Part of USS Sovereign: Shadows of the Past and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

One: Before the Dawn

En route to mission area
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Space… the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Sovereign. Its mission: to safeguard the United Federation of Planets, stand firm against the encroaching darkness, and confront a resurgent threat from the shadows of our past. The Dominion, once a formidable foe, has returned. Nearly three decades since the end of the war, they are back, and their intentions remain unclear. The peace we’ve known is trembling on a knife’s edge, and it is our duty to ensure it does not shatter. The Sovereign and its crew stand ready to face this challenge, to protect the Federation and all it stands for.”

The night was tranquil aboard the USS Sovereign as it cruised through space at warp seven toward harm’s way.

 Captain Leland J. Maddox lay on his couch in his ready room just off the main bridge, shrouded in darkness. At 1.93 meters tall, Captain Maddox is an imposing figure with grey hair, sharp features, piercing eyes, discerning intellect, a well-built frame, and a fierce military bearing that speaks to his thirty years of experience across many theaters in the Federation Starfleet. He is a force to be reckoned with, known for his air of confidence and authority that commands respect, and an unwavering ability to get things done, no matter the cost.

He stared at the ceiling, replaying the harrowing events that had led him to assume command of the Sovereign. Just ten days prior, Captain Maddox and the crew of the USS Pandora had been escorting a humanitarian convoy to a neutral planet inside The Triangle when a squadron of Dominion attack ships ambushed them. The Dominion’s sudden return had caught Starfleet off-guard, and Pandora was now in the crosshairs of this new threat.

The ensuing battle was fierce and unforgiving. Maddox had pushed Pandora and her crew to their limits, utilizing every ounce of his strategic genius to stave off the Dominion forces. Despite the overwhelming odds, Maddox and his crew managed to fight off the enemy, ultimately destroying the Dominion squadron. But it came at a terrible cost; the Pandora was crippled, and many of her crew lay dead or injured; Operations Officer Johnson and Senior Medical Officer Th’resh among the dead.

As he lay there, the weight of responsibility pressed heavily on Maddox’s chest. The pain of losing the Pandora and so many of his crew was still fresh. He questioned his decisions, wondering if there was anything he could have done differently to save his ship and crew. Maddox was a domineering captain, unyielding in his pursuit of victory, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that his aggressive tactics had contributed to the tragic outcome.

Despite his doubts, Maddox knew he couldn’t afford to wallow in his thoughts. The Dominion threat was growing, and Starfleet needed him now more than ever. As word of his actions and sacrifices reached Starfleet Command, it was decided that he would be given command of the USS Sovereign, and Pandora’s surviving crew would continue serving under him. The Sovereign was to play a prominent role in a counteroffensive against the resurgent Dominion threat, and Maddox’s experience and strategic prowess were seen as crucial to the mission’s success. The future was uncertain, but he knew he had a duty to fulfill, not only to Starfleet but to the memory of those who had fallen under his command.

“Computer, time?” Maddox asked softly.

“The time is 0630.” The computer replied.

“Let us begin.” Maddox frowned as he sat up and steeled himself for the day ahead. He had scheduled a briefing with his department heads at 0730 to break the news on their first job.

The USS Sovereign’s Executive Conference Room excitedly buzzed as Captain Leland J. Maddox and his senior staff filed in at precisely 0730. The dim lighting in the room cast a somber shadow over the assembled officers, each acutely aware of the weight of the mission before them. The tension in the room was palpable, the memories of the brutal attack on the Pandora still fresh in the minds of the department heads.Captain Maddox stood at the head of the table toward the port-side access door, his piercing gaze scanning the room, ensuring that everyone was present and focused.

“As you know, a Dominion fleet has emerged in the Deneb Sector. It has been nearly twenty-six years since the Dominion War ended, and nobody knows where this fleet came from. It is clear by their actions against us that they do not acknowledge the Federation-Dominion peace treaty. Starfleet Command has decided it’s time to push back. We will join a fourteen-ship task force to launch a counteroffensive to disrupt their newly created supply lines I expect nothing short of excellence from each of you.” Maddox took his seat, and the department heads followed suit.

Commander Callahan, Executive Officer and surviving member of Pandora’s crew took his cue and activated the holographic display in the center of the table, bringing up a detailed map of the Deneb Sector. “Our intelligence has identified a newly established Dominion supply depot in the Nasera system,” he pointed to a star on the map, “and our mission is to destroy it.”

“Fortunately, we have a potential advantage to work with.” Captain Maddox turned his attention to the holographic map of the Nasera system, focusing on the approaching Class IV Ion Storm, a swirling mass of deep red and orange.

“We intend to use this ion storm as a hath and will rendezvous with our task force before entering it.” he declared, pointing at the holographic storm. “The storm’s interference could mask our approach to the supply depot. Do you think we can navigate through it, Mister Patel?” Maddox’s intense gaze bore into Lieutenant Commander Patel.

Patel hesitated for a moment, studying the data on the storm. It was a risky proposition, but the potential payoff was enormous. The storm would hide the Sovereign and the task force from Dominion sensors and disrupt any communications between the depot and nearby Dominion forces.

“With some precise calculations and careful maneuvering, yes, Captain,” he finally replied. “Our shields can be modulated to withstand the storm’s ion radiation. It will be tough on the ship and crew, but it’s doable. We will also need to further harden our power distribution network by installing additional EPS junctions near critical systems.”

“Make every effort, Mister Patel.” Maddox nodded.

Maddox turned to his navigator, Lieutenant Junior Grade Grace Kim. “Ms. Kim, you’re going to have your hands full. You’ll need to stay on top of the helm control, ride the storm’s currents, and avoid the worst ion discharges.”

Kim, a veteran navigator, and helmsman known for keeping her cool under pressure, simply gave a curt nod. “Aye, sir. I’ll get us through.”

” Now that we have discussed our approach, on to what we are up against,” Captain Maddox said, his tone sober as he gestured towards the holographic display in the center of the room. The projection flickered and changed, showing a detailed tactical schematic of the Dominion supply depot and its defenses in the Nasera system.

“Intelligence reports indicate that the Dominion has fortified their supply depot with various defensive measures. Stationary Polaron turrets and torpedo launchers are strategically staggered throughout the perimeter. There is a high likelihood of a contingent of Jem’Hadar attack ships patrolling the area as well.”

The room fell silent as the crew studied the formidable defense network. Maddox continued, “We also know the Dominion has a pair of battleships docked at the supply depot. These ships are not to be underestimated. They’re heavily armed, shielded, and capable of inflicting substantial damage.”

He looked around the room, making eye contact with each of his senior staff. “This will be one hell of a fight, far worse than the assault on Pandora. We are outnumbered and outgunned. We have the element of surprise, and we will attack while the ion storm hits the system, hopefully throwing their defenses into chaos.”

“We’ve faced long odds before, Captain. We’ll get the job done.” Commander Callahan interjected.

Maddox gave a nod of approval. “That’s the spirit, XO. We’re not just fighting for ourselves here. We’re fighting for the Federation, for every planet and outpost that depends on us to keep the Dominion at bay.”

.”Status of the Medical Department, Commander Hackett? Captain Maddox turned to the Sovereign’s Senior Medical Officer.

Commander Sandra Hackett met Captain Maddox’s gaze as she answered, “Captain, we have been preparing to meet the Dominion before leaving spacedock. Our medical department has been conducting emergency drills, and we’ve stocked up on all necessary medical supplies, including additional regenerative stims, hyposprays, surgical backups, and dermal regenerators. Additional triage stations will be online throughout the ship before zero hour, so we can treat casualties quickly and efficiently. Our medical staff is on high alert and ready to respond to any situation during the operation.”

Captain Maddox nodded, his expression serious. “I trust you and your team, Commander. Make sure everyone is prepared for the worst-case scenario. We cannot fully predict the extent of the injuries we might face, so we need to be ready for anything.”

“Aye, Captain.” Hackett offered while leaning back in her chair.

Captain Maddox’s keen eyes scanned the room, taking in the silent tension in the air. His crew, his team, they were all carrying the weight of the past, the attack on the Pandora still a fresh wound.

He rose from his seat, his imposing figure silhouetted by the starlight filtering through the conference room’s window. 

“I see it in your eyes,” he began, his voice resonating with an ironclad determination. “The fear, the apprehension, the shame. You are all thinking about the Pandora. You are all thinking about our fallen comrades. You are all thinking about what we are up against. I will not lie to you. The path ahead is fraught with danger. The Dominion is a formidable enemy. But remember this: we have already beaten them once already.”

He paused, letting his words sink in before he continued, “We have faced the unknown before, we have stared down fear and danger, and we have emerged victorious.” His eyes met each of theirs in turn, the intensity of his gaze reinforcing his words. “I know that each of you is the best at what you do. I would not have pushed for your follow-on assignments onboard the Sovereign otherwise. I trust in you, your abilities, your dedication, and your courage… and I need you to trust in me. The Pandora was a hard blow, but we were far from defeated. We will not fail here. Now, let’s show the Dominion what we’re made of. Dismissed.” Maddox ordered.

The department heads got up from the conference table, pushed in their chairs, and filed out of the room.

As the last department heads had left the room, their nervous energy still lingered in the air. The large viewscreen at the center of the room displayed the vast expanse of stars, a tranquil view that starkly contrasted with the tension that had just permeated the room. The captain, still standing at the head of the table, turned to face his Executive Officer. Maddox’s eyes were hard, his brow furrowed in thought as he clasped his hands behind his back. “What’s your read on the room, Callahan?” he asked, his voice steady and controlled.

Commander Callahan, a stalwart friend, stood tall as he met the captain’s gaze. “Nervous,” he admitted. “Trepidation in the air. But they trust you, sir. They believe in you.”

Maddox’s lips formed a thin line, “They believe in the mission. They believe in the uniform. They trust me to lead them because it is my duty. But they are afraid, Callahan, as they should be. The Dominion is no small threat.”

Callahan nodded, understanding the weight of the responsibility Maddox carried. During the Pandora attack, he had served under Maddox and had seen the Captain’s strategic prowess and leadership. “They are afraid, sir. We all are. But that fear will keep us sharp. It will keep us alive.”

Maddox turned to the viewscreen, his eyes scanning the distant stars. “We cannot afford any mistakes, Callahan. Not this time. There is too much at stake.”

“We have a solid plan, a capable crew, and one of the best captains in Starfleet. We are as prepared as we can be.” Callahan replied.

The captain’s gaze remained on the stars, his mind playing various strategies and scenarios. After a moment, he turned back to Callahan. “Make sure the crew is ready. Every system, every procedure.”

“Understood, Captain,” Callahan nodded with determination.

With a final, shared glance of understanding and resolve, the two men exited the conference room, the doors closing behind them with a soft swoosh. The mission was set, and they were ready to face the storm together.

 

                            

Comments

  • Wow. What an entrance, and what a start! Straight in with the action. You can tell that Maddox is a seasoned leader just from his choice of words and the way he has the crew onside from the beginning. This was a perfect way to segue from one ship to another. Wise choices all round and I can't wait to see how the mission unfolds.

    May 14, 2023
  • A great start for a new ship! I like the backstory woven into that image of Maddox lying in the dark, awake and thinking. Then the briefing was swift and concise, showing us a lot more of Maddox’s character and his relationship with his crew. Looking forward to reading more!

    May 14, 2023
  • A solid good start to a great adventure! I do like the intro having the classic Star Trek enter and then change the switch to Maddox heavy depressed on a couch because he doesnt have his previous command anymore :P The crew feels experience and ready for the challenge. Looking forward to more!

    May 17, 2023