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Part of USS Valhalla: Mission 2: Ragnarök and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

(1) Lost But Not Forgotten

Starbase 86
MD 1
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Captain Órlaith Murphy walked through the parting doors of the Valhalla’s ready room, and familiar face sat behind the desk. Granted, it was an older face.  

“Long way from the Denver, aren’t we?” Aoife asked with a smile.

“You’ve gotten old,” Órlaith teased.

“You haven’t. Well, not much anyway.”

Órlaith shrugged,  “Good genetics.”

Aoife filled her cup with hot water. from a nearby pot. She tossed in a bag of English breakfast to let it steep. “Can I get you anything?”

“No, I’m good,” Órlaith said, sliding into a chair across from Aoife.  “I understand you requested me to be a part of this little squadron we got going on.”

“I did,” Aoife said impatiently, swirling the tea bag around in the cup. “I wanted someone I could trust and knew right from wrong.  It’s not everyone who would stand up to their family like you did. Lord knows I’m not sure I am that strong of conviction.”

Órlaith nodded, accepting the statement as a compliment. “So what brings us out to Starbase 86?”

“Have you heard of the lost fleet?”

Órlaith sat back. That was a loaded question.   At that point in the war, she hadn’t joined Denver yet and was still with her psychotic family.  She missed them, especially Ian, from time to time, but they needed stopping.

“We all have.  The Profits did something to them, and they vanished.”

Aoife nodded, “Yeah, well, they’re back.”

“Back!” Órlaith exclaimed.  “How?”

“Intelligence is a bit sparse so far, but five days ago, our listening post in the Denab Sector was attacked by the Dominion and Izar has fallen into their hands. It seems for whatever reason they went from the Bajorn wormhole in 2374 and ended up here in 2401. To them, it was in the blink of an eye.”

Órlaith sighed, “The Profits told Sisko there would be a recompense.   Maybe this is this final stage.”

“Maybe, but we don’t have the Klingons to back us up this time, and Romulans are certainly in no position to render aide. It’s just us, and it seems like the Breen and the Kzinti are taking an interest in this as well.”

“That should make things interesting. I imagine Command is mobilizing the whole Starfleet?”

“No, they aren’t taking it seriously.  Admiral Rumar is, but that means it’s just the Fourth Fleet.  We’ll use Drakus V as our base of operations, and we will patrol the surrounding systems, including our colony on Sheo III. Expect Breen,  expect the Dominion.   We may not officially be at war, but we better treat it as such.”

Órlaith frowned, not liking the sound of that. She suddenly wished she had left the kids with their father.  She and Cory were far from being on speaking terms, something that was mostly her fault. But they had always prioritized the kids, and taking them into a hostile area of space wasn’t keeping them safe.

“I will get Commander Hayden to schedule regular battle drills.”

“How is Erin?” Aoife asked, “I should be upset that you paoched her and my assistant chief Medical Officer, but they were your crew too, so I guess I can’t complain too much.”

“The Commander is adjusting well to her role as my XO.  The fact that she kept getting overlooked was a crime in itself. One I intended to rectify.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Aoife replied.  “I’m glad she’s with a captain I know too.”

Órlaith nodded. “And of you and Commander Halstead?”

“What about us?” Aoife demanded.

“You two lived together on Avalon for a year. It would be difficult not to develop feelings.  Especially for a man like him.”

“Órlaith Murphy!” Aoife exclaimed.

“Just saying.  If it was me pretending to be married to him, it would probably end up in us being really married.”

Aoife frowned, “And that is why you are divorced.”

Órlaith shrugged,  “Yeah, I rushed into it, but that wasn’t my biggest mistake.   My biggest mistake was trying to salvage it for all those years. Don’t get me wrong, I love Xander, but getting pregnant with him while Cory and I basically hated each other… yeah, that was a mistake. I should have let him walk after Mindy was born like he wanted to.  Keeping him tied to me just made him resent me, and I didn’t handle that well at all.”

“You got your parents in you like it or not. They didn’t know when to quit either.”

Órlaith made a single nod of agreement,  “Quitting isn’t in my nature, that’s for sure.”

Aoife stood up, “It’s good to see you again old friend.  We’ll head out for the Denab Sector tomorrow at 05:00. Make sure your crew is ready.”

Órlaith nodded, “Of course. See you later.”  She turned and walked out of the ready room her head swimming with thoughts of recent events. 

Comments

  • Aww a reference to Outpost Houtman is so much appreciated <3 I love how the Valhalla is introducing itself to the situation and how Aoife showing off her years of experience as a Captain. Lovely introduction and I look forward to more!

    May 5, 2023
  • As a new reader of yours, I am intrigued by the relationship between these characters, and how that is going to impact their different commands moving forward. As the former Captain of Prometheus Squadron, I am delighted to see another unit using the configuration I had. A Prometheus and an Intrepid should make for an interesting team during this mission. And any reference to DS9, the Prophets and the Emissary is a welcome one in my eyes. Great start, can't wait for more. I wonder how the rest of your characters will take it?

    May 5, 2023
  • You have got my attention with the further rise of Valhalla Squadron. As long as I've been reading your stories, Aoife has been lost in Avalon. It's all the more satisfying to have her back in command of a starship with everything new she's learned that she never would have experienced otherwise. I'm here for the soap opera. Órlaith's self-awareness is really refreshing. I love a character who can see the mistake they're going to make and probably can't avoid the mistake anyway. "If it was me pretending to be married to him, it would probably end up in us being really married" really made me laugh!

    May 6, 2023
  • Oh, I like this. The interaction between the two characters, who obvious know and are comfortable with each other, is wonderful. The line ‘You’ve gotten old’ made me chuckle. It was great to see the squadron being formed, but from the point of view of two old friends rather than a formal thing. And a great bit of backstory / history woven in there as well. Great intro and I can’t wait to see where you take it!

    May 6, 2023
  • Thank you all for the amazing comments. @Romaes Anjin, Órlaith’s backstory and origin is far too complicated here, and is played out in the 3 part Mission 4 on Denver. Thr Cliffs Notes version is she and Aoife served together on the Denver during the Dominion War.

    May 6, 2023