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Part of USS Daradax: Mission 2 – Wings of Salvation (Sundered Wings Fleet Action) and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

SW – Chapter 6: The Arrival

USS Daradax - Kunhri Star System
May 2400
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The crew of the Daradax sat at their stations on the bridge all a little on edge. After spending the better part of a week at Starbase 23 having the ship’s cargo bay, empty labs and spare quarters filled with equipment and foodstuffs they departed for the Kunhri system.

Sitting at the conn Ensign Belania looked up from her station, “Commander, we should cross the heliopause of the Kunhri system in one hour.”

“Thanks Belania.” Lieutenant Kirin Tarken said with a nod of acknowledgement before turning to face Ensign Kerry Dawson, “Kerry, please ensure our long-range sensors are sweeping the system. I want to know everything that is in there before we drop out of warp.”

“Yes ma’am” Kerry said before quickly putting her head back down and initiating the sweep.

“Expecting trouble?” Comes a voice, with a slightly challenging undertone, from the revival station as Ensign Ril Mnass turns to regard Kirin. 

“In short? No, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. I would expect you to appreciate that.” Kirin says with a smirk purposely pushing back against Ril’s aggressive undertone. “The Temeraire and Neptune arrived in the system and have secured it from their initial reports but situations change.”

“And what would we do if the situation has changed, this little ship. Against a B’rel or equivalent sure, on a good day but the Romulan ships are something else…not that I wouldn’t relish the chance to try.” Ril says as she types away on her console. Her remark draws concerned looks from both Belania and Kerry who glance over at Kirin.

Belania mutters under her breath but not low enough to escape the XO’s keen hearing; “Rules 33 and 62….”

“We will do what we can Ensign Mnass” Lieutenant Thanen Th’zalnar, the XO, says from his post at the engineering console. “The Temeraire and Neptune will let us know of any trouble and if need be this ‘little ship’ is tougher than she looks. How are those tactical simulations going?”

“Oh, umm, they’re still running Lieutenant.” Roll says Turing back to check on them.

“Let’s make sure they are done before we arrived then.” Kirin adds with a nod to Thanen.”

‘Ril keeps pushing, need to work out these authority issues’ Kirin thinks to herself as she looks at each of the crew. “I know this is our first mission and not the one we expected but it’s a hell of a way to start out. There are people in need of our help and we will do everything we can.” 

— 

The USS Daradax dropped out of warp and approached the orbit of Kunhri III. Kirin sat in her chair as the planet appeared on the view screen. She couldn’t help but marvel at the blue and green pearl suspended in the black and think how from orbit it looks so peaceful but on the surface, the planet was running dangerously short on food and its refining infrastructure was down and out without the aid of the federation.

“Ma’am, the rest of the task force is in orbit. They send their greetings.” Kerry says.

Nodding towards Kery Kirin smiles, “Thank you Kerry, please send our acknowledgement back and confirm with the Temeraire that we will be contacting the local government to organise delivery and distribution of the equipment and supplies.

“Belania, please take us into a geosynchronous orbit above the capital city. Once there lock us into the orbital pattern and then I want everyone to meet in the briefing room in 10 minutes. We have work to get to and we need to ensure everything is in order.” Kirin says before leaving the bridge.”

In the briefing room, Kirin pulls up her files on Kunhri III and quickly reviews her notes waiting for the crew to arrive. She had to admit the first stage of the mission was straightforward enough, make contact with the local representatives and deliver the emergency food supplies and equipment for the refineries. The part that concerned her still was the meeting with the Starfleet intelligence informant, there wasn’t much information but that wasn’t abnormal for a meeting like this. While thinking about how she would make the approach Thanen walked in, “Commander” he says with a smile and a nod before sitting down next to her. 

The Andorian had proven to be very reliable the last couple of weeks since meeting him on Starbase Bravo. “So, Thanen, are you ready for this?” Kirin asks already knowing the answer. He would be more than up to the task of overseeing the delivery of the equipment and foodstuffs as well as aiding in any repairs the Reman refinery workers needed.

His antenna turned towards her before his head even turns she can tell he is smiling. “But of course Kirin. Overseeing a delivery, I wouldn’t be good at my job if I couldn’t.” 

“So modest. It’s not so much the delivery as the unexpected that I am worried about.” Pausing for a moment Kirin realizes how that could come across.”don’t get me wrong Thanen, I have absolute faith in you and your ability. Hell, I am pretty sure you are better suited for it than me. It is just that she is my first command and I am NOT EVEN here!” she says with a bit more heat than expected

With a slight laugh the Andorian smiles, “That is appreciated Kirin, though I have watched you these last few weeks..” …‘I am fully aware of you watching you’ Kirin thinks as she tries to hide her smirk…”… and you are more than up for the task of commanding this ship. Any idea how long you will need planet side for your secret rendezvous?”

“God, when you put it that way it sounds risqué. If all goes well, I could be in and out in a couple of hours, but these things can take longer or go sideways.” Pushing back from the table she stands and pours herself a glass of the ice tea she brought for the meeting…of all the drinks to pick up on her time visiting earth and growing up in the fleet  it wasn’t the oddest she figured…”I’m tempted to have Ril on standby if it goes pear-shaped but I want her with you. If the drop off doesn’t go smoothly and it may not, given the protests and that  people who are hungry and afraid make stupid choices she is an excellent offer to have at your side…well…according to her record and her last CO.”

“That would be appreciated but I would be happier knowing that you aren’t alone in this one, regulations are pretty clear on what a ship’s commander can and can’t do.”

Sighing, Kirin shakes her head “Don’t start quoting regulations to me Thanen, this is not a normal situation. I have the experience and background needed, no one else aboard or possibly on the taskforce has that.” pausing and eyeing her XO, he had a point after all. “Ok, fine, how about this. I will request a tactical team from the Temeraire be on standby if that makes you feel a bit better.”

“That would be an acceptable comprise,” he says with a nod just as the door opens and Kerry, Belania and Ril enter. 

“Commander, we are in a stable orbit above the planet,” Belania says as she stops just inside the door.

“Thank you. Please, everyone, sit.”, gesturing to the table Kirin sits as well.

“So we have been over this before but starting now we are on mission. I want everyone to keep an eye out for anything unusual, be those odd sensor readings, gut feelings, whatever. We are in a war zone and the Romulans can be a tricky bunch.”

“We will contact the local authorities and organise a drop zone. Thanen will take the lead on this. As you are aware I have been given additional orders and will be leaving the ship in 20 hours’ time. I should not be gone long but one never knows. During this time Thanen will lead the relief and delivery efforts.” Turning to Ril Kirin continues, “Ril I want you to support him in this as his second. I need you to watch the crews back while the drop off is underway and if they need any support with the repairs. Kerry, I need you to ensure the correct items are offloaded to the right people and to organize the transit itself so that you can be in and out as fast as possible. Finally, Belania I want you to stay on the bridge and keep an eye on the ship while this is going on. If there is trouble you…” she waves her hand at the crew, “… may need to lock down the ship and get airborne quickly. As I was just telling Thanen there are some protesting Starfleet’s involvement and people are hungry and scared so you never know what will happen. We will have more information in the next few hours once we speak to the task force and the local authorities.”

“Any questions?.”

 

Comments

  • I really enjoyed the tensions of competing priorities on this one. Kirin and Thanen work well together, but there's still a certain friction that creates a hint of unpredictability. I like how they're both uneasy and confident about Kirin taking on the intelligence mission, which means leaving Thanen in command of the ship within enemy territory. Kirin's strategy for how to utilize the crew and the task force, in this scenario, seems wise to me. I can't help wondering if Thanen may continue to question Kirin in a thoughtless moment, or even more assertively, as at the situation escalates??

    June 8, 2022
  • Good job at setting the tone for this story. I am feeling the tension that Kirin is giving to the mission that they are currently about to undertake. Plus the closeness that Kirin and Thanen have is awesome. They compliment each other and know it, even if they don’t directly show it. As always, keep up the great work, and look forward to the next story.

    June 10, 2022