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Part of USS Neptune: Fear The Darkness and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Chapter 3 Preparing for the Unexpected

Officers Briefing Room, USS Neptune
February 26th 2400
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Michael had been preparing for the briefing taking all the information he had been given and trying to come up with some sibilance of a plan out of the situation. As he walked down the corridor the hum of the warp core ever present he couldn’t help, but remember what it has taken him to get here. His love for his job made him push through any situation. One such situation was the change of his XO, Tia was given a command of her own ship and to Michaels pride she asked for the Tesla. The problem was he now had another XO coming on at a critical juncture.

He had been sent many candidates and most of them were impressive, but one of them caught his eye. Commander Skylar Cloud was someone he had met years prior when he was the Chief of Security on Jupiter Station. She had an impressive record since and seemed to be the type of no nonsense officer he wanted in critical situations. She knew how to compartmentalize her job and her time off making her a popular member of past crews and stations in which she served. She had arrived only hours prior to the Neptune’s departure. Michael hated she was being thrown into the fray this way, but it was beyond his control.

He didn’t have time for the normal meeting so he figured he would swing by and walk with her to the briefing. He activated the door chime seeing the door open promptly with his new XO already standing there. He was surprised that he didn’t have to wait very long. “Good morning, Commander though I know this isn’t the best way to talk, but the normal social conventions aren’t possible. We are heading at warp currently for Kunhri, where we will be helping to protect the whole system, but we could be stationed around that particular planet, but from reports we could be stationed above Kunhri III. From the reports it is a planet full of refineries for manufacturing. I can’t say what will happen, but I know that we have to be prepared.”

Skylar quickly fell into step next to her new captain, making sure to keep up with his brisk pace. “I will work to ensure everything is in order, Sir. I’m certainly we will be well prepared for whatever lies ahead.”

Michael nodded “This is very true, but I think it’s time you meet the rest of the senior staff.” He said as he tapped his comm badge “All senior staff report to the  briefing room, as well as Lieutenant Bolton your presence is also requested.” After a short walk they arrived to the briefing room taking their respective seats and began to wait for the other crew to arrive.

It wasn’t normally so easy, but Amanda looked over at her fellow staff members minus Chung and Dorner, they had decided to meet and discuss a surprise party for the Captain just as he had been a huge support to all of them. The call came through and she smirked at Ruvok, Kra,vaak, and Peng “Looks as though we will be more punctual than the Captain thinks.” 

Ruvok nodded “Well it would be illogical for us to be anything, but punctual in this case. Though he may question why we all get there at the same time.” 

Kra’vaak looked at them both and shook his head “Bah you worry to much, the Captain will be too preoccupied to care about such trivial matters.” He took a swig from the bloodwine before standing and motioning to Peng “Do you have any comments on the matter or should we just crack on?” He grinned.

Peng shook his head at the ridiculousness of his collogues and stood straightening his uniform “Let’s go before we talk ourselves out of going in the first place.” He said sarcastically rolling his eyes.

The group made their way to the briefing room where they were surprised by the unknown member present. They took their seats causally greeting the Captain and guest, as they waited for the others to arrive.  

As Dorner took his seat at the table, he spared a moment of his time to access their new XO. He had expected to see a new face in the position after hearing Savik’s decision to take on a command of her own, but he was still unprepared for this new addition to the crew. He studied the vivacious blonde and found himself almost entrapped in the deep blue-green of her eyes, quickly shaking his head and he pulled his gaze from their new XO. With raised brows he wondered how she would fair among their crew, and as his eyes flitted across the table to gaze upon the ever saucy visage of their engineering officer, he knew their XO would face a special sort of scrutiny due to the shoes she had to fill.

Riru Sareth, on the other hand, took little note of their new CO, sparing her only a quick glance before turning away with a sullen sneer. Sareth would not embrace this change with enthusiasm, of that you could be certain.

Michaela was late and what an impression to make for her first executive briefing with the senior staff on the ship. She made it just as the last person was seated. She gave an awkward greeting to the group before taking the empty seat near the Captain. She took a deep breath hoping he wasn’t too upset with her abrupt entry.

Michael could tell Michaela was a bit flustered he wasn’t going to make a big deal of it this time. He stood up and approached the front of the table “Now this one is going to be quick because we’re en route due to arrive in the next hour or so. We’re going to support other ships in the fleet during this mission. We’re going to the Kunhri System, which is a now Reman held system though the Romulans are trying to take control of things yet again. From all reports, we’re not quite sure what to expect, but from the orders given we will be helping in the defense of the System from intruders. Lieutenant Bolton has concluded something is amiss, but I will let her explain that to you now.” He gestured for Michaela.

With a deep breath she made her way to the front of the table and tapped in a command on the screen bringing up the information around Kunhri. “First thing is this information is just what we have seen though we have no indications of what the truth is. If you look at these charts from a few years back to the present time the system has seemed to change. The readings previously show the system with no extra planets or orbiting bodies, but if you look now something has appeared.” She said as she gestured to the screen before continuing. 

“This seems to be a smaller object than a planet. From all the research I did records indicate changes in readings for any ship that has entered the system since this object appeared. According to this record from a Ferengi vessel, it’s like the system now has a net over it that impedes the ability of our sensors. This cannot be a coincidence in fact it seems this object has something to do with that interference.” She stopped before continuing.

“The fact that this system was previously controlled by Romulans doesn’t seem to be a coincidence here. I think from all the information it is imperative that we proceed with caution regardless of what we do.” She concluded before looking at the Captain indicating she was done.

Michael nodded “Thank you, Lieutenant. As I said this was going to be brief, but does anyone have any questions?”

The room was quiet, which seemed to be normal in these situations his crew followed him into the fray, though it may get interesting when real problems occur. He wasn’t quite sure what was going to occur, but he knew that this mission was going to test them and the outcome was yet to be decided. He waited a good minute before speaking again.

“Alright, with that being said you’re dismissed back to your stations prepare for our arrival. XO you have the conn I will be in my ready room.” He said before departing the room. He wasn’t sure what was to come, but the dream he had still replayed in his mind like an ominous reminder something bad was on the horizon.


  • Uh oh! Taking on a new executive officer in the first days of a dangerous mission sounds like a recipe for trouble for me. The fact Ryder met Skylar again during a walk-and-talk really tells the reader what kind of mission this is going to be. I'm quite excited to see what Skylar Cloud is going to bring to the mix. Ryder's care for his crew seems unique to me. Starship captain's protect and empower their crews, but the depth of Ryder's emotional intelligence is of a kind we haven't seen often in Star Trek. As evidence by the crew planning him a surprise party all around the dread and fear leading into the Kunhri system. I experienced absolute cognitive dissonance, reading the crew planing a surprise party in the midst of all this doom. It was practically Lynchian. Between the interference in the system and the crew's silence at the end, the mounting tension is palpably written.

    June 9, 2022