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

26) This is Damascus Reporting

Various Locations
November 2400
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Bridge

The warp engines were pushed to their limits and could hold out at warp 6 for their travel to Makonian Outpost. The travel time was shortened to 3.5 days, and it would arrive at the outpost very soon. Sazra entered the bridge and cracked her neck, looking around. “Status report on our arrival,” She asked, finally being cleared by Kossaal for duty. Giving a brief nod to Silina, who vacated her chair and took a seat in her chair. 

“We arrre arrriving at Marrrkonian Outpost in a few minutes,” K’Nala confirmed their ETA. But after her interactions a few days ago, she has withdrawn from any other exchange. She told Silina everything was fine, but her confrontation with Rami did not make it any better.

“Good,” Sazra said “Starfleet response?” 

Rami looked up, hearing his signal. “Starfleet is happy to have heard of us. They were worried about our status. They report that they had no ship available to search out any missing ships due to the low resources available.” Rami was anything but happy about that report, but there was not much he could do about it. 

It was something that Sazra already had confirmed with her senior staff that this was a reason for Starfleet. Giving the nod to that briefing, “Thank you, Lieutenant, keep me posted” She leaned back in her chair and tapped her finger on the side. The Damascus then jumped out of warp and arrived near Markonian Outpost. “It is praiseworthy that we see something friendly and familiar” 

“They arrre hailing us, Captain” K’Nala saw the beep coming from her console.

“On screen” Sazra confirmed the incoming communication as the view changed to Captain Takato. “Captain Takato, it is good to see you after such a long period of time,” Sazra spoke, giving a shrug at that. “We need some urgent repairs” 

Ryoko had a worried expression on her face. “It is good to see you all in one piece back, Captain Praugol. Please dock with Markonian Outpost at their designated direction, and we can speak at the Starfleet office. I will order an engineering team to that dock to assist your crew with the required repairs” She took a deep breath “But for now, welcome home Damascus

“Glad to be home. We will see each other soon” The communication line cuts off after Sazra sees Ryoko nodding to her. “All command staff with me for that debriefing” Sazra stood up and wanted to walk to the turbolift, but she stopped in her track and looked at K’Nala. “Ensign, you have the conn” A command that surprised everyone as she was not the senior officer on the bridge.

“Ma’am?” K’Nala looked confused at her.

Rami looked at Sazra. “Captain, I believe I am the senior officer on the bridge in the absent of the command team” He too, was baffled about this.

Sazra halted again before entering the turbolift and saw the glare Silina looking back at her. She gave her a nod and looked in the direction of Rami. “That is correct, but your attitude during this mission shows differently, Lieutenant. Act like a Starfleet officer, and I shall grant you that ability to command the ship. But for now, I would say suck it up and accept this relatively light punishment” 

“Captain, you are joking right…I was not wrong in my duties” Rami tried to defend his position in the given situation but he saw Sazra raising her hand at him.

“No, you might respect me as your Captain, and you respect Commander Valerio. But for some reason, you have had various issues with Commander Ruslanovna during this mission which could have put everyone in danger. I don’t want to hear it, be glad I don’t demote you for your actions” Sazra enters the turbolift and turns around. “Ensign get this ship docked. Transport room 1” The door closes. 

Turbolift

“Throwing me under the shuttle now?” Silina spoke up, looking at Sazra. “I have enough to deal with already, and having a fit with him doesn’t improve the situation. He will have it out for me now that you said that” Silina sighs at that.

Sazra tapped her combadge “Sazra to Valerio, report to transport room 1″

Understood, on my way now. Adrián out” The brief confirmation came over the channel before it cut off again.

Leaning against the side of the lift, “I know you are worried about that, but we both know that Rami needs to be put in his place and get out of this child behavior that he knows everything. Hence, why he is still a Lieutenant and not have made any progression in his rank” Sazra pointed out the dossier of Rami. “He is a good officer, but his echo has grown over the years with us facing every danger that is known”

Letting her head lean on the back wall of the lift, “I know, but this makes it look like I am the cause of this problem rather than showing him that he is the cause of his own problems.” Silina looked at the light on the ceiling. “Well, whatever happens, we got to deal with it eventually” 

Sazra nodded in somewhat agreement with that statement. As the door opened, they both left and entered the transport room Adrián quickly followed into the room “Chief, get us to the Markonian Outpost. We need to get there as soon as possible” They stepped onto the pad, and before she realized it, she saw her surroundings change around her into the transport room of the Markonian Outpost. 

“Welcome to Markonian Outpost, Captain, Commanders” A friendly face nodded to them. 

They all nodded back to the woman. “Thank you. We need to go now” Silina pointed out, walking to the room’s exit and entering the main outside ring, followed by Sazra and Adrián. “The office is nearby” She walked in the direction where she knew the office would be.

Embassy Grounds Starfleet – Markonian Outpost

The group of the Damascus arrived at the office where Starfleet was allowed to set up shop for this extensive operation. It was somewhat chaotic due to the various officers discussing the situation in Delta Quadrant. Sazra looked at her side, seeing the status of the Fourth Fleet being rather dramatic, and saw quite a few MIA statuses “It seems that we are not the only ones that are being missed” 

“Not quite, no,” A voice came from behind them. Turning their attention to the voice, they saw Ryoko standing there. “We are quite some obstacles out there, but so far, I know is that Starfleet is holding their ground somehow” She looked at the same panel with names and shrugged. “Come, follow me” Ryoko walked to an empty office that was not very big but enough place for them all to be in. There was no window view. Well, there was one but made of a holographic live feed outside. 

“Cool” Adrián was looking at the window. “We had one of those on the Jaxartes” 

Ryoko took her seat and sat down. “Right, they are quite common these days” Ryoko turned her attention to Sazra. “Now I have read briefly your report of what you have encountered. We were suspecting that something like that dense was out there, but we have totally miscalculated the danger or even underestimated the strength of the Devore Imperium” 

“Underestimation is indeed the right word for this situation” Silina rubbed her face with her right hand. “I take it this is my part of explaining the whole situation” Silina lowered her hand “As I took command of the Damascus in the absent of Captain Praugol” 

“Her absent?” Ryoko looked from Silina to Sazra. “Why were you absent? Was it because of the blood dilithium?” 

“Yea, that was one of the reasons, you see, when we arrived at the grid. Even we were skeptical about the mission goals. Sure the Devore Imperium avoided it with the plague as it would be traveling through an anomaly minefield, or so we thought” Sazra shrugged at that.

Adrián’s pitch in “We arrived at the grid. We received an SOS signal from a civilian transport ship that was trapped in one of the anomalous. But upon further investigation, we found out that the ship’s communication systems were destroyed and that the signal was boosted to lure us in” Adrián looked at Silina to continue. 

“Yes, the asteroid field was rigged with mines or some explosives, but a solo Devore Imperium ship wanted to experiment on something. Our ship got severely hit, but that was also when I had to take command of it. We found out that the shields protect telepathic sensitivity from the effects of blood dilithium. But when the shields drop, they get the full wave of those effects. Captain Praugol was the only one on the Damascus that was telepathic sensitive” Silina crossed her arms “Captain Praugol passed out and was brought to sickbay”

“So what happened next?” Ryoko was carefully listening to the details.

“Our communication systems were damaged, the left engine was damaged, and we were fighting to stay alive” Adrián was wondering if he had forgotten something. “Then the Devore ship appeared, actually Captain Praugol collapsed after the Devore ship appeared, announce their purpose that we were part of their experiment, and they blew an asteroid up that formed into a large blood crystalline entity” 

Sazra raised her hand. “While that happened, the entity actually tried to communicate with me. At first, I thought I had lost my mind. But something was off in all those interactions. Something I knew for a fact was not me going crazy. The entity probed my mind to find a way to communicate with me and ask for my help” She looked at Adrián and Silina. “Our help” 

Raising both her arms “Wait a damn second, a Blood Crystalline Entity? Are you saying that the entity was affected by the blood dilithium?” Ryoko tried to understand the situation. It was quite a stunning development.

Giving the nod as a confirmation, “Yes, the Blood Crystalline Entity was affected by the blood dilithium. But the effects were too severe for the entity as it blinded it. The Devore was trying to find a way to control this entity and do their bidding. Captain Praugol found a way to communicate with it and help it find the Devore. She ordered me to fire a torpedo at the Devore” 

“That helped? Did you damage the ship?” Ryoko looked at them, waiting for an answer.

“Yea, the torpedo had no effect, but it was enough to create a vibration that made the creature find its position of it. They soon got destroyed by the entity’s brute force” Adrián pointed out with a shrug. “It was both fascinating and scary to see that happening right in front of you” 

Silina rolled her eyes. “Captain Praugol took another rest. I resumed command and ordered a rescue of the transport ship that had received brutal exposure to the brutality of the Devore Imperium and the entity. We have succeeded in the mission and returned home here” Silina raised a finger when Ryoko wanted to react. “But we were not out of the woods. The Devore Imperium had taken the location around the grid as their supposed new borders. A patrol group intercepted us and demanded to board us, it seems they didn’t know of the experiment that went on in the grid” 

“It was a dire situation. The ship got invaded by Devore invaders, which we still have some in our brig,” Sazra just reminded herself of them being there “They invaded the ship, and Commander Ruslanovna followed the protocol of such breach to lock all systems. However, I regained my focus again, and the entity was still in contact with me. They came to our rescue to repay their debt, saving them. We managed to regain control of the ship and flew off back to Markonian Outpost, where we now sit with you” Sazra shows a small smile.

Leaning a bit back in her chair, Ryoko shrugged. “It is quite the story, I will deal with the Devore prisoners, and most likely, they will be returned to the Devore Imperium. What they did was in their rules as a given, and they were within their rights to explore our ships. But the experience so far with them being…nice about it or not the intervene with our ships ethical forms is ….far fetched” Ryoko had been dealing with the Devore Imperium effects for some time now, and she was getting tired of it. “But I can surely say that Starfleet is glad to have you all back safely. In the name of Starfleet, I can say our sincere apology that your crew had to experience this all because we didn’t take all the risk in reviewing this mission” 

“That is an understatement,” Silina growls a bit at the explanation of Ryoko.

“Commander” Sazra intervened in Silina’s behavior as she noticed her being quiet. Immediately Sazra looked back at the Captain. “I am sorry, we are quite …stressed out with the whole ordeal of what has happened at that location or during this mission. If it is okay, we would like to have the crew we left behind to go back to the Damascus. We can use every hand in this” 

“Of course, I will give out the order that the remnants of the Damascus crew are free to return and help you out. I have Lieutenant T’Path here. She has been a great help with analyzing all the information that came in from the fourth fleet ships that are operating out there” Ryoko smiled at Sazra as they stood up and walked out of the office. “As said, I will take care of the Devore prisoners. They have acted beyond their ruling, and they will be sent back to the Imperium with a clear message” Ryoko stood there firmly.

“Good. If we need something, we will make it known. Thank you for your time” Sazra nodded to the Captain and started to walk away, only to be stopped seeing a Vulcan approach the command team. “Lieutenant,” Sazra smiled, seeing T’Path coming to a stop right in front of them.

“Captain, Commanders” T’Path placed her hands behind her back and gave them a respectful nod. “It seems I have missed quite a bit while the ship was out there?” 

Silina laughed as she placed an arm around T’Path “Oh girl, you have no idea. Let’s get you up to date with everything we have encountered out there” They started to walk as Adrián quickly followed them “The amount of data that we managed to get out of that grid will make you skip sleep for sure” Silina laughs.

Looking into the room of where Starfleet was operating in, I thought this was the end of their mission in Delta Quadrant. Damascus was in no shape to take on another expedition and needed to get repairs soon. Sazra looked around slowly as a red glow appeared in her eyes until her attention was pulled back to the group that called out for her and her color returned to normal “Coming!” Sazra quickly followed up with the rest.