Part of USS Alita: Liberating Sevury and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

The Briefing

USS Alita - Bridge
MD01
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Tiffany walked out of her ready room sipping a cup of tea, her duty jacket open to reveal her undershirt underneath. The Alita had just finished a three hour pursuit of a Rigelian pirate smuggling weapons to an elusive arms dealer known only as The Gentleman in The Triangle, and she was exhausted. Alpha shift ended in half an hour and she couldn’t be happier to be contemplating a sonic shower and crawling into bed to enter something resembling a coma for the next eight hours. 

“Status report, Miss French?” She called to her chief engineer. 

“Nothing much to report, ma’am. The one Photon Torpedo that detonated near the nacelles caused a bit of superficial damage to the starboard side of the port nacelle and a bit of the saucer section, but I’ve already got damage control teams down there. They’ll have us back to one hundred percent within two hours,” The Engineer replied. 

“Thank you,” Tiffany said, giving the other woman a nod and a smile as she sat casually back in the center chair and sipped at her tea. 

“The Ruthridge sent us a communication that they’ve secured the pirates and they’re taking them back to Starbase 94 for trial,” Lt. Commander Melody Richards added from her post at the Security/Tactical console, “And Gerber Colony confirmed that the S.S. Maelstrom is on its way to start salvage operations on the pirate’s ship.” 

“I love it when a plan comes together all nice and tidy,” She said, smiling tightly. She sighed heavily and rolled her head back for a moment, trying to release the tension in her neck. “Lieutenant Vlex, if you’d be so kind to set us back on our normal patrol route along the board, please.” 

“Yes ma’am,” The Betazed woman at the Helm said, with a smile. She turned back to the console and started laying in the course. 

“Warp 5, Lieutenant,” Tiffany added. 

“Warp 5. Engaging,” Was the reply. 

Tiffany smiled as the stars stretched out in front of the viewscreen. Out of the corner of her eye she saw movement and looked over to see her XO’s fist hanging in the air. She chuckled and bumped it with her own and both women made an explosion sound with their mouths and mimicked the blast as they quickly opened their fists. 

Tiffany let out a wry laugh and looked over at Commander Frankie Juarez, “You’re a piece of work lady, you know that?” 

Frankie laughed, “Oh, I know.” 

“Oh… Ma’am?” Blake called from the Ops station, “You’ve got a priority one communication coming through from Starfleet Command. It’s encrypted. Alpha One,” He said, looking over at her with a hint of apprehension in his eyes. 

“Priority One, Alpha One?” Tiffany repeated, looking back at the man. He nodded a confirmation. 

Tiffany looked at Frankie for a moment, who eventually just shrugged and gave her an apologetic look. Tiffany turned back to Lieutenant Blake, “Patch it through to my ready room,” She said, standing. “Commander Juarez, with me,” She added, turning and making a bee-line to the ready room. 

“Commander Richards, you have the bridge,” She called over her shoulder. 

“Yes, ma’am!” Melody replied, already starting to step away from her station to the center chair. 

Frankie was hot on her heels as they passed through the door to Tiffany’s ready room and it slid shut behind them. Tiffany adjusted the monitor so both could see and tapped on the waiting commlink. 

“Please enter command level authorization,” The computer replied in its usual singsong manner. 

“Black, Alpha-Delta-Nine-Eight-Theta,” Tiffany recited, looking over at Frankie. 

“Juarez, Zero-Delta-One-Seven-Bravo,” Her XO put in. 

“Confirmed,” The computer replied, and suddenly the Starfleet logo was replaced by the stern face of Commodore James Priest, someone Tiffany had known for years now. He’d been one of her teachers at the academy and had helped her find her footing. The stern look was not one that she was used to seeing. Normally his steel blue eyes were twinkling with mischief and crinkled with laugh lines and his scowl was replaced with a warm, toothy grin. She’d always found him quite handsome, but right now his expression betrayed his years. The man looked exhausted and… she’d dare say a little worried. 

“Tiff, Frankie. Good to see you guys… I… Wish it was under better circumstances,” He said. 

“What’s going on, Commodore?” Tiffany asked as she and Frankie took seats on either side of her desk. 

The Commodore seemed like he was trying to find the correct words, “I feel almost… insane… saying this, but… The Dominion has taken Sevury,” He replied. 

Tiffany blinked twice slowly as she tried to process that statement. Her brain didn’t seem to want to allow it to pass into factual information for her, “I’m sorry, James,” She said, slowly, her eyes losing focus a bit. “I’m going to need you to start from the top, okay?” 

Frankie was staring attentively at the monitor, but in truth her mind was racing. That couldn’t be true. There was no way that the Dominion was back. No way at all. Her heart was pounding in her ears as she waited for the more information. 

“About twenty-four hours ago, a massive Dominion fleet that had apparently been lost while going through the wormhole during the war suddenly appeared and began attacking Federation space,” He explained. “These are the same ships we fought before with the same crazed Jem’Hadar and Vorta crew. And they are absolutely convinced that the war is still on and they’re key in it,” He explained. “They were caught in some sort of… wormhole stasis I guess. Nothing has changed for them, years haven’t passed for them. They’re back and they’re at war with us.” 

There was a pause in the conversation, an awkward silence in the room. Frankie was still trying to make what she’d heard settle when Tiffany let out a quick huff through her mouth.

“Okay,” She said, pointedly, as though putting a period on the end of her confusion. “Right. So. Where do we go? How can the Alita help?” 

The Commodore nodded, “You’re familiar with Sevury?” He asked. 

“It’s one of the Federation’s chief Tritanium sources,” Frankie piped in, finally finding words. 

“Correct,” James said with a nod. He sighed and continued, “And without it, we will have a difficult time maintaining ship production and repair. We believe that’s why the Dominion have established a foothold there. They showed up so fast and struck so hard that the people in the colonies there didn’t even have time to activate their planetary defense grid,” He explained. “I believe you have a Lieutenant Commander Melody Richards aboard, correct?” He asked. 

Tiffany nodded, “Yes, sir. She’s my Chief Sec/Tac.” 

“She’s why we chose you. Her advanced training from the Academy in Field Operations and Weapons Handling makes her a uniquely qualified candidate to run this operation on the ground,” He explained. “You’ll need to go to Sevury, drop in and deliver a strike team without alerting the Dominion forces to your presence, infiltrate the Federation HQ building that they have occupied and fortified, and activate the planetary defense grid from there to clear out their ships in orbit,” a beat, “Oh, and rescue any hostages you find.”

“Oh, is that all?” Tiffany replied, dryly. 

“This… is a joke, right? We caught a pirate, we’re rolling up on the anniversary of the Ali being commissioned or something? And you guys are playing a joke?… right?” Frankie asked, sounding like she was tryin to convince herself more than anyone else. 

“I wish it was, Commander,” The Commodore replied. “But unfortunately, it’s as real as it can be.”

Tiffany shook her head like she was trying to clear cobwebs, “Okay… You’ll send the full mission briefing?” She asked. 

“Of course. We’ve got a few Federation ships in orbit keeping the ships up there busy. They’ve been trying to provide ground scans and updated intel as much as possible, but that’s not easy with Dominion fighters crawling down your back side,” He replied.

Tiffany nodded, “Understood. We’ll take what we can get. Understand that it’s going to take us almost nine hours to get there from our current position,” She explained. 

“I understand, Captain. The Starfleet presence there currently is enough to keep them at bay for the time being. We figured that would give you ample time to come up with a plan to liberate the planet,” He explained. 

Tiffany nodded again, “We’ll do our best, Commodore.” 

“Of that, I have no doubt,” He said, offering a smile at last. “One last thing, Captain. The Dominion presence in our side of the galaxy is highly classified. Starfleet has gone to great lengths to cover this as a Breen insurgency, and until you hear otherwise from the Fourth Fleet, this mission should be considered highly classified, even from other groups of Starfleet. Understood?” 

Tiffany squinted at that, but nodded anyway, “Understood, sir. Not a problem,” She offered.

“Good. Then I’ll get the data transferred over and you guys can be on your way,” The Commodore replied, offering a salute. 

Tiffany returned the salute as the feed ended and then sat quietly for a moment. Her brain was struggling to grasp with idea of out-of-time Dominion forces taking over a planet, but here we were. The data was already starting to stream in from Starfleet. She couldn’t deny that it was happening no matter how much we want to. 

“This can’t be real,” Frankie said, incredulously. 

“Sorry, Frankie. I think it is,” Tiffany replied, rubbing her eyes with her thumb and forefinger. “Come on, XO,” She said, standing and motioning for Frankie to follow, “Let’s let the crew know. We don’t have any time to waste.” 

Tiffany stepped out from her ready room and caught the eyes of her Chief Sec/Tac and chuckled a bit, “Oh, Richards… Have we got a doozey for you…” 

Comments

  • Conspiracy and intrigue from the start! Man, you know how to kick things off with a bang. Love the seamless transition from the routine to the ridiculous with the 'insane' announcement of the attack on Sevury. I like the last line to the tactical officer, this is every Tact Officer's dream - a battle to test their mettle, but I bet this will be a doozey and a half. Tiffany is not only gorgeous, but sassy to boot. I think I may love her already... Great start, Alita is alive and kicking.

    May 5, 2023
  • Cromwell, A solid start! The dialogue feels natural, effectively showcasing the personalities and relationships between Captain Black, her superiors, and her Executive Officer. You have a gift for pacing yourself when you write. The stakes are high, and Alita's crew is faced with a seemingly impossible mission against a resurgent Dominion threat, which leaves the reader eager to find out what happens next. You have created healthy tension and uncertainty for the characters and readers alike. Captain Black is a strong and capable leader, and her interactions with Commodore Priest/ Frankie demonstrate her ability to handle high-pressure situations with determination and humor. The camaraderie and trust between Black and Frankie are evident, making their journey to liberate Sevury all the more engaging. I look forward to reading more.

    May 5, 2023
  • For a new ship, introducing a new crew, you've made a solid choice in walking us into this mission in media res. With just those few small snapshots of past escapades and damage to nacelles, you've conveyed these are real people with ongoing lives who the camera just hasn't happened to focus on before. It's helpful for building up stakes for what's to come; kudos for that! You're certainly handing Captain Black a challenging dragon to vanquish in the quest to take back Sevury. I can't wait to read how she's up for the task!

    May 5, 2023
  • I can't agree more with the previous comments. It is a wonderful start that blasted off introducing the new ship, new captain and a dangerous mission tangled already in secrets. The disbelief of your crew about this is only confirmation on how good Starfleet has covered this up. I look forward to seeing how your crew is going to take back Sevury and on what lengths they will go to accomplish this.

    May 5, 2023
  • The open jacket, the tea, and the brief summary of their escapades set the tone of this new command very nicely just within the first two paragraphs. The fist bump was also a succinct summary of the captain/xo dynamic, and I actually laughed out loud because that’s the exact same greeting I give to my brother-in-law every time I see him! Classic explosion-bump. :D The casual level of language used in the briefing also works very well considering the overall vibe of the ship, which reads to me right now as “we work hard, we play hard”, and it makes me look forward to seeing how this team tackles the challenge ahead of them.

    May 5, 2023
  • A great introduction! I particularly liked the interaction between the two women, showing a great sense of their friendship and personalities in just that one exchange. Add in a dash of conspiracy and intrigue, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

    May 6, 2023
  • A great start and an interesting crew. From the aftermath of a skirmish with pirates and congratulating each other; then the Commodores message. This mission they are about to embark on sounds like a really tough one!

    June 3, 2023