Part of USS Pioneer: Mission 1 – Operation: Shadow Strike and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

O:SS – Chapter 1

U.S.S. Pioneer; Deneb Sector
March 2401
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“You have been staring at the board for twenty minutes, you do remember it is your move.”

“Yeah, yeah, I'm working on it.” Ginell replied snarkily, leaning forward in her chair as she continued to study the chess board. She had known Savar for years, both of them serving together on board the captain's previous command, the U.S.S. Bonchune. Yet in all that time, she had only ever managed to best him once - a feat that Savar downplays severely. 

Kosev sat at the table with his ale in hand, smirking as they went head to head for the hundredth time. 'I will say this for Ginell, she doesn't give up' he thought to himself as he continued to watch them study the board. 

“There. Your move.” Ginell said confidently as she finished moving her rook into place. Savar raised his right eyebrow slightly and took no more than two or three seconds to examine the board before moving his knight down a level to counter her move, saying only, “Check.”

The look of dismay on Ginell's face made Kosev start to laugh under his breath, “I don't know why you keep coming back for this punishment, you know it always ends the same way.” 

Ginell shot him a death glare, “I've beat h-” Kosev joined in and finished her sentence together, mockingly, “-im once. Yes, I remember… once… in nine years.” He laughed again, taking another sip of his ale as she jokingly waved him off and went back to studying her next move. 

=^=Bridge to Captain Thiren.=^=

Kosev, still relaxed and observing the match, recognized the voice of Lieutenant Commander Jack Sanders, who currently had the bridge during gamma shift, “Thiren here, go ahead.”

=^=Sir, we are approaching Farpoint Station.=^=

“Very well, signal the station of our arrival and assume standard orbit, Savar and I are on our way. Inform our crew transfers on the surface to prepare for transport, Commander Daan will meet them as they come aboard. Thiren out.” He set the glass down on the table and got up out of his chair, throwing his hands up, “Well, duty calls.”

“Then this game doesn't count.” Ginell said proudly, getting up and straightening her uniform before heading out towards the transporter room. Savar only exhaled, the Vulcan equivalent of rolling his eyes, as he got up and walked with Kosev as they made their way to the bridge. 

Stepping on the turbolift, Kosev issued the command ‘Bridge’ and the lift began moving towards their desired destination. “You know, you could let her win now and again.” Kosev said, turning to look at his Vulcan tactical officer. 

“I could, yes.” Savar replied dryly. 

“But then, that would ruin all the fun you're having, wouldn't it.” He laughed and exited the lift onto the bridge before Savar had a chance to protest. “Report.”

“We are in orbit of Farpoint Station, our officers are beaming aboard in a few minutes. Commander Daan is in the transporter room waiting for them.” Sanders said, getting up out of the captain's chair and moving back towards his post. 

“Very good Mr. Sanders.” He turned his attention to Savar, “After Commander Daan sees to our officers, I want to schedule a br-” He didn't get a chance to finish his thoughts before the computer cut him off.

=^=Captain Thiren, Priority One message from Starfleet Command coming in on secure channel.=^=

“In my ready room. Savar, you have the bridge.” He said before turning around and heading into his office. Reaching his desk, he sat down and activated his computer terminal, “Computer, Key Access 8-1-6-mark-3-7, Thiren, Kosev, Starfleet Priority Code Gamma… Decode.” He watched the terminal shift between a scattered mess of pixels into the Starfleet insignia before saying, “Display message.”

“What the hell..” He mumbled out loud to himself as he read the report. He almost didn't believe what he was reading. If it hadn't come in on such a secure channel, he might have assumed this was some kind of scam or prank, but the signatures from Admiral's Ramar and Beckett were genuine. As he continued to read over the documents, including the high priority mission they've assigned to the Pioneer, he got to the bottom where it said directly from Admiral Beckett ‘Trust only the Fourth Fleet.’ 

Kosev leaned back into his chair, bringing his hand up to his chin as he stared out the window towards the planet. The more he thought on it and processed the information, the more he couldn't accept what he just read. The only thing that kept repeating in his mind: How? How are they here? And why now? He shook his head, trying to discard those unhelpful thoughts, as he pulled up closer to his desk and began studying their mission plans. 

“Welcome to the U.S.S. Pioneer. I'm Commander Daan, ship's executive officer.” She said just as the re-materialization process completed, leaving Lieutenant's Evani, Broll, and Edren standing on the transporter pad, their belongings slung over their shoulder. She greeted each of them with a hand shake as they stepped down, then continued, “Well, if you'll follow me, I'll show you each to your quarters so you can get settled in.”

She moved out into the corridor with her entourage in tow, “If you all haven't already, I suggest you begin to familiarize yourselves with the schematics and specifications of the Intrepid-class starship. The Pioneer may be old, but she's just come off of a year long retrofit, bringing her internal systems and sensors to current date 2401 Starfleet technology.”

Stepping into a turbolift, she issued the command to the computer, “Deck six.” And the lift began moving towards their destination. Just as the doors closed, Alia, after looking at Cassian, turned towards Daan and asked, “Actually, Commander, I wanted to ask if you've heard any news about this sector?”

Confused, Ginell met eye contact with the Lieutenant and replied, “What do you mean?”

“Well, while we were at Farpoint Station, I overheard some officers talking about several sectors going dark, some have been cut off for days without contact being reestablished, but yet no one on the station seemed all that concerned.”

Cassian also spoke up, “On the contrary, I could feel a lot of tension among the senior staff. Something was bothering them, but no one would tell us anything. We turned on the Federation News Network and they are reporting business as usual.”

Now it was Naran who spoke up, “Not all business as usual. I did see a report while in medical that there was some kind of Breen attack along their border.”

“Hostilities with the Breen are hardly news, it didn't justify the feelings I felt from the senior staff. They almost felt… worried, scared." Cassian said, moving his look from Broll to the Commander. 

Ginell took in all of these reports before she finally chipped in, “I can tell you, I haven't seen any news regarding any incursions into this sector, Breen or otherwise. You have my assurances I will bring your concerns up with the Captain. In the meantime, get settled into your quarters. Here are your cabin assignments.” She handed out small PADDs to each of the officers as the lift doors opened, “Dismissed.” The young officers nodded as they exited the lift together.

The lift doors closed, Ginell issuing the destination ‘Bridge’ to the computer and the lift started moving once more. She didn't want to admit it, but what those officers said spooked her a little. If it were just one of them, that would have been a little easier to dismiss, but all three of them? She had a bad feeling there was something more going on. 

The lift stopped and Ginell walked out onto the bridge, giving Savar an uncharacteristic look that made him start to wonder what was wrong, as she walked directly towards the ready room, pressing the chime. “Who is it.” She heard from the other side. 

Confused, as usually Kosev lets her in on the first ring, she said, “Commander Daan.” 

A few more seconds went by before the doors opened, the captain sitting at his desk, his look and mood completely darkened from just a little while ago. After hearing what those young officers just had to say, and then seeing Thiren's face, it sent a chill down her spine. 

“What? What is it?”

“Close the doors, we have a lot to go over.”


  • Oooo what a good post to get the Pioneer involved at last. Kosev had the same reaction of 'Whaaaaaaat?!' that I imagine most people did. I loved the chilled nature of the start of the post, and then we move into the rumour mill working overdrive. What they saw on Farpoint, the lack of realisation or concern, is probably what we are all going to have to face and address moving forward. As you so ably reminded me, trust only the Fourth Fleet.

    May 8, 2023
  • That's a strong opening establishing these characters - which is always good when one of them is a Vulcan. Characterisation is often left by the wayside for them to just be, well, Vulcans. In just one scene, I have a very clear concept of Ginell in particular as a personality. I'm enjoying jumping into this crew at this point, though; they feel nice and settled as a group, with a good dynamic between them, and the newer ones are pretty effectively introduced in the orientation Ginell conducts later. Then the ominous ending! Strong stuff.

    May 11, 2023
  • A lovely introduction to the Pioneer crew! Quick, to the point, and in some cases literally an elevator pitch! But I got the gist and really enjoyed it. And making Savar stand out was a treat. To often Vulcans are just left as 'robotic emotionless being' but I came away with something else. "I could, yes," was a fantastic little line that helped sell me on Savar having some charm, at least to me as a reader. And a lovely little cliff hanger starting off the FA with the Captain bringing the XO up to speed.

    May 20, 2023