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

O:SS – Chapter 2

U.S.S. Pioneer
March 2401
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“Do you think that Commander Daan already spoke with the Captain about what we said?”

Cassian shook his head as he sat with the chief medical officer in his small office, “I'm not sure, but she did seem like she listened to what we had to say and took it seriously.”

“I don't know why you just didn't read her mind and make sure.” 

“You know I don't do that unless I have permission.”

“You did it on Farpoint Station well enough.” Naran quipped back. He wasn't trying to intentionally antagonize the counselor, but he could feel it in his gut that this situation was something more serious that people were behaving, and it was frustrating to him that no one seemed to want to act with any kind of urgency. 

“Reading people's emotions and their private thoughts are two entirely different things.” Cassian knew he was starting to feel frustrated, and he would be lying if he didn't admit to at least himself if he wasn't feeling the same way, but they had to be careful in their approach. “Right now, all we have are suspicions, nothing more. If this all turns out to be nothing-”

“Do you honestly believe that.” Naran interrupted. 

“All I'm saying is we don't have enough information," Cassian started again, this time more firmly, “and we need to be extremely careful. I suggest we wait for Commander Daan to speak with the Captain and hear what he has to say.”

“Well, she's been on the bridge for over an hour, you would think we would have heard something by now." Naran paused before going on, “Maybe this is all just nothing.” Cassian was about to speak up when he heard the ship's speakers activate.

=^=Daan to all senior staff, report to the briefing room immediately.=^=

The two men, after looking up and listening to the message, returned their eyes to one another. They said nothing, but yet they didn't have to. In that brief instant, before they got up to make their way to the bridge, they knew what the other was thinking. Betazoid senses or not, they could both feel the tension and nervousness inside each other and the nervousness in the commander's tone, but at this point, all they could do was wait hope for the best. 


Kyth was last to arrive, walking into the briefing room to find everyone sitting around the table except for the Captain, who was standing near the window, his arms crossed while looking down towards the planet, and Commander Daan, who was standing at the wall terminal imputing data for the briefing. “I apologize for my tardiness, I was detained in the shuttlebay.” He shot off quickly before taking his seat. 

“Now that you're all here, for those of you who do not know me, I'm Captain Kosev Thiren.” He slowly turned away from the window and stood in front of his chair, uncrossing his arms and grabbing the back of his seat. “I apologize that this is the first meeting we are all having together as a new team and crew, this is not how I envisioned us starting this new journey together. Unfortunately, the circumstances are rather urgent and unavoidable.”

Cassian and Naran both looked at each other from across the table, almost as if they had confirmed their apprehensions and misgivings they had, before turning their looks back towards the Captain. 

Kosev pulled out his chair and took a seat before continuing, “A short while ago, I just received some urgent news and orders from Admiral's Ramar and Beckett." He pressed a few controls on the table in front of him and the holographic interface in the middle of the briefing room table came to life, displaying the details of the transmission for all to see. 

“As you can see, the Federation is under attack by the combined forces of the Breen," Kosev paused for a couple seconds, then pulled his head up from the console, looking at his officers and continued, “… and the Dominion.”

Everyone around the table, after scanning the reports on the display in front of them, looked at each other nervously before returning their attention to the Captain, “Dominion forces caught several Federation worlds and facilities totally by surprise and they have been overrun almost immediately."

Kosev pressed a few more controls and changed the holographic images before going on, “We don't know how they got here, but we do have a pretty good idea of why they're attacking us. Scans that Starfleet ships have taken of the Dominion fleet during their retreats seem to all confirm that these ships are from the year 2374.”

“The Lost Fleet.” Jack said aloud before he even realized it, “They're the Lost Fleet.”

“I'm sorry, what's the ‘Lost Fleet?’” Kyth asked, confused. He studied the Dominion war in history classes at the academy, of course, and felt ashamed he didn't know, but asked the question nevertheless. 

Commander Daan moved away from the wall terminal and made her way towards her seat, “The Lost Fleet was initially encountered by the U.S.S. Defiant in the Bajoran wormhole. According to the official statements from the crew of the Defiant, they just seemed to vanish right before their very eyes.”

“It was the Prophets,” Lieutenant Evani offered, confidently, “Captain Sisko was our people's Emissary, he made contact with the Prophets inside the wormhole and they removed the entire fleet from existence. I remember hearing the stories on Bajor.”

“Captain Sisko's official logs would seem to support your assertion.” Savar said, looking directly at Alia. 

“That's great that they intervened and saved the day, but how did the fleet reappear in the Deneb sector and why didn't they reappear in the wormhole?" Beya asked, “And for that matter, why did they reappear at all if the Prophets got rid of them?”

“Unfortunately, we don't know.” Commander Daan spoke up, “All we know is that this fleet has reappeared as if no time has passed at all, and they still believe there is a war on.”

“Would it not be prudent to send a ship into the Gamma quadrant to make contact with the Founders so they can officially end this conflict.” Savar asked, looking directly towards Daan. 

“Admiral Ramar has already done that, the Pioneer, however, has been tasked with a different mission of great importance." Kosev said, then he pressed a few more controls and shifted the holographic display. “Fourth Fleet Intelligence has discovered that the Dominion has reclaimed a rouge planet that they have dubbed Saxue. 

Unknown to the Federation alliance forces at the time, this planet contained a Ketracel-white production facility, which at the time was only a minor installation. However, given the current situation, Fourth Fleet Intelligence estimates it has enough manufacturing capability to support and grow the Jem'Hadar forces into unimaginable numbers.

The one piece of good news is that they appear to be slightly overconfident in their position, long range scans suggest no more than a dozen Jem'Hadar attack vessels scatters inside the nebula." Kosev shifted in his seat, “Our mission, officially, is to find this rouge planet, confirm the facilities location, and bring this information back to headquarters.” He clasped his hands together on the table while looking at his officers, “Unofficially, our mission is to find the facility and destroy it, if possible.”

“I don't understand," Jack spoke up, looking at his captain.

“I do. It has to do with what Cassian and I observed on Farpoint. If this is a major coordinated strike by the Breen and the Dominion, why are we just now learning about it? It should be all over the Federation News Network, but yet it isn't. And what little they are showing of this sector suggests that it is only minor border skirmishes with Breen forces.” Naran said, shifting his gaze from Cassian to Ginell. 

“Exactly.” Ginell said, acknowledging Naran and Cassian before going on, “We're not sure why Starfleet is reluctant to acknowledge this threat, but it is clear they are attempting to cover it up as nothing more than a minor border skirmish. They are insisting that Task Group 514 has the matter well in hand when the truth is they are completely overrun on all fronts and in full retreat.”

“Which is why Admiral Ramar has used his personal authority to mobilize the entire Fourth Fleet to combat this threat ourselves.” Kosev looked around the room and he could tell that his officers were worried, hell he was probably the most worried of them all, but they had a job to do and, like it or not, they've officially entered into a state of war. 

“This is precisely why we need to destroy that facility at all costs. With only the Fourth Fleet engaging the combined Breen and Dominion forces, we need to capitalize on every advantage we have to put an end to this conflict as quickly as possible. Once we destroy this facility, it will severely dampen the Jem'Hadar's ability to function, and it will hinder their ability to continue producing additional troops without the drug they need to sustain their forces. This is a break that the Fourth Fleet desperately needs to continue this fight.”

“I believe the main challenge will be getting through Dominion occupied space to reach this facility.” Savar pointed out, “Saxue, as the Dominion call it, is well behind enemy lines according to the most recent intelligence.”

“We had a thought about that.” Kosev said, nodding towards Ginell.

She pressed a few commands on the table and the holographic display molded again, revealing the image of a shield bubble, “It's called ‘Refractive Shielding.’ During our retrofit, I brushed up on the Intrepid-class design and the notable ships of her past, which lead me down a rather long rabbit hole. This technology, first discovered by the U.S.S. Voyager while they were stranded in the Delta quadrant, is of Devore design. Captain Janeway, after successfully using the technology themselves, put the specifications in her log. It won't work at close range, but it should provide ample cover from Jem'Hadar sensors, enough at least to get us to the nebula.”

“However, we must proceed with extreme caution. Let's not forget that the Jem'Hadar were adept at compensating for cloaking technology during the war.” Savar offered.

“Agreed, but we will take every advantage we can get. I have no doubt the Dominion will eventually compensate for these shields, but hopefully it will buy us enough of a running start to get to the nebula. Once inside, we will be invisible to the sensors.”

“There's also the problem once we're inside the nebula,” Beya said, looking through the mission briefing again, “it appears to be a standard Mutara class nebula, once inside sensors and shields will be very limited, but not totally disabled. I estimate we will not be able to scan more than ten thousand meters at most.”

“Timing will be critical, ten thousand meters does not give us a lot of time to avoid detection from the Jem'Hadar ships.” Savar said, this time looking at Kyth. 

“It shouldn't be a problem, sirs.” Kyth said, confidently. 

Kosev stood from his chair and looked around the room at his officers warmly, “I have the utmost confidence in each of your abilities. Why you ask? Because I hand picked you personally for this assignment.” He smiled, and received smiles from them in return, save from Savar, “If you haven't had time to read up on the history of this vessel, the Pioneer served with distinction in the Dominion war, winning every engagement she was apart of. Now, she finds herself again across the battlefield facing down this familiar foe. She will not fail us, and we will not fail her. We may not know each other very well yet… but I do know that there is no other officers in the fleet that I would rather have my back.”

Everyone around the room nodded as they met Kosev's eyes, finally landing on Ginell last, “We're with you, Captain.”

“Prepare all departments and inform the crew. We are at Yellow Alert until further notice. Savar, I want to prepare for the possibility that this ship may be boarded, ensure all crew are armed at all times. Naran and Cassian, prepare sickbay for the same. Alia, continuous long range scans, I want to know the second we detect any Breen or Dominion forces. Commander,” Kosev looked directly at Beya, “you and Jack have until we reach the Dominion border to bring the refractive shielding online. Ensign Nakav, set course for Saxue, maximum warp.”

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  • The paranoia sets in! Again, you do a good job of situating us right in with new characters, the disagreement helping show us as readers the basics of who they are quickly and effectively. This sequence has a lot of exposition - necessary to those who HAVEN'T read all of the mission briefings - but you do a good job in dialogue of keeping it characterful in terms of who says what, who asks what questions. Already we start to see bold ideas on how to proceed from the Pioneer crew! I look forward to blending SCIENCE and ADVENTURE!

    May 11, 2023
  • BOOM! We're in. After the drama of the first post, where we saw the crew shocked at the sudden emergence of the Breen as a threat, I get the feeling they have accepted their reality here, and that even the presence of the Dominion is not going to derail them. I'm loving how they are gelling together quite quickly 'on screen' and get the sense that they will work well together in the end, despite minor disagreements. As a new set of characters, I am enjoying how well you write them. Your briefing is to the point and offers everyone a chance to have their input. That facility doesn't stand a chance.

    May 14, 2023
  • Digging through Voyager's logs for sneaky ideas to use against the Dominion. Love it! Time to unleash Delta Quadrant shenanigans against the Jem'Hadar! I'm loving the idea as well of a ship that's fought the Dominion before, she'll do it again and dammit win like she did last time! Loving this crew as well. The whole "Lost Fleet?" piece was a perfect example of the everyman letting exposition come across naturally within the confines of the piece. Absolutely well done.

    May 20, 2023