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Part of USS Damascus: M1: Just A Gentle Touch and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

4) Unexpected turn of events

USS Damascus - Bridge
November 2400
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The ship was traveling through space after a sudden alternation in the navigational course and now heading to Markonian Outpost. The bridge was relatively calm. Sazra was looking at some data of the latest intel that Starfleet got from the Gardin Belt. Silina was helping K’Nala at her console to understand the new navigational maps of the sector. Thought Sazra noticed Silina was struggling with the many questions the young Caitian had. Sazra looked at her side, seeing Adrián and T’Path talking to each other about the latest scientific findings about the blood dilithium and how it might impact the ship’s systems. Her eyes went to Rami, who was focused on getting the ship’s security systems ready for any potential encounter with the Devore. Sazra could only imagine the amount of pressure on that man’s shoulder, knowing that an encounter with the Devore would be a battle of charms, not knives.

A console beep went off as K’Nala looked back at Sazra “Captain we arrre arrriving at Marrrkonian Outpost per yourrr request” She looked back at her console as Silina went back to her chair next to Sazra. “Jumping out of warrrp now” Damascus jumps out of warp and into the space of where Markonian Outpost was. Many Starfleet ships were there already as they moved closer to the outpost.

“Hail them,” Sazra requested, leaning back in her chair.

The screen changed, seeing the station security on the view screen. “This is Markonian Outpost. What can I do for you, Starfleet?

“This is the USS Damascus. Task Force 86 of the Fourth Fleet ordered to deliver our personnel for assistance to Markonian Outpost,” Sazra said, noticing already some glares at her, but she tended to ignore them. It was sudden for them to hear such a change.

Ah yes, Captain Takato has informed us about your officer’s borrow regarding our station’s problems. We appreciate your contribution towards the safety and development of our station. You are welcome to dock at number 2. Markonian out” The screen changed back to the outpost.

The bridge went quiet for a moment as Sazra finally broke it. “Helm, get us to docking port 2. Commander…” She looked at her side at Silina, who shrugged and nodded at her Captain.

Silina taps on her PADD as two bridge members get a beep on their console, “Lieutenant T’Path, Ensign Vaani, you are hereby temporarily reassigned to the duties onboard Markonian Outpost. You will be followed by other members of Damascus for this assignment.” Silina shrugs at giving out the orders, but this all happens quickly.

A few hours earlier—Ready Room

Walking into her ready room, Sazra puts down a PADD and leans at her table, looking at the door and waiting on someone to arrive. A soft smile appeared on her face when Silina walked into the room, “We got a priority call, and you still late?” Sazra teased as she saw Silina roll her eyes at her, “Computer, answer the hail and redirect it at the holoprojector in this room.” 

A bleep came as a female figure appeared in front of the two as her stern Asian eyes looked at the two. The woman had her hands behind her back and pips of Captain at her neck, “Captain Praugol, Commander Ruslanovna, it a pleasure to meet you. My name is Captain Ryoko Takato. I am the new Task Force 86 Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of the USS Wakaba. I see some questionable looks from you both, which is understandable.” 

“What can we do for Task Force 86, ma’am” Sazra replied as she crossed her arms over each other.

“I am here to state a change in command. Fourth Fleet is quite occupied with the operations in Delta Quadrant and sees that the USS Damascus is a more valuable asset for Task Force 86 than 17,” Ryoko explained to them both.

Silina shrugs. “That doesn’t make much sense, Captain. TF17 is designed for exploration and discovering the unknown. That is precisely up the alley for Damascus. If I remember correctly, TF86 is more designed for border control, a counter effect for Damascus by all measurements.” 

Ryoko nodded softly to that, “A keen observation there, Commander. I applaud you for knowing the chain of command and designated duties of our task forces within the Fourth Fleet. But to be more precise, our duties are more than that. We do manage Starfleet’s border defense and counterinsurgency operations. We monitor criminal organizations operating within the Triangle region and assist operations in different sectors that are marked troubling.” 

Looking at the two, Ryoko continued explaining, “Furthermore, we assist local governments in preventing and combatting criminal activities. But the last one is the one that kinda applies to you as well. Well, your history speaks chapters, so to speak. Our last duty is to develop and maintain relationships with local governments and communities, which Jaxartes did in her time.”

Thinking about their various first contact and cooperating operations, Sazra couldn’t deny that “But the Damascus is not Jaxartes Captain. We are purely scientific ship, and we are required to go out there and search the unknown,” Sazra pointed out bluntly, “That is the statement Starfleet Command gave and attached to this ship. We are not a ship of war. Not only that, but we cannot contain criminal activities or react to that.” 

The stern look on Ryoko’s face didn’t change, but she was amused by the conversation. “The last duty that our task force has to do can be seen as a gray area,” Ryoko thought for a second, “Science is needed everywhere, Captain. So TF86 will not restrain you from staying at the borders, but your ship’s weakness is also your disadvantage to travel out there. We will not take your ability to travel to Typhon Expanse and stop your scientific mission, but administration-wise, you are now bound to our TF” 

They did not agree to much about this sudden change, but it was a change they couldn’t object to at any moment. “Alright, thank you for informing us about this sudden change, but this could have waited until we arrived back?” Sazra was quite direct with this Captain and slightly rude as she was still annoyed about the sudden change. 

The rudeness is something Ryoko let her pass by, “Right now, you are about to travel to a hazardous area that contains data that Starfleet desperately requires. We need to understand Blood Dilithium, what causes them, how did grow so fast, and what its impact is on us. However, you overlooked something or completely ignored it, which I hope you didn’t do” Ryoko narrowed her eyes. “If I am correct, Damascus has about 80 souls onboard, of those people there are at least 14 telepaths and 5 sensitive to telepathic abilities right?” 

Silina nods “Yea we do…” She confirmed the Captain, but was somewhat confused about the whole ordeal.

“While I understand that 5 of them are still on board, why are the other 14 still on the Damascus? You do know the effects of Blood Dilithium on telepaths? You know that Devore Imperium will attack any ship that has telepathic on their ship, right?” Ryoko tone was a bit harsh and yet annoyed at the same time.

They both looked at each other as Sazra looked at Ryoko. “We do know about the effects of Blood Dilithium. But we were assured that the effects were not that severe, and if members showed symptoms, they would be confined. Captain, we don’t expect to see Devore ships at our grid.” 

Ryoko placed her arms over each other, giving that lecture pose and looking at them both, “I had the hopes you were not that naive to forget your most important duty. To protect your crew from potential harm. So I will do this. I order Damascus to make a turn, set course towards Markonian Outpost, and place your telepathic officers there for a temporary assignment. They can help out the station with various tasks that need to be done by Starfleet. Understood?”

“Yes sir, but I have an additional question,” Sazra gave a follow-up. “My Chief Science Officer is Vulcan and thus categorized as telepathic. I don’t have a Chief Science during missions by your orders.” Sazra was having trouble with the idea. Maybe she would get an exemption out of this order.” 

Her eyes went to Sazra and Ryoko still had that harsh look. “You should have thought about that before entering the delta quadrant, Captain,” Ryoko shrugs, “I believe your records state that you are a graduate in the science yourself. So put two hats on. Do your chief’s duties in her place” She raised a finger at Silina, who wanted to object, “Be happy that I allow your Captain to stay on this mission. She is, after all, telepathic sensitive, which is alarming by all means. But Starfleet Command needs Captain Praugol in the field due to her extensive experience in science to get the job done.” 

They both nodded to Ryoko. “We shall set course to Markonian Outpost and deliver our officers, Captain,” Sazra confirmed the orders given.

“Good, that will be all for now. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out” Ryoko saw no response from either of them and confirmed to herself that there were no questions at this time. Good luck, Captain” Ryoko looked at Silina, “Commander,” The communication broke off when Ryoko gave a gentle wave as a command to stop the communication. 

“What do we do…” Silina said after the Captain had disappeared.

Sazra sighed and tapped her combadge “Praugol to K’Nala, set course to Markonian Outpost. Sazra out,” The link cuts off before the Ensign can reply. “We follow orders, even if we dislike them” Sazra saw the stars shifting in direction, meaning the ship had altered its course. “Even if I don’t like it, it seems we underestimated the magnitude of the Blood Dilithium effects” Sazra wondered how severe it would be. “Get a message ready for sending out, Commander.”

For a moment, Silina was hesitant to respond and wondered if it was worth their time to fight these orders. But Captain Takato did speak the truth, and the safety of their fellow crewmembers was their priority. “I will inform the doctor also about the severity of the case” With that, they both left the bridge to resume their duties. 


  • I loved how you bridged the transfer between Task Forces into this post. Most people wouldn't have bothered to fold that detail into their stories, but you weaved that in seamlessly. Great job, another good story for the Damascus.

    November 12, 2022
  • I liked how this story started with a sudden change in direction which had me a bit confused at first, thinking I might have missed something. Then while reading on that was what I missed, I enjoyed how like London said how you bridged the transfer between Task Forces. I also enjoyed the little confrontation between both Captains with Sazra disagreeing and questioning her change of orders. That was a bit gutsy (only a little bit), but Takato took it with stride and didn't get angry at Sazra for it as it was a bit to take in all at once. Now, the change of orders for dropping all the telepaths except Sazra off at the outpost was an interesting change of events. Even though Sazra didn't agree with it, it was an order that would keep her crew safe from the nasty effects of the blood dilithium. Great job it tying everything together.

    November 25, 2022