“What do you mean my ship is being decommissioned?” Azras said looking at Commodore Jori with confusion written all over her face as she sat there at her desk trying to process what she had been told. She began to wonder if something had happened that she wasn’t aware of while she was on Trill. She was currently onboard the USS Oneida heading back to Starbase 93 where the Saratoga was currently docked at one of the drydocks.
Jori could see the concern and confusion on Azras face, she knew that she wouldn’t take this very well. “She sustained extensive damage that would take months to repair, I’ll send you the report from the engineers.” Jori replied looking at the older Trill, “instead we will be assigning you to the new USS Saratoga, an Obena-class explorer. She’s just as capable as the Odyssey,” Jori replied looking at her somberly.
She sat there looking off into the bleak of the room, processing what she was hearing. She would have to read the report after she was finished, the Obena-class resembled that of an Excelsior-class but yet bigger. It was still a sought-after capital ship, though just not on the magnitude of the Odyssey. Shaking her head to bring her back to the present, “does the crew know yet?” Azras finally asked breaking the silence that once filled the room.
“Yes,” Jori replied “she is already at Starbase 93 waiting for you to arrive, they should have already transferred over. They are just waiting on you,” Jori replied as they were informed a few days prior. She just didn’t want to bother Azras while she was still dealing with personal things.
She was surprised that her crew all knew before her but she brushed that aside as she figured she didn’t want to disturb her while she was on leave. “Understood,” Azras replied with a sigh. “Is there anything else?” Azras asked as she adjusted in her chair looking at the Commodore.
“No not..,” Jori replied before pausing as she knew she was forgetting something. “I just about forgot to mention that the USS Knight an Edison-class under the command of Commander Rayu Isha will be assigned to your squadron as well.” She said with a smile as Azras nodded in understanding. “Again sorry about the Saratoga, she will continue to carry on its legacy.” She said before the screen went black.
Azras sat there as they traveled toward Starbase 93, she was still processing everything that the commodore had told her. Standing up from her chair she walked over to the small window looking out as they traveled at warp. Stars streaked by at a rapid rate, she knew change was always possible she had been on many different ships over the years. This would be no different, though she was glad that the name stayed the same.
Walking back over to her chair she sat down and brought up the report from the station’s maintenance engineers had to say about the damages to the previous Saratoga. She raised an eyebrow, there seemed to be a huge malfunction of the shielding system and the damage was extensive. After she read the report she closed it out and sat there until the chirp of the comm channel went off and a few moments later the ship dropped out of warp.
“Sir we have arrived at Starbase 93,” Ensign Sato replied.
“Thank you,” Azras said as she walked out onto the bridge as the USS Saratoga came into view. The new Obena-class ship was a beautiful class to behold, “welcome to our new home.” Azras replied as Sato looked at her for a moment.
“Indeed,” Emily replied.
It had been a few weeks since the change in ship class for the Saratoga, everyone seemed to be settling in and getting used to their new posting. Though things were still comfortable and the ship had a lot of amenities though it wouldn’t be the same as the Odyssey-class was. The ship was busy as they were currently sitting at Starbase 38 above Barzan II along with the Gagarin and the Knight gathering supplies.
Azras was sitting in her ready room going over the latest intelligence reports of the Lost Fleet, her head was hurting. She thought she would never live to see the Dominion again, let alone displaced ones who seemed to have occupied the Deneb sector. To see that FNN is calling this nothing but a Breen skirmish and Starfleet Command refusing to acknowledge this for what it was. It was Fleet Admiral Teylas Ramar who believed it was that of the Dominion and was sending all Fourth Fleet ships to the fight.
Standing up from her chair walking over to the window that was on the far side of her office near an adjoining bookshelf and a couch in front of the window for lounging. Standing there she looked out to see other ships coming and going from the station. She knew the cost of war, she knew what she was about to order her crew into. A good majority were never a part of the Dominion War, now they would have to fight them again.
“Sir you have an incoming priority one communication,” came the voice of Ritru over the comm channel.
Breaking her out of her trance, blinking a few times before turning back towards her desk. “Put it through to my ready room,” Azras ordered before sitting down. A few moments later the screen changed to see that of Commodore Imya Jori. She knew they were about to receive their orders, she was prepared. “Good morning Commodore,” Azras said as she put on a fake smile as she addressed her superior officer.
Imya smiled in return, “I wish this conversation was on better circumstances than what we are currently facing.” Jori bluntly replied even though she hated having to make these orders but it was a necessity that she had learned to just accept. Sending them into a fight with their old adversaries, for some again others would be their first taste of the Jem’Hadar.
Jori tapped a few buttons on her console that was located on her desk, sending Azras all the information and intelligence they had on the mission she was about to send them on. “I am sending you and your squadron into enemy space,” Jori began as she explained the mission and what was at stake. Once she finished speaking she looked at her for a brief moment, “any questions?” Jori asked finally.
Azras had listened intently to all that Jori was saying, thinking about the dangers that would lie ahead of them. This was going to be a dangerous mission for all ships involved, but crippling the fleet yards would help them. As they depended on them, so much more was riding on the success of this mission. “Not at this time, I understand our assignment,” Azras replied with a somber look on her face before putting on another fake smile.
“May god speed Captain,” Jori responded. “Only trust the Fourth Fleet,” is all she said before the screen went dark.
Closing her eyes for a moment to collect her thoughts, especially about what the Commodore had to say at the end of their conversation. “Commander Ritru send word to both Captain Derohl and Commander Rayu to report to the Saratoga’s observation lounge in thirty minutes,” Azras said even though her eyes were still closed.
“Aye sir,” Ritru responded.
After a while, she opened her eyes to bring up the information that Commodore Jori had sent over. She began studying to come up with a game plan to present to her squadron commanders. Twenty minutes later she had finished, getting up from her chair she made her way to the observation lounge.
Upon arrival, she sat down at the head of the table bringing up the information needed while she waited for the two to arrive. After she finished she stood up from the chair she was sitting at and walked over to one of the windows that adjourned the wall on her right side. Standing there she looked out while she waited, lost in thought until the doors finally parted to reveal both commanders who had walked over to take their seats. She stood there for a few seconds more before turning around and joining the two at the table.
“Thank you for coming,” Azras replied as she looked at the two. “I just received our orders,” Azras began as she pulled up the current map of the area in question. “We are being sent into Breen territory to cripple the Lungurn Fleet Yards,” she began which caused both Tajir and Isha to look at each other for a moment before returning their attention to Azras.
“The Breen have handed the old Fleet Yards over to the Dominion, to help with repairing their ships.” Azras continued to speak, “crippling them will strike a major blow to the Dominion. It will not be an easy task to complete as the system is well defended not only by the Breen and Dominion but also weapons platforms.” Azras finished speaking giving a bit of time for the two to ask questions before she went on with their plan.
Commander Rayu sat there adjusting in her chair, “please tell us you have a plan or this will just be a suicide run.” Isha countered she might be new to the squadron but she knew what occupation was like having been through the Cardassian occupation even though she was just a young child when it ended.
Azras looked at the commander a bit thrown back by her bluntness, she respected that in the commanders under her command. “Yes,” Azras said as she swiped right to bring up another set of information. “We will be traveling from Starbase 38 to the Ciater Nebula where we will be traveling through to help mask our ships.” Azras began as the two listen carefully.
“Though we will need to make modifications to our ships which I have already sent those modifications to your chief engineers,” Azras said before moving on to the next point of the plan. “Once we arrive at Ciater, Tajir you will dispatch your fighter unit to team up with the Knight. They will enter the nebula first, gathering information about the movements of the Dominion and Breen ships in the area.” She replied pausing for a brief moment before continuing, “Commander Rayu will report back with their findings. The Saratoga and Gagarin will enter shortly after.” She finished looking at them.
“Once we have reached the exit of the nebula, the Knight and fighters will go after the weapons platforms to take them out.” Azras replied, “while the Saratoga and Gagarin will engage with the enemy ships that will be in the area.” Azras explained before looking at Tajir, “from what intelligence reports I received about Lungurn is that it is believed that the Fleet Yards are tied together to help keep them operational even when they were not in use after the Dominion War. It seems with the arrival of the Dominion, they were able to bring the remaining facilities online. There is no reason to think that they are still not connected to and run by the command and control center. I need you to send your hazard team to the control center to sabotage those systems.” Azras began explaining, “once your team successfully sabotages their systems bringing them down the Gagarin will break away from the Saratoga once your team has returned, I want you to destroy the command and control center as well as many fleet yards and asteroid bases as you can.” Azras finished.
“Commander Rayu once you have taken out those weapons platforms team up with the Gagarin to assist them. The Saratoga will hold off the enemy ships as long as possible,” Azras said as Rayu nodded.
“Once we finished we will make a retreat back through the nebula,” Azras finished with her briefing. “Any questions?” She asked looking at the two.
“This is a crazy plan, do you think that it will work?” Tajir asked.
“We have to make it work, if we have to adjust that plan as we go we will but we have to succeed one way or another or we will never get an upper hand in this fight,” Azras replied.
“You know they are going to call for backup once they realize we’re there,” Rayu responded.
“I will be having my engineers come up with a way to jam their communication right as we enter their system,” Azras said though that would only delay the inevitable as once the rest of the fleet realizes they lost contact they will send ships to investigate. “Though hopefully, we can finish our mission before backup arrives,” she replied.
“We will be prepared,” Tajir spoke up as Rayu nodded in agreement.
Azras looked at both of them, “I know that this is a lot being asked of us and our crews. Some have been through the Dominion War, while others only have read it in history books or stories from veterans of that war. This will not be easy, facing an old adversary and now with Breen’s involvement.” She said looking at the two commanders. “Make peace with what we are about to face now, or this will eat you alive by the end.” She finished looking at the two.
“We leave immediately, prepare your ships and crew for what lay ahead of us. Dismissed,” Azras replied as the two officers stood up to leave before being stopped right before the door, she was going to give them the same warning as Commodore Jori left her. “Trust only the Fourth Fleet,” Azras said as the others looked at her for a brief moment before nodding and leaving the observation lounge to head back to their respective ships to prepare for departure.
She sat there with her eyes closed for a few moments after their departure before getting up and walking onto the bridge. She still needed to brief her crew on their mission, which would wait until after they are underway. Those that were on the bridge knew they were off to battle even though they didn’t know exactly what their mission was.
“Captain Derohl and Commander Rayu are back onboard their ships and are reporting they are ready for departure,” Ritru replied breaking the silence while looking at the captain.
Azras nodded before looking at Deza, “set a course for the Ciater Nebula at maximum warp.” Azras ordered.
Deza looked at her with a somber expression as she knew, “aye sir.” Airje replied as a few moments later the three ships backed safely away from Starbase 38 and went to warp. She would now address her crew about what they were going up against and their mission, to begin preparations for battle before arriving at the nebula. Which would be several hours out, they had time to prepare as best they could.