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Part of USS Valiant: Rendezvous and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Arrival

USS Valiant, the Kanaan system
March 2401
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Captain Deckard Wright stood on the bridge of the USS Valiant, his hands clasped behind his back as he surveyed the scene before him. The Kanaan system, a backdrop of beacon of hope and tranquillity, to the group lying in ruins. The remnants of Battle Group Alpha Twenty-One floated helplessly, their six ships battered and broken after a fierce engagement with Dominion forces. Captain Wright’s heart sank as he thought of the brave officers and crew who had fought valiantly but had ultimately been defeated.

“Report,” Captain Wright commanded, his voice firm yet tinged with concern.

Lieutenant Palmer, the Valiant’s chief engineer, stepped forward, her eyes focused on the data streaming across her console. “Captain, I’ve analyzed the sensor readings from the damaged ships. The USS Defender has sustained severe hull breaches and multiple system failures. They require immediate structural reinforcement and power restoration to prevent further deterioration.”

The USS Defender, a Nebula-Class starship, stood as a steadfast guardian amidst the chaos of battle. The once-pristine hull of the Defender bore the marks of a fierce struggle. Deep gouges and pockmarks marred its surface, remnants of enemy weapons that had tested its defenses.

“And what of the Vanguard?” Wright asked, his gaze shifting to Lieutenant T’Sari, the Valiant’s tactical officer.

Lieutenant T’Sari glanced up from her console, her expression betraying a mix of concern and urgency. “Captain, the Vanguard’s weapons arrays took a heavy blow. They’re operating at partial capacity, and their shields are severely compromised. Engines are offline.”

Wright was tense. He knew the commanding officers of both the Defender and the Vanguard well, having served with both of them during the Dominion War aboard the USS Manchester.

Lieutenant Chen consulted the reports on her screen, her voice calm yet laden with a sense of urgency. “Captain, the Horizon has suffered significant casualties. They have wounded crew members in need of immediate medical attention. Their sickbay is overwhelmed, and they require additional medical personnel and supplies.”

Wright’s heart sank, realizing the toll the battle had taken on the Horizon. The rugged starship had weathered storms before, but the wounds inflicted this time were deep and required their utmost care and support.

As Lieutenant Palmer, Lieutenant T’Sari, and Lieutenant Chen continued their reports on the damaged ships, Captain Wright listened intently, taking in the gravity of each situation. The Sentinel required crucial repairs to its propulsion systems, the Centurion needed assistance in stabilizing its power grid, and the Percival had suffered critical damage to its warp nacelles.

With each report, a sense of urgency and responsibility settled within Captain Wright’s chest. They were the lifeline for Battle Group Alpha Twenty-One.

“Thank you, everyone. We have our work cut out for us,” Captain Wright declared, his voice resolute yet tempered with compassion. Commander Greene, hail the lead ship of Battle Group Alpha Twenty-One,” Wright commanded, his voice steady but filled with determination.

“Aye, Captain,” replied Greene, the Valiant’s first officer.

Captain Rhiannon Michaels, commander of the USS Defender, appeared on the viewscreen, her appearance bearing the visible marks of the recent battle. Her once immaculate uniform was tattered and stained, displaying signs of intense combat. Cuts and bruises adorned her face, evidence of the fierce struggle she had endured.

Her vibrant, fiery red hair was dishevelled, with strands out of place, as if windblown during the chaos of battle. Despite the fatigue evident in her eyes, their piercing green hue radiated determination and resilience, reflecting the strength of her character.

The cuts on Captain Michaels’ face, though not severe, spoke volumes about the intensity of the engagement. A shallow gash marred her cheek, a remnant of a close encounter with a damaged bulkhead on the bridge behind her.

Yet, despite her visibly worn appearance, Captain Michaels exuded an unwavering resolve and an air of command. Her posture remained upright, her shoulders squared, and her expression a mix of determination and resilience.

Behind Captain Michaels on the viewscreen, the damaged bridge of the USS Defender came into view, painting a vivid picture of the intense battle it had endured. The once pristine command centre now bore the scars of battle.

Scattered debris littered the area, remnants of console panels and shattered displays. Burn marks and scorching marred the walls, evidence of energy discharges and explosive impacts that had rocked the bridge. Wires hung loose and sparked sporadically, adding an eerie ambiance to the scene.

Several consoles had been completely obliterated, leaving behind a jumble of exposed circuitry and fractured screens. The captain’s chair, a symbol of authority and command, had suffered severe damage, its armrest partially melted and upholstery torn.

Emergency lighting flickered, casting an eerie glow on the survivors who manned their stations with determination. Smoke wisped through the air, lingering remnants of systems pushed to their limits and beyond. The atmosphere on the bridge was one of resilience, with crew members working tirelessly to restore order amidst the wreckage.

“Captain, it’s good to see you. We received your distress call and are prepared to provide assistance. The USS Valiant is standing by,” Wright’s voice carried a calm assurance, hoping to offer solace amidst the chaos that had engulfed the Defender.

“Captain Wright, thank you for coming to our aid. We’ve taken a beating out here. The Dominion forces were relentless,” Michaels conveyed, her voice carrying the weight of exhaustion and determination.

Wright’s eyes scanned the damaged bridge of the USS Defender, taking in the scene of chaos and destruction. The shattered consoles, exposed wires, and lingering smoke painted a grim picture of the harrowing battle they had fought. Yet, amidst the wreckage, he sensed the indomitable spirit of Michaels’ crew, their resilience shining through the wreckage.

“I can see the toll it has taken on your ship. The Defender has been through a harrowing battle. Your crew has shown incredible resilience,” Wright responded, his voice laced with admiration and empathy.

The weight of Michaels’ sigh reached Wright’s ears, carrying with it the burden of loss and the unyielding determination to press on. The Dominion War had taught them both the harsh realities of conflict, and the scars it had left behind ran deep.

“Indeed, it was a brutal engagement. We did everything we could but the Dominion overwhelmed us quickly. It’s like they never skipped a beat. We suffered significant damage, casualties, and the loss of two of our sister ships,” Michaels revealed, her words carrying a blend of sorrow and resolve.

A pang of regret gnawed at Wright’s heart as he acknowledged the devastating losses they had endured. The echoes of the Dominion War resurfaced, a bitter reminder that the threats they had faced were far from eradicated.

“I had hoped we wouldn’t have to face them again,” Wright admitted, his voice tinged with a somber realization.

Silence hung in the air, heavy with unspoken memories and shared burdens. The war had forever changed them, leaving scars that no amount of time could fully heal.

Wright’s gaze lingered on Michaels, his empathy and understanding flowing through their unspoken connection. He could see the weight of responsibility etched in her tired eyes.

Breaking the silence, Wright set about the job he was here to do, “Captain, I’ll assemble engineering and medical teams to beam over. Our nearest starbase is Farpoint Station, let’s see what we can do to get you all back up and running. I’ll relay the same to the rest of the group.”

Michaels absentmindedly adjusted her hair, “Understood.” She paused for moment, “and Captain, we get through this, I owe you a drink. Defender out.”

The viewscreen returned to a view of the damaged battlegroup.

“Lieutenant T’Sari, assemble an away team,” Captain Wright ordered, turning to his chief tactical officer. “We will transport aboard the lead ship to coordinate repair efforts and provide immediate medical assistance. Counselor Jennings and Doctor Aber, prepare to join us. Our priority is to stabilize the injured and assist in securing the damaged ships for towing.”

Comments

  • Posts of this nature can often be procedural, but you made the damage report truly enjoyable to read. I felt like I could see each ship in my mind as you described them. It painted such a clear picture of the tolls that battle with the Dominion could bring. I also enjoyed how you laid the captain’s own past experiences with both war and the other COs into it.

    May 19, 2023
  • An awesome start for Valiant here. The scene is set, and described beautifully by the way, the stakes are laid out and the next step is stated. I can see the immediate direction of this story and am looking forward to it. Your descriptions of battle damage were evocative, really helping to bring the imagery you were after to mind and that really did help set the scene for me. I'm intrigued as to the struggles this convoy of battered and broken ships are going to experience and can't wait to see more.

    May 20, 2023
  • Great scene-setting! No dreary mission briefings or slice-of-life-interrupted-by-new-orders here - right into the action, and you paint a strong picture of the challenge facing the Valiant. Specifically, you paint a strong picture of the challenge facing *Wright*. Keeping the emphasis on him and his feelings, not just about the mission ahead but his history of the war, is what stops this from being a procedural, factual exposition. A shared history with Michaels deepens this, and sets the tone for the tale ahead: a tense reflection on the emotional challenges of war. Good stuff!

    May 31, 2023