Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Part of USS Polaris: Infiltrate and Liberate Nasera (The Lost Fleet – Part 1) and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Burned, Broken and Battered

Nasera City and USS Polaris
Mission Day 13 - 2000 Hours
0 likes 418 views

Stepping over the rubble, Lieutenant Emilia Balan could hardly fathom the scene. Nasera City, a vibrant industrial center, reduced to a scarred hellscape of burned out buildings, shattered glass, and bodies. So many bodies. So many beautiful souls plucked before their time. So many innocent colonists and so many brave officers that breathed their last breath in the cold night.

“Now the hard work of rebuilding begins,” Admiral Allison Reyes was saying, but the Lieutenant could barely hear her. Emilia Balan went to the stars to see the beauty of the people that inhabited them, and the sheer loss of life was just too much for her to process. “After what the Federation’s inaction forced them to endure before we arrived,” Admiral Reyes continued, her disappointment in Starfleet evident. “We owe it to these people to help get them back on their feet again.”

“The USS Ingenuity is in pretty good shape, all things considered,” Commander Cora Lee assured her. “We’re good to hang around as long as needed to assist with the rebuild.” Cora Lee was not a battle hardened CO, and she’d been out of her depth in the firefight that had occurred just hours earlier. But she was a skilled engineer, and she knew she could make a difference in what came next. This is where she wanted to be, rather than heading off to the Fleet’s next duel with the Jem’Hadar.

“I appreciate that Commander,” Reyes smiled. “The Polaris is days from being spaceworthy, but once she is, we’re straight back into the fight.” That thought, after what they’d just been through, seemed insane to Cora Lee and Emilia Balan, but Allison Reyes would not rest until the Lost Fleet was eradicated from the Deneb Sector and the only Jem’Hadar that still existed were those on the other side of the wormhole. “So this rebuild will be your show to run.” 

Commander Lee nodded. It was a responsibility to which she knew she could rise.

As the three officers walked through the rubble, colonists peaked out from their apartments and shopfronts, wondering if their nightmare was really over. Just a month ago, they had been free people of the Federation, but that felt like a lifetime ago.

“Lieutenant, you’re probably wondering why I asked you to join us,” Admiral Reyes said, turning to address the young woman who walked beside her and the Ingenuity’s CO. During the battle, the Lieutenant fell into the non-combatant category, barely functional with a phaser, so she’d just been assigned as a triage assistant for Commander Henderson’s overwhelmed medical department. Now though, her role would be critical. 

“Get to know these people. Figure out how we help them heal. For them, and for us,” Admiral Reyes continued. She felt for the people of Nasera II, but tactically, she also knew the planet was a powerful industrial engine. The longer this war with the Lost Fleet dragged on, the more the Fleet would need its industrial output to be fully functional.

“I’ll be honest Admiral,” Lieutenant Balan cautioned. “I don’t even know how to help myself right now. How can I help them?” She was so overwhelmed with everything that had happened, she could hardly imagine how she could help fix someone else.

Admiral Reyes stopped and turned to her. “Emilia, as long as you’ve been aboard the Polaris, you have wowed me with your ability to find beauty in any place,” she said gently. “That is what they need more than anything right now.” While a job like this would typically fall to the Chief Counseling Officer, these people needed a gentle shoulder to cry on, and they both knew Dr. Hall had no such shoulder. “You will find it in yourself, and healing them will also help heal you.”

Such a sensitive comment seemed strange coming from a woman who, only a couple hours ago, had ordered ramming speed and almost killed them all, and who even now stood there with a torn uniform and hair matted with congealed blood. But Allison Reyes had lived the aftermath of conflict as many times as she’d been in the thick of it. She knew what you did after mattered almost as much as what you did in the moment.

“I will do my best for all of them,” Lieutenant Balan offered as she gestured at the wounded city all around them. And she meant it. She just didn’t know how she’d do it.

“How’d the Polaris fair Admiral?” asked Commander Lee as they kept walking.

“I haven’t bothered to ask Devreux yet,” Admiral Reyes answered with a chuckle. “I was a bit busy down here. I’m sure he’s got it all under control though.”

Up on the bridge of the Polaris, it looked anything but under control.

“You’re telling me we’re not going to have power back for the upper starboard saucer until tomorrow morning?” Captain Gérard Devreux asked incredulously. “How bad were those hits we took?” That question was rhetorical more than anything else. He’d been on the bridge throughout the battle. He’d heard the callouts as the ship took hit after hit, and he’d almost watched his life pass before his eyes. Twice.

“Sir, we can barely keep the forcefields up to avoid those decks turning into vacuum,” replied the engineering officer standing next to him. “Right now, the maintenance crews are just trying to get the worst of the hull breaches patched. The three torpedoes that hit us when the upper starboard emitters failed, they ripped a forty meter hole across decks four and five, and since we’re barely making emergency power, the industrial replicators are noncomm. We’re relying on the USS Ingenuity to replicate what we need – and so is most of the squadron.” Commander Lee’s ship was the only one of the squadron that had come through relatively unscathed, courtesy of it being as modern as the Diligent and the Polaris, but without a CO like Allison Reyes or Dorian Vox, who both seemed hellbent on trying to turn themselves into martyrs.

“And what about the other hull breaches?”

“We sealed off the impacted parts of decks seven, nine and twenty five. Mostly just crew quarters and cargo bays impacted so we’re focused on other areas. Like decks four and five, we’re working on decks eleven and twelve since there’s critical infrastructure there.”

“I assume we’re relocating crew from impacted areas?” asked Captain Devreux. This was madness. The ship was torn straight to hell. The stress showed in his eyes.

“Already done,” confirmed an operations officer as he joined the conversation. “At least for the crew that actually needs quarters.” The operations officer looked down regretfully. Part of his job in relocating crew had been to determine those who actually needed relocation. With the casualties they had suffered, there were far fewer to move than there should have been. Too many were in the morgue or under the care of the medical staff. “We have also failed over to redundancies on all essential systems in the uninhabitable sections of the ship.”

Almost on queue, Commander Luke Lockwood, the head of exotic sciences for the Advanced Science, Technology and Research Activity stepped onto the bridge. “‘Hey Cap,” he said in an arrogant tone as he approached Devreux. “Can you tell me when my lab is going to be back online again?”

Dr. Lockwood’s research lab was in one of the powerless sections of the saucer. But why was the eccentric scientist worried about that right now? They were just barely holding the ship together. “If you haven’t noticed Dr. Lockwood,” Devreux replied annoyedly. “We barely gritted through that fight by the skin of our teeth, and the ship is half way to falling apart. We have a few bigger problems right now than your whiteboards.”

The scientist put his hands on his hips. He appreciated neither the tone nor the substance of the Captain’s words. Reyes and Devreux had just put his life at risk, and for what? Some factory workers? This whole soirée into the Deneb Sector was not what he’d signed up for.

“If you want to make yourself useful, go pick up a hyperspanner and put your big brain to work fixing some relays,” recommended Captain Devreux. “Otherwise, your PADD will have to do for now if you just want to twiddle with your equations.”

As Dr. Lockwood stormed off the bridge angrily, Captain Devreux looked out the main viewscreen, taking in the sight of Nasera II beneath them. How far they’d gone, how much they’d lost, but in the end, they had prevailed. They had freed eight million people from the yoke of the Dominion tonight, but that freedom had come at a high price.

Comments

  • Oh geez, the ship is falling apart and all that Lockwood cares about is his lab, he is arrogant for sure and I enjoyed how Devreux had responded to him which made him even madder storming off the bridge. Imagine the damage that was done to the ship, and the amount of repairs it will take to repair her. Wonder how long she will be out of commission or does Reyes have plans to get her to space-worthy before taking her out again? Great job with this chapter and can't wait to see what happens with the aftermath!

    May 29, 2023
  • It is so refreshing to see our hero ship so completely broken it literally cannot move. I feel Devreux's pain every time something else gets mentioned, and then the arrogance of Doctor Lockwood - I'd have probably punched him in the mouth (so kudos on another well presented character). I'm a bit with Balan on the 'How can she move on so quick?' front when it comes to Reyes, but then she has seen a lot of action and is a FAdm for a reason. She's not the type to sit back and take stock until a crisis is averted. If only Devreux knew just how high a price that victory had come at. I sense he'll not like the answer when he gets it.

    May 31, 2023
  • Allison Reyes

    Squadron Commander
    ASTRA Director

  • Gérard Devreux

    Squadron Deputy Commander (Mobile Element)
    USS Polaris Commanding Officer

  • Cora Lee

    Squadron Engineering Officer
    USS Ingenuity Commanding Officer

  • Luke Lockwood, Ph.D.

    ASTRA Lead, Astrophysical & Exotic Sciences
    Chief Science Officer

  • Emilia Balan

    ASTRA Staff Researcher, Cultural Affairs
    Diplomatic and Cultural Affairs Officer