Part of USS Saratoga: To Stand Alone and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Chapter 1 – To Stand Alone

USS Saratoga / Starbase Bravo
May 2400
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It was another day aboard the Saratoga like any other day, they were currently docked at Starbase Bravo as the ship underwent some routine upgrades to its systems. Azras Dex was sitting in her office going over reports for some time before her eyes started to hurt from staring at the screen for a long time. Standing up from her chair she walked over to the replicator.

“Coffee, hot” she replied as the cup materialized on the platform.

The aroma from the coffee filled the air, taking a deep breath in she smiled as she picked it up. She then walked over to where the window was located along the wall with the long couch alongside the window. Looking out of the window she had seen many ships that were coming and going.

She was about to take a sip as she stood there looking out the window before the commbadge went off, “Bridge to Captain Dex.” Came the voice of Ritru.

Raising an eyebrow tapping her commbadge, “go ahead” she replied.

“Sir, you have an incoming transmission from Captain Jori,” Ritru said. “It sounded like it’s important,” she added.

“Understood, please route it over to my office,” Azras replied as she ended the channel.  Azras stood there for a brief moment taking a long deep breath before she headed back to her desk and took her seat. Turning on her computer she saw the face of Captain Imya Jori the current Deputy Commander of Task Force Forty-Seven.

“Good morning Captain, what do I owe this pleasure?” Azras asked looking at her, she could tell something was amiss as she had a serious look on her face that this wasn’t just a social call.

Imya looked at the older Trill women on the other end of the screen, “I wish we could have met under better circumstances than this,” she began as she paused for a moment before sending her some files. “What I am sending you is all the information you need on the situation,” she said as she looked at her.

Azras raised an eyebrow as she saw the files come through, “what’s going on?” The older Trill asked as she shifted in her chair.

“The information on the situation is in those files as it is easier for you to read than for me to explain it all over this channel,” Jori responded with a pause before continuing. “What I can tell you is that I am sending the Saratoga to the Velorum Sector to the planet of Rhijun, to assist with humanitarian aid as well as border protection. There have been reports of either pirates or those of the Star Navy raiding the colony.” Jori finished as she looked at Azras.

“You’re sending us into Romulan space, specifically the Star Empires?” Azras replied as she raised an eyebrow at those orders.

“Yes, there has been a situation that the Federation is dispatching the Fourth Fleet to assist.” She responded, “again It’s all there in the files I sent you,” Jori replied.

Azras sat there for a few moments as she took in what was being said, though she didn’t quite yet understand her orders she looked back at Captain Jori. “Understood, we will depart as soon as possible,” Azras replied.

“Very good, safe travels Captain,” Jori replied before ending the comm channel.

Azras leaned back in her chair for a few moments looking up at the ceiling, thinking about everything that has happened over the past several months since she had taken over as Commanding Officer. It seemed to go from one extreme to the next, she just wondered what was in store for them within Romulan space.

Leaning forward in her chair again she pressed a couple of buttons on the computer in front of her which had opened a shipwide comm channel, “All senior staff please report to the staff observation lounge in thirty minutes.” Azras said before she ended the channel. She let out a long sigh as she opened the files that were waiting to be opened. She began to read about the situation that was happening within the Romulan Star Empire.

Back on the bridge, everyone looked at each other, “wonder what the meeting is about?” Chon’al asked from his station.

“I am not sure, though I think it might be the reason for the sudden call from Captain Jori,” Ritru responded with a shrug. “Whatever it is, sounded important” she added as she looked back at Chon’al.

“Guess will find out soon enough,” Dazra replied from her station.

The others just rolled their eyes and began to make their way to the observation lounge. The doors to the lounge opened as they walked in a few of the senior staff were already waiting. Taking their seats they began to chat amongst each other as others were still arriving.

A short time later, Azras arrived to see that everyone was already there waiting. She took her seat and looked around, “to get right to the point there is a situation going on that the Federation has dispatched the Fourth Fleet to respond to.” Azras began as she tapped a few buttons to pull up some information.

Ritru sat there looking at the screen as it turned on, she suddenly raised an eyebrow when she saw the information was about the Romulan Star Empire. Though at this point she decided to remain quiet as she listened to what the Captain had to say. The others seemed to look at each other wondering what was going on.

“The Romulan Star Empire is collapsing the Star Navy has dissolved the Senate on Rator III by a force of arms,” Azras began as she looked around the room. “Many worlds have viewed this as a coup and have fallen away from the Empire. Some are going to the Free State others are wanting total independence,” Azras replied before bringing up the Velorum Sector on the screen.

Everyone in the room was in shock that something like this would happen, the Romulans have been through a lot since the supernova. Now more chaos is brewing within the Star Empire. “What does this have to do with us?” Chon’al interrupted as he looked at the Captain.

Looking at him, “I was getting to that point Commander.” Azras said before she continued with what she was about to say before being interrupted. “The Velorum sector has been essential to the Star Navy for centuries due to it being rich in minerals,” Azras said as she pointed to the area on the map.

“Just days after the coup, a group of Remans on Psi Velorum III led by Resak overthrew the Romulan regional governor. In turn, he was declared the acting governor, he has also invited those of the Velorum Sector in joining him in declaring independence from the Romulan Star Empire.” She said as she paused to look around to see the expressions of those in the room at the news.

“Many have followed Resak and now they have turned towards the Federation for protection of the Velorum Sector so they may determine their way, away from any other faction.” She finished though this was just a brief overview of the situation, the rest were sent to their padds that she handed out to them at the beginning of the briefing.

“Now, we are being sent to Rhijun which is located within the Velorum Sector. We will be providing humanitarian assistance as well as providing border protection as they have been getting hit with raids,” Azras replied, “we will be departing as soon as we have all supplies being delivered from Starbase Bravo.” She finished looking at them as she turned the screen off.

“Any questions?” Azras asked turning the floor over to those who might have questions.

Ritru sat there for a moment she didn’t know what to think about going back into Romulan space, she was going to say something but decided to keep quiet. T’Prel looked at her for a moment as she could tell that something was bothering her though decided now was not the time to bring it up.

“This should be interesting,” Dazra commented.

“Indeed,” T’Prel replied.

No one seemed to have any questions at this time, as they were still processing the information. “Now those who are going to be on the away team are going to be. T’Prel, Telia, Piyu, Nehi, and Brian, along with a few of your teammates for your departments.” Azras said as she knew that a few of them were not a part of the senior staff so she was counting on Dazra and Odan to relay the information to them.

“Also, you will be taking the Oneida down to the planet, which will add Sato, White, and McCarthy to your away team,” Azras replied looking at everyone.

“Understood,” T’Prel replied as the others nodded in response.

“Alright, we will depart within the hour if there isn’t anything else you are all dismissed,” Azras replied as they began to stand up and file out of the observation lounge towards their perspective departments.

T’Prel hand noticed that Ritru was the first to walk out of the observation lounge. Raising an eyebrow she walked out after and caught up with her, seeing they were alone as they walked down the corridor. “What is wrong?” T’Prel asked looking at her as she saw the expression on her face during the briefing.

“Nothing,” Ritru replied as she kept walking even though it wasn’t the truth, this whole mission was bothering her.

T’Prel gently grabbed her arm, “I know that’s a lie Ritru.” T’Prel responded looking at her as they had stopped walking.

Ritru stopped turning towards T’Prel, “alright, I am not thrilled about the idea of going back into Romulan space. I had left to never look back or even go back, now we are going there?” Ritru began before pausing for a moment.

“I understand that there are those who want to get away from the Star Empire. Mentally I am just not prepared to deal with that situation after what’s been going on with me since the Century Storm a few months ago,” Ritru replied looking at her, though she knew that there would always be that chance that they would be assigned to Romulan space or close enough.

“I understand,” T’Prel replied squeezing her arm gently as a way of comforting her.

Letting out a huge sigh as she looked at T’Prel, “I guess I’ll just have to continue to work it out with the counselor in the meantime,” Ritru said as she knew that has been working.

T’Prel nodded as they both continued to head down the corridor towards the bridge, they were departing Starbase Bravo within the hour. “Everything will be alright in the end,” T’Prel replied before they went to their perspective stations.

Meanwhile down in cargo bay one supplies were being delivered as expected, Commander Odan was taking inventory of what was being delivered to make sure all items were there and accounted for. “That goes over there,” Odan replied to one of the officers directing him on where to place the containers.

Usually, Chief Petty Officer Niko would be taking care of this, she was currently in the infirmary getting checked out due to recent sickness. As more crates would arrive he would validate them against the manifest and then guide them to where they went.

“Sir this is the last of the supplies from Starbase Bravo,” came the voice of a young Ensign as he stood there with the last few crates.

After checking the contents of it he looked at the Ensign, “thank you.” Odan replied before directing him where to put the crate. Once things were finished he began to walk out of the cargo bay heading for the turbolift that would lead towards the bridge.

 “Commander Odan to bridge,” Odan replied just before entering the turbolift.

“Go ahead Commander,” Azras replied.

“All supplies have been delivered and all are accounted for,” Odan said.

“Understood, thank you,” Azras replied as the comms channel was closed. Turning towards Ritru who was sitting at her station, “open a channel to Starbase Bravo,” Azras ordered just as Odan walked out of the turbolift heading over to his station.

Ritru tapped a few buttons on her console, “channel open sir.” She replied as she looked at the Captain.

“Starbase Bravo this is the Saratoga, requesting permission to disembark from the Starbase,” Azras said as she now waited on a response that had seemed like it took forever though when in reality it was only a few seconds.

“Saratoga you are cleared for departure Starbase Bravo out,” came the voice of the docking master.

Looking at Deza who was sitting at the helm “disengage docking clamps, then back us away from the Starbase. Once we are clear set a course for Rhijun in the Velorum Sector at maximum warp,” Azras ordered as she took her seat from standing.

“Aye sir,” Deza replied tapping a few buttons on her console. Once the docking clamps were retracted from the ship it began to move slowly away from the Starbase until it was at a safe distance.

“Sir, we have cleared the Starbase and are ready to depart,” Deza replied looking back at the Captain.

“Engage,” Azras replied as Deza nodded tapping a few buttons and the Saratoga went to warp heading towards the Velorum Sector within Romulan space. It would be at least a few days before they arrived at their destination planning things go well once they went past the old Neutral Zone.

Azras stood up from her chair and looked over at T’Prel, “you have the bridge Commander.” Azras replied as T’Prel just nodded in response as she stood up from her chair and moved over to the Captain’s chair. Azras then headed straight for her ready room as she wanted to make sure they were prepared for anything that might happen once they arrived.

Once the doors to her office closed behind her she let out a huge sigh as she plopped down in her chair. “What a day,” she said to herself as she saw a pile of padds that she still needed to go through. She decided to take this time to finish reports, go over requests that were made as well as go over every possible scenario of what could happen when they arrive.

Comments

  • Pirates? Humanitarian aide? Sending an Odyssey for that is overkill, no? No. Because we're dealing with Romulans here people, and they are tricksy to say the least. Can't wait for the first pirate raider to cut and run when Saratoga arrives. I like that there is no messing around with Azras. Literally seconds after the briefing she's all hands on deck and off. I am looking forward to what your city-in-space achieves moving forward.

    May 30, 2022
  • My favourite part about this first entry in Saratoga's mission to Velorum are the personality quirks and perspectives that make this a uniquely Saratoga story. I had to laugh at the bridge crew's irreverence in reaction to the new orders. I enjoyed the dramatic irony in that they couldn't possibly guess at how serious the mission was -- nearly at the same time Azras was reeling from the scope of this mission. What was really special was the emotional sensitivity and care T'Prel shows for Ritru. As much as their relationship is long-established, T'Prel's emotional intelligence is always a delighted to read. As much as Ritru is running from her emotional reaction to the fall of the Star Empire, I'm dying to read how much this mission is going to hurt Ritru -- given it's coming on the heels of the Century Storm ALREADY flaring up her fears and hurt about the Romulan supernova. I don't imagine counseling will be enough to keep Ritru steady!

    May 30, 2022
  • I am very much using the FA as a jump on point for some of the ships and this did not disappoint! It in a way is a classic mission you would expect from Starfleet but as it is Romulans you know there is going to be so much more to it. The character interactions are great, very fluid and real in feel. I look forward to seeing how the story with the Saratoga pans out and feel sorry for any raiders that come across a fully refited Odyssey.

    May 31, 2022