Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Part of Roosevelt Station: The Fall of Roosevelt Station and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

01: They are Coming

Roosevelt Station
2401
0 likes 516 views

The command chair in Roosevelt Station’s Operations center was more akin to a throne than anything that Starfleet had ever installed on one of its ships, a place for the Thots who built the station to sit and command armadas from well behind the lines. For Karinu, tall even for a Kelpien, it was also the nearest thing to a comfortable seat she had found on duty in her entire Starfleet career.

Alpha Shift worked efficiently, as they always did, though little seemed to be happening this particular morning. Lieutenant Commander T’Ren debated fine points of law with Arbiter Keyere, while Lieutenant Commander Kron and Ensign Hawke discussed the ethics of warfare in frontier space.

All work got done, and the banter across Ops warmed the cold Breen-built space.

“Commander!” Hawke called out, turning in her seat. Her eyes were bright and blue, her hair short-cropped, and her dialect occasionally took a twist into the archaic, but she was probably the best engineer in the fleet at convincing Breen, Dominion, and Starfleet technology to work together. “The Lieutenant Commander insists that pacification of potential hostiles is a legitimate use of force, while I…”

She trailed off, eyes widening as she gazed at Karinu. “Commander?”

Karinu’s hand reached up, brushed the line of her skull. Twisting, twitching, her threat ganglia extended, and she closed her eyes. Death came. Death came, as vividly as she had ever felt it.

Ops fell silent. No one served with a Kelpien commander without knowing what this meant.

No alerts sounded. No pings, no explosions. Karinu rose. “Keyere, access your contacts. I will contact Starfleet.”

The crew went to their work, the Arbiter leaving via the turbolift. And Karinu stepped into her office. The seat there was made for a human, less comfortable than the one in Ops, but it did swivel, which let her turn to face the large screen on the stone wall to start her work.

Her first four calls, to other local commanders and civilians, accomplished very little. But then came the message from Admiral Beckett. By the eighth, she was starting to wonder if her threat ganglia were infected; by the twelfth, with three in a row returning no contact, she was certain they were not.

The man was difficult to get along with, next to impossible to put up with. But when he was afraid, it was always justified, and, while he disguised it well, no human could hide fear in his voice from a Kelpien. She listened to the message, then drew a breath.

Trust only the Fourth Fleet.

Karinu hit her call button. “Senior staff and the Arbiter to the command office immediately.”


It was less than ten minutes later when the staff was gathered. T’Ren and Kron sat opposite her, Hawke and Keyere flanking them. Karinu waited for everyone to be seated before she spoke.

“We do not know how or why,” she said. “But at least a part of the Dominion fleet that vanished in the Bajoran wormhole has returned. From what I have been able to gather, they have been attacking Starfleet ships and facilities, as well as civilian assets. They have been seen working alongside the Breen, and have not responded to hails.” She exhaled slowly, then met each of their eyes. “What I say next is not to leave this room. I tell you because you need to know, for the jobs you will do.”

Keyere raised an eyebrow. “I am not a Starfleet officer, Commander, and the law is the law. I will not…”

“It is not classified,” Karinu said. “It cannot be, because it is not officially acknowledged. We should expect little backup. Starfleet Command has denied the attacks, and is insisting they are the acts of rogue elements in the Breen government. Admiral Beckett is investigating why, but… he says to only trust the Fourth Fleet. That no one else is safe to trust.”

The words settled into place, and the room was silent for a long moment. Hawke was the first to speak. “Empty the bag, Commander. What’s coming?”

Karinu offered her youngest officer a small smile. “They will come here. I have no doubt of that. They will come here in force. I have already contacted local Fourth Fleet assets for backup, but I cannot be certain they will arrive in time, or that enough will be available. We don’t have time to evacuate the station. The best case scenario is that they are intelligent… they come, hit the station, destroy our communications and sensor arrays to deny Starfleet our logistical support, blow the shuttlebay to keep us from repairing them quickly, and move on.”

“What is the alternative?” T’Ren asked?

“They take the station.” It was Kron speaking, the blue of his uniform a contrast to his firm Klingon voice. “They board via the Long Shaft and the shuttlebay. Our position is strong, our crew well trained. They will pay in blood for every corridor, ten or more Jem’hadar dead for every one of our officers killed. But the Dominion’s tactics account for losses like that. They will take the station, and they will kill everyone on board, should they choose to board.”

Karinu nodded. “We have to be ready. Arbiter…” She looked at Keyere, the woman’s pure white robes the sign of her office as judge and priest. “See to your people. Everyone else, prepare the station for combat. We have a maximum of twelve hours. They are coming.”

Comments

  • Oh this is interesting to read, the lost fleet will be knocking at the door and the station has to do anything to defend itself. Wonderful introduction to the setting of the story. Looking forward to more

    May 6, 2023
  • Now this is a welcome change from all the starships out there, and how they are dealing with the ensuing conflict. Your crew have got nowhere to go, no means of escape. The enemy are coming, and your team have so little time to prepare. I can't wait to see how they cope. I'm getting real 'The Way of the Warrior' type vibes here, and secretly hoping for such. I'd hate for Roosevelt to be taken by the Dominion the way DS9 was. I'm excited! Watch that Lagashi... there's something fishy about him...

    May 7, 2023
  • You've done such an effective job of portraying that gradual creeping dread through turns of phrase, Karinu's small character moments, and pacing. This one had really good pacing. "No human could hide fear in his voice from a Kelpien" frankly needs to be on a tee-shirt, but it also gives me that ooky feeling in the pit of my stomach. Like, something bad bad is coming. And then you turn it around and give Karinu such a rallying cry of a speech. A speech like that could carry ME into battle; it was so well said!

    May 8, 2023
  • No where to run, no way to hide and the enemy know almost everything about the station because they build it! Possibly one of the worst situations to be in. Prepare for the worst and hope for something better. A good start, I will read the rest as it unfolds with interest.

    May 23, 2023