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Part of USS Sovereign: Race Against Time and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

M1-Campaign Ch2: Tip from the locals

Fleet Rendezvous - Starbase 38 / Delta Quadrant
November 2400
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Just before crossing through the Barzan Wormhole.

To recap from the eyes and thoughts of Captain Maxwell. Just several hours ago, Maxwell had boarded the Sovereign, and relieved former Captain Vakai, former Lieutenant Commander Sivol, and Lieutenant Commander Sucil of their positions. He has no idea what Commander Sucil’s plans are for her future, but he has some idea of what Vakai and Sivol plan to do in theirs. It was also the same time that he was about to give the boot to the other staff members in place for his own, Commander James Ryker, Lieutenants Akira Rowe, Gomo, and Gatia. But Commander Ryker had an idea that sounded promising and useful to Maxwell.

Commander Ryker proposed to form a new team, a Special Operations kind of team much like the Hazard Team that Lieutenant Maya was currently in command of on board the Sovereign. But Ryker did not want to take command of the Hazard Team from her, which is why he proposed a separate team. Commander Graves gave his feedback on the idea and suggested that Ryker take the ensigns that Graves once commanded during the humanitarian missions that Maxwell had given him a month ago. At first, Maxwell was uncertain about the idea of placing ensigns in life-threatening situations that Commander Ryker mentioned his team would volunteer for with this proposal; but Commander Graves was persuasive, stating that the ensigns were ready and after a month with him, they wanted to do more for Starfleet.

This saved Maxwell some more paperwork of relieving five officers off of his ship and Graves stated that he would take care of the roster, as well as duplicate the roster and make it appear that both Ryker’s team and Maya’s team didn’t exist in case they were stopped by the Devore. The more Maxwell thought about it, the more he liked it. This placed Ryker in a unique position, as well as gave Maxwell, Graves, and Ward a unique opportunity to have two teams for dangerous situations. And because Ryker’s team was a separate division altogether, this does not put any complications or confusion in regard to who is in charge. Ryker would be in full command of his team, and Maya would be in full command of hers. Ryker would have no authority over Maya’s team, regardless of rank, but among normal duties, his rank would still supersede hers. Both teams answer to Maxwell, Graves, and Ward only, unless a Flag Officer were to take command of the Sovereign at any given point. The fact is, it gives them a wide variety of opportunities.

Then there is this mission to the Delta Quadrant. If they were to run into a Devore warship that is equal in strength to the Sovereign or more so, Maxwell would be forced to comply with the safety of his crew. But there’s been rumors that the Devore has been more aggressive, and possible corruption among their captains. Maxwell had removed all telepaths off of his ship, so the risk of being ‘impounded’ for having telepaths on board would be null. But if he were to encounter a corrupt captain who would randomly pick a non-telepathic crewmember and accuse them of being telepathic and try to impound his ship, then the two teams, being removed from the roster and hidden in their assigned compartments, would be able to secure the bridge and main engineering so that the ship would be back under their control and the crew would have a chance to repel the enemy.

Sounds so perfect on paper and in his head. But he knew that if something can go wrong, it will. He is prepared for the repercussions of forcing the Devore off his ship, even if it means destroying their own if it meant protecting his crew, and completing his mission.

Maxwell’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted when his yeoman stopped before him and held a small padd out to him. Maxwell then smiled at the yeoman and took the padd. “Thank you.” The yeoman smiled and departed. Maxwell took in a deep breath and began to read the message on the padd. His smile soon faded to a raised brow of curiosity.

“News, sir?” Ward asked, beating Graves to it.

Maxwell took another deep breath and exhaled in a heavy sigh. “A little late in the game but the Sovereign has been reassigned to Task Force 86. Fleet Command must think we will do better there.”

Graves smirked. “We advertise that we are Starfleet, officers of diplomacy and peace. But when it comes to dealing with pirates and scumbags of the galaxy, we are also an instrument of war.”

Maxwell looked to Graves. “We don’t advertise. We do. And we only fire in self-defense of ourselves and others.”

Graves shrugged a shoulder. “Just stating facts, Captain. Many of our vessels have tried to be diplomatic with pirates and marauders. What do our vessels get? A warning shot to the hull.”

Ward frowned, “How is that a warning shot?”

Graves chuckled. “To the pirates, they think they’re doing harm but to most of our starships, it feels like a warning shot.”

Ward shook her head with an eye roll before returning her attention back to Maxwell. “So, who do we report to?”

Maxwell smiled. “Fleet Captain Brodie Lewis and, well it was Captain London Malik, but he too was reassigned.”

“Do you know them, Captain?” Graves asked.

Maxwell shook his head. “No. Not really. I’ve heard about them during my time as 93’s CO. But I never truly got the chance to meet them.”

“You’ll likely have a higher chance this time,” said Ward.

Maxwell nodded his head and was about to say something when Tagg spoke up. “Captain, the wormhole.” said the Ferengi who pointed at the viewscreen. The mouth of the Barzan Wormhole had appeared before the fleet. It was now time to get underway.

“You know the drill, Lieutenant. Stay in formation, follow the flight path at the recommended speed, and we’ll get through to the Delta Quadrant in one piece,” ordered Maxwell.

“Aye, Captain. We’re in the queue with formation, it will be about five minutes before we depart.” Tagg reported.

“Good.” Maxwell smiled. “Once we are through, follow the route to the Markonian Outpost.”


It had been some time since the fleet went through the Barzan Wormhole. Not all of them went in the same direction as the Sovereign did. Some had their assignments already; others had their own plans. All that mattered was that they were there, and it will certainly be a mark in history for the Delta Quadrant. Who could possibly forget the number of ships coming out of a wormhole? Not as glorious or frightening when the Dominion came through the Bajoran Wormhole. But still, a sight to behold.

Akira Rowe was going through some readouts from the sensors when an indicator light illuminated to notify her of an incoming transmission. She opened up the source and turned in her seat to look at the command staff. “Captain, incoming transmission from a Talaxian Freighter.”

“Talaxian, huh?” Maxwell asked with a smirk.

“On screen, Lieutenant.” Graves ordered.

“Aye, sir.” Rowe turned back towards her console and accepted the transmission and linked the video feed to the main viewer.

“Ah! You certainly look like a very promising starship, with teeth too!” said the Talaxian.

Maxwell snorted with his smirk turning into a grin. “There are plenty of starships here that look promising, and with teeth. I am Captain Henry Maxwell. How can the Sovereign assist you?”

“Well, Captain, it’s not me who needs help really, it’s the poor people in the Gardin Belt region.” said the Talaxian.

“What about them?” Maxwell asked.

“Well, some group showed up. They call themselves the…Iron…Orean…” The Talaxian struggled.

“Orion.” Ward corrected with some annoyance.

“Ah yes. The Orion Syndicate, they called themselves. Anyway, they have been going to a couple of colonies already and have enslaved colonists, forcing them to mine this new dilithium that’s been popping up all over the place. They’re not good folks at all, I tell you. They do not care who they force to mine.” The Talaxian sighed dreadfully with a few ‘tsks’. “Women. Children. Elderly. Does not matter to them. And unfortunately, some have died in the mines.”

Ward turned her head to look at Maxwell. “We have to do something.”

“Oh yes, please! Your ship looks like it could rip theirs to pieces!” said the Talaxian.

“We will try a peaceful, diplomatic approach with the Orions but if they force our hand, then yes…we may resort to that,” Maxwell explained.

The Talaxian shook his head. “It would not matter. I tried to tell them what they were doing was wrong, but they took a couple of potshots at my ship. I barely got out of there in one piece! Look. I know where they are going.” On-screen they could see the Talaxian was pressing a few buttons. Then Akira Rowe’s console beeped to indicate that she received a packet. “That is where the Orions are going. A colony not too far from here. This new dilithium has grown quite big on this planet and it will take the Orions about a week to get as much as they can force the colonists to get.”

Rowe did the calculations before she turned in her seat to look at the command crew once more. “It would take us four days at warp nine to reach the colony, sir.”

“Yes, yes! As fast as you can, please! I know some friends in that colony that they’re going to. Really good people! They do not deserve this kind of treatment.” pleaded the Talaxian.

Maxwell nodded his head and then stood up from his seat. “The Sovereign will dispatch and stop the Orions, Talaxian. We very much appreciate this information.”

“I will appreciate you even more if you can save those people, Captain. No offense.” said the Talaxian.

“None taken. Sovereign out.” Maxwell then looked to Tagg. “You heard, Lieutenant Rowe. Set course for that colony, warp nine! Ward, dispatch a message to task force command of our flight path and mission.”

“Ready on your command, Captain,” said Tagg.

“Punch it!” Maxwell ordered. The Sovereign would then break formation from the remaining group, then the Sovereign rolled hard to port until the ship was lined up with their course and jumped to warp, on their way to clean up some trash.

Comments

  • Another solid story! I like the way that you start with Maxwell running through recent events in his mind. This is a great way to refocus the reader's attention on what came before, especially helpful in a campaign such as BD. You also add some further detail to this new Special Operations team. What adventures might they get embroiled in, I wonder. Not one to linger on the build up, though, we're soon into the nitty gritty - and the appearance of perhaps my favourite species from the DQ, the Talaxians! It is interesting that in a part of space riddled with DQ species to explore, it's those pesky AQ Orions that are causing the issues here. Typical of them, of course. New territory breeds new opportunity to enslave people. Man, I hope the Sovereign crew can bring the Orions to justice. Can't wait to read more.

    November 3, 2022
  • The swift changes of Task Force, personnel and the impact on the crew was well-placed and written! The arrival in DQ and the experience while traveling in such a space is quite interesting to read. Especially meeting the Talaxian that you nailed down on the interaction, friendly and yet passive-aggressive to convince you haha. Ofc the Orions slipped by into DQ to do their criminal acts, love it!

    November 3, 2022
  • Your story just flow with an amazing prose. The fact that you highlighted the changes in the Task Force was really cool it’s not usually something most highlight even mentioning the heads that you report too. You highlighted the sums of what happens in command so well. The conversation you had with the talaxian was great because you had a true conversation with how they were friendly and definitely not scared to interact, but yet not someone to trust fully. Of course as 86 deals with pirates the Orions slipped into the DQ. Why wouldn’t they be where trouble ensues. Again great work!

    November 6, 2022