here in deep space. I’m certain you’re laughing at how ludicrous it sounds, every time I hear it then it makes me think of those old western films that mum loved to make us watch when we were growing up. 

Tell mother and father that I love them and I am grateful for everything they did for us all. I promise to give Ezra a hug from them when I see him. 

Stay safe, all my love

Kefira xx”

Challenger’s chief medical officer paused as she looked at the words she had just written to her sister. Tamara, who lived in Eilat with her husband Joud, was an architecture. Only three years younger than Kefira, the two sisters were close and it had been Tamara who had helped Kefira come to terms in dealing with Zivah’s death and later supported her when she separated from Avram. In fact it was Tamara who had informed her of Avram’s death when he died during the Terra Prime incident on the Orpheus Mining Colony. When Challenger had returned home after its disastrous mission involving the Deltans and the Carreons, Kefira had immediately visited her sister. The two had always caught up over a few bottles of wine, it was something that Joud had come to accept from his wife family. Smiling at that memory, Kefira told the computer to save her message and to deliver to her sister in case she didn’t survive their upcoming battle with the Romulans.

“Dear Mama and Papa, 

I know this isn’t the letter you want to read and I am certain if you knew what the mission had been before we left then you would have moved the heavens and the Earth to stop from me going.

In part, I wish you did and had. Trying to find the courage to put this letter together has taken me some time. I’d be honest, I’m scared for the first time since the war started. We’ve endured tough missions, but as you both know we recently lost three fine officers. I’m petrified that I’d be the next one and that I’d never get to say a proper goodbye to you both. This wasn’t how I planned to go, so I am sorry now for the arguments I caused with my decisions to leave Alpha Centauri. That said I am grateful for everything you both provided for me while I grew up and the continued love and support ever since. 

I know chatting to my comrades that many have expressed to their loved ones that they either enjoy what we do in Starfleet or have no regrets. Again, I’m not sure I share their sentiments. Without a doubt my time on Challenger and Windsor was worth every second as I loved what I got to experience. My time in Starfleet has changed me but dying for a war against a faceless enemy just seems…well I can’t put a word to it. It’s not pointless however I don’t feel its heroic either. I’m not sure what the middle ground would be, but that’s where I am with it. 

Going to battle isn’t what I signed up for, nevertheless the need to remain in Starfleet and especially with this crew seems like the right idea to do instead of abandoning it all. My feelings and thoughts about the whole thing is too mixed to take a side. I know that’s not the son you raised, but I want you both to know that for some time I’ve struggled with morals and the ethics of this war. I just can’t follow either path, so for now I’ve found myself trying to find a third alternative for now. 

Take care of yourselves and I will see you both soon.

All my love


Pushing the tears to one side, Ensign Dalton proofread his letter one more time. He hoped that it didn’t come across as whiny or pathetic in his parents’ eyes. Just informing them of what he was thinking felt important to him right now. Wishing that they never had the chance in seeing it, he saved it into the database ready to be sent to them in case this was his last mission. 

“Salutations mon amour,

Antoine, I know the May is off fighting in corner of this war and you’ve shared with me your doubts and concerns but I need you to know that I’ve never felt so proud of us to get through everything. Marrying you, mon meilleur ami, mon mari, is a decision I do not regret. Being together for all of this time, during so much is single best decision I’ve made and I have no regrets. When you smile, the whole universe in my eyes stops. How you do that to me all of the time I will never know. Antoine, you are amazing. 

There is not a thing I would change from our shared life. To our time as teenagers to us developing the châteaux in Wissant, I have loved every second. Our jump to Starfleet hasn’t stopped us either and I cannot thank you so much for being with me every step of the way. I just wish you were here with me on Challenger

Stay safe my love, always. 

Je t’aime beaucoup.

Je t’aime pour toujours.

Mon cœur est à toi pour toujours

Ghislaine xxx ”

Looking at her brief goodbye, Senior Chief Petty Officer Dubois did not know if she had said enough but she knew in her heart that Antoine would not want a lengthy message. They had spent too much time together, too many good memories that she couldn’t afford to ruin by creating such a long and winding letter from beyond the grave. She couldn’t do that to him. Hitting the save button, the quartermaster took a breath and smiled that she had got to say one more thank you to her husband, her best friend, the man that had her heart forever.