Part of USS Cantabras: The Array and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

The Suicide Mission

Alex Benson's Quarters, Cantabras
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“And… done,” Alex sighed and rubbed his eyes. He’d finally finished his last report on the Shining Hope mission. “I remembered what I hated about this job.” He stretched and yawned, now it was time to enjoy the starbase. No sooner did he start to stand than his console beeped. “Incoming Starfleet transmission?” Alex hit a button to connect the call and was met with the face of Fleet Captain Th’lora Vehl. “Captain, this is a surprise.”

We require the Cantabras for another mission.”

“Respectfully ma’am, the crew is less than 36 hours into their shore leave. The mission on Sitera was an especially rough shakedown mission for the crew.”

Yes, I heard about that. I understand your frustration Commander, but it’s imperative regardless.

Alex read through the preliminary orders, “I’m guessing it’s an immediate departure?”

Th’lora nodded, “Yes Commander. Vehl out.” The screen blinked and was replaced with the Starfleet logo.

Regrettably, Alex pushed a button to active the crew’s combadges, “Benson to Cantabras crew, we have a new mission. Return to the ship immediately.” And cut the channel.

The Cantabras’ crew sat around the table in the Briefing Room. Various looks of anger, disgust, and disappointment were on everyone’s faces.

“I don’t get it,” Logan piped up, breaking the silence. “They want us to go out again? We just got here. Besides, I was running hot at the Dabo table. I had the dealer right where I wanted them.”

“No you weren’t,” Priam spoke up. “You were losing… badly.”

Logan leaned back in his chair and smiled. “It’s all a part of the strategy Pri. You let the house thinks it’s got you by the shorts and then let down its guard. Then you start raking in the winnings.”

“Your gambling strategy sounds fascinating Carter, but let’s focus. I’m not happy about this either, but try to make the best of the situation.” Alex said. He pushed the button that brought up the mission briefing. “Our target is the Liakso Array telescope, located in-”

“The Arcania Cluster,” Logan interrupted.

“Yes, the Arcania Cluster,” Alex repeated. “You’ve heard of it?”

“Any pilot who’s worthy of flying has. They also know how much of a suicide mission it would be to go there. That place is a navigational nightmare!”

“Good thing we have an ace pilot with us,” Alex smirked, “or was that all talk?”

“Insulting my pride won’t win me over,” Logan leaned back in his chair. “I’m crazy, but I’m not stupid. Entering into the Cluster will be the end of us.”

“Look, it’s the mission we’ve been given. And imagine all the stories you’d be able to tell when we get back.”

“Stroking my ego won’t win me over either,” Logan sighed. “What’s the mission?”

“Like I said, the target is the Liakso Array telescope located in the Arcania Cluster. The Array has been seized by Dominion forces.”

A look of shock flashed across everyone’s faces. “The Dominion?” Carter said, “They haven’t been heard of since the war. What do they want with the Array?”

“Starfleet thinks its surveillance capabilities. It’s theorized they will use it to gain a tactical advantage against the Federation. And then coordinate strikes against Federation worlds. Our objective is to retake the Array and secure it. Failing that, we’ve been authorized to destroy it. Starfleet would prefer the former, but whatever it takes to keep it out of Dominion’s hands.”

“I would prefer the former too,” Priam piped up. “It’s a beautiful device, elegantly built.”

“If we need to, you can watch it be elegantly exploded into a million pieces.” Alex looked to Tani, “You’re uncharacteristically quiet.”

Tani blinked, “I’m with Carter on this. I think it’s a suicide mission. The Arcania Cluster notwithstanding, there’s not a whole lot this ship can do against a Dominion ship. But the Federation built the Liakso Array there for a reason. The astrophysicist in me desperately wants to explore it. And isn’t that the foundation of Starfleet? Exploration?”

“So we’re all in agreement then. We’re going to traverse the galaxy, probably die in the process, but if we don’t die, we’ll be able to drool over the sight of a rare telescope,” Alex recapped.

Carter raised his hand. “For the record, I don’t give a crap about the Array. I’m more concerned about the dying part.” 

“Your concern’s been noted,” Alex said. “Make whatever preparations you need, we’re out of here in ten. Dismissed.”

The crew left the table and filed out of the room, with a mixture of excitement and dread.

Comments

  • A nice little intro for the Cantabras into the Fleet Action. The crew's distaste for being called back from shore leave so soon shows how much it was needed and that they are probably running on close to empty. Then to be suddenly tossed into a mission with a dangerous outcome certainly would make them feel as apprehensive as they were during the briefing.

    May 20, 2023