Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Part of USS Mariner: M1: Into The Gamma Quadrant and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

2) The Weight of Command

USS Mariner - Ready Room
March 2401
0 likes 570 views

The room was dimmed in its lights, so dimmed that the wall console light reflections of moving statistic information would be noticeable. The stars were moving past the window as the Mariner had made an emergency departure with all crew accounted for. In the seat at the captain’s desk sat Sazra, fiddling with a pencil in her right hand, staring into the moving stars. In front of her was the PADD that Captain Takato had given her, which came straight from the Intelligence branch of the Fourth Fleet. It was still sealed, but Sazra had taken a glimpse of the given situation and the urgency of their mission. 

Thought the Mariner was a state of the art and might be the best that Starfleet had to give. To be given command of such a fine ship was beyond her. Did she earn this truly, or was it related to the mission at hand? But one thing she was sure off, the weight of this mission was very present, and she had to share it with those she entrusted her life with. 

Her train of thought was broken due to the chime that went off. She sighed briefly and stopped fiddling, placing the pen on the table. “Come on in” She stared out the window as Sazra knew who entered the room. 

The door closed as the two officers stood at attention, looking slightly confused at each other when one spoke. “Reporting as ordered, the Mariner is on its way to Deep Space 9 on warp 8 per your request” Silina spoke when looking back at Sazra, trying to figure out what was happening. 

“Good. What is your opinion of her so far, Commander Valerio?” Sazra still didn’t turn her attention to them as her facial expression gave away that she was trying to formulate something in her head. 

Adrián blinked and shrugged. “Well, she is a fine ship. Her engines are unbelievably durable, and she still smells like fresh from the shipyard even though she is already a few months old. The ship is a shining marble of incredible technology. She is designed for what she is supposed to do, which is deep space exploration with scientific end goals. Is that what we are going to do? Starfleet Command finally gave us something that we have fought for so long?”  

“What is going on, Captain?” Silina asked now in a more worried voice.

Her eyes looked at Silina as she turned to them. “Answer me these two questions, no questions asked Silina. When we met in the academy, what class did I always try to get out of? Second question, what did you tell me when you found me at the Broken Wing prison?” Sazra looked at her, waiting for the answers. 

Looking at Adrián and then back at Sazra, “What is….”  She saw that Sazra wanted to hear the answers that hit her deeply. Silina feels slightly uncomfortable about the given vibe but nods slowly. “You always tried to get out of first aid class and tried your best to convince me because you were too shy to do CPR on someone, afraid your first kiss would be taken”  

A small crack of laugh came from Adrián as he snapped back to the attention feeling the burning eyes of both Silina and Sazra at him “Sorry…” He mutters as he looks away for a second.

“The second one…”  Silina scratches the back of her head. “I was sorry that I took so long to get to you. If I were faster there, you wouldn’t have suffered so badly or even lost that eye. I still feel that guilt every day, and if this is some sick joke to get back at me for it, then I might consider reassignment”  

Letting a soft smile go for a second, Sazra looked at Adrián. “Commander, tell me what my original expectation was before I got the Jaxartes for my scientific mission to the Typhon Expanse. And secondly, what did you tell me before we arrived at the grid in Delta Quadrant when we had a moment?”

Adrián thought for a moment and nodded a bit. “The first would be that you expected to get at least a Nebula class ship to serve your needs. But was highly disappointed with the Raven class you received. When you told me this, I laughed my ass off and made you quickly realize that you were still a bloody Ensign, and they would not give such a ship to you at that time” 

“Really?” Silina lets out a good amount of surprise, confused, but snaps back to attention.

Giving Silina a smirk, and continues, “The second one is that I told you whatever happened. We face it together. For so many years, the rest of the crew, or I will follow you blindly, and I do not regret any of those words” Adrián stood more firm when saying that as if he wanted to bring over a point. 

“Alright, good enough for me. Computer seals the room on authorization” The computer bleeps on Sazra’s orders as she taps onto the PADD as it bleeps “State your authorization codes…both of you” She looked seriously at them.

Wanting to ask what was happening, she knew it would only happen after she agreed to Sazra’s terms. Nodding to her, “88-Delta-134- Bravo” Silina stated as the computer beeped. 

“71-Gamma-15-Omega” Adrián followed up as another bleep came from the computer, releasing the seal on the PADD. A holographic image appeared with various information on it. It stated the attack in the Deneb system, the potential theory of Breen and Dominion working together, and the return of the so-called Lost Fleet.

A voice came through, “Captain Kobahl, what you are about to hear is a classified mission briefing of the situation we are currently facing. About forty-eight hours ago, the mythical fleet deemed lost in the Dominion War reappeared and wreaked havoc in the Deneb system and surrounding areas. Starfleet Command has dismissed this intel and used the FNS to spread the lie that it is merely Breen Skirmishes” It showed various news sources in the holo view. 

“The Fourth Fleet” The logo appeared, “Is going against Starfleet Command orders to stand down and has relocated all available forces to the Deneb system to give support where possible. To put an end to this enormous force is to call in favors. You are recommended by your former Task Force Commanding Officer, Captain Takato, as trustworthy. Your records and current status of being joined also support this recommendation.” 

Another two logos appear, the Dominion and the Gamma Quadrant “We will trust on your judgment to whom you trust this full briefing. But to those you feel constrained or conflicted about, state the following. You are to go to the Gamma Quadrant to find likable allies that are known to the Dominion that could potentially help us slow them down”

“You have Commander Ruslanovna and Commander Valerio in your presence, that have confirmed their identity. Do you trust them with your true purpose of this mission Captain Kobahl?” The voice waited for final confirmation.

Sazra smirks a bit at that comment. “It would defeat the goal of this meeting if I didn’t allow them in. Plus, you just told them it’s not the true mission so that ship burned already. Anyway, yes, I trust them with my life and beyond that even” Sazra gave a reassuring smile to them.

“The true mission of the USS Mariner is to travel to the Gamma Quadrant and find the Dominion. Get in contact with them, explain the situation we are currently in, and convince them to come to Alpha Quadrant to stop this fleet from progressing any further. We must warn you that after the Dominion War, all communication with the Dominion ceased. They held onto their agreement and retreated further back. Good luck, Captain Kobahl” The voice cuts off as the display disappears with a simple wave from Sazra.

The room went quiet as Silina tried to grasp the situation. “Oh fuck…” She walked to the window and placed her hands in her hair, trying to calm her emotions. “This got to be a joke, they send a Starfleet ship into a region that has not been touched since the Dominion War?”  She puts her hands down. “Are they crazy…”  

Looking a bit surprised at Silina, “Never heard you curse before, new kind of experience, I say” Adrián blinked a bit, crossing his arms over each other.

Silina looked back at him. “Are you for real now….did you not just hear the briefing? We are being sent to the Gamma Quadrant, and we have no idea what to expect when we arrive there. But you are confused or enlightened about the fact that I curse?” Silina shrugs. “What’s wrong with you?” 

He raised a finger to her. “I can ask you the same thing, I am trying to break the tension here, Silina. We will not succeed if we are going to stress about it. Sure, it is a difficult assignment, but we must focus right now. What do you think? That our Captain is not troubled about this mission? Come on, we know each other longer than we care to admit”  

Feeling the stare of Silina, Sazra nodded to the confirmation of Adrián “He is right. I have been troubled about this mission since the moment I saw it. We must stay calm, seeing that this mission doesn’t come lightly and not from Starfleet Command. We have to face the music and get this done as best and quickly as possible,” Sazra shrugs. “Izar has already fallen. The Dominion and Breen are aiming at more planets.” 

“That is why you requested an immediate launch of the ship. But will we truly lie against the senior staff about this mission?” Silina now crossed her arms and looked at them. “I mean…we worked with them for years. We can trust them, right?” 

Sazra shrugs. “Yes and no. I understand your perspective, but, we can’t take the risk now. I go with the approach the fewer knows, the best outcome” Sazra sits back in her chair. “Keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, but do not act upon it. Rather, inform me about it. For now, you guys know about this, I will brief the crew as soon as I can” 

“What about Deep Space 9? They will not let us pass through the gate that easy” Adrián stated, an obvious concern.

Shaking her head, “We will face that hurdle when we arrive. It takes another day before we arrive there. For now, dismissed. Computer open room” A bleep was heard as the two officers nodded to her and left the room. The door closed as Sazra closed her eyes to take a deep breath and tried to calm down herself. 

Comments

  • As someone who loves stories full of intrigue, love the way you opened this mission. The personal questions as identity verification were a nice touch to let me learn a bit about the characters, and I appreciate the mission inside the mission, the split of the senior staff, and the foreshadowing of the challenges to come. How will they get past DS9? What will they find on the other side? What state is the 2401 Dominion in? And, in parallel to the plot, what will the crew’s reactions to this whole thing be? Look forward to following along with this adventure.

    May 7, 2023
  • I second the opinion the personal questions, and I like the intrigue. I'm wondering what issues it will cause as the rest of the crew realizes that the mission briefing they got was not correct... I'll be interested to see where this story goes from here :)

    May 7, 2023
  • Ooooh I like the way Sazra thinks. Establishing that her crew are who they say they are was a nice touch and enabled a bit of backstory there, and I liked the fact that the information revealed was also something new to the other officers as well. Lots of questions raised here, and I’m looking forward to seeing them answered!

    May 7, 2023
  • Given all the upheaval in Sazra's life lately, I appreciated the apprehensions she has about why she was giving command of this ship. It's such a natural worry to wonder if she really earned it or if someone else was pulling some strings. The Mariner's mission to the Gamma Quadrant is an exciting one. I'm intrigued by Sazra's choice to lie to the rest of the senior staff about the true mission. Having followed their adventures, going back to Jaxartes, it's no surprise that Silina and Valerie are the only ones Sazra can truly trust, but they're going to be in some uncomfortable situations moving forward with the rest of the crew in the dark. I wonder if any of them will have feelings about that after when they find out the truth.

    May 8, 2023
  • The way this mission opened was intense! I could feel the tension as the captain asked the questions to verify her most trusted officers, very nicely written! I also liked the panic and apprehension as they discussed the mission, can’t wait to read more in this series!

    May 10, 2023
  • The rapport between Sazra and Salina is expertly portrayed. I like where that Dominion mission. So many options, and could seriously go sideways in the best best way. Great post.

    May 11, 2023
  • I like the idea that the moment the Dominion is back in play everyone becomes paranoid again. We think everyone's got better by the end of the war but it's so easy to slip back into paranoia and not trust your trusted allies. Excellent tone setting for a story full of intrigue, especially for a captain still getting over a trauma involving the truth of her own identity.

    May 18, 2023