Part of USS Los Angeles: Wartime Patrol and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

‘Briefing’ Meet and Greet

Federation-Dominion Territory
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Captain Oteng had been juggling the soccer ball, doing something to alleviate the nervous energy he felt as he reflected on the events of the last few days.. The moment of truth had arrived. He put the ball back on its pedestal, and turned toward the door. “Enter.”

The doors open, and Lt. Devron is there with Commander Abramov.
“Captain, this is Lt. Devron, in command of the USS Jaxartes. Lieutenant Devron, this is Captain Fabien Oteng, in command of the USS Los Angeles.”
“Thank you Brooke. Dismissed.”
Brooke smiles, nods, and exits the ready room, leaving Captain Oteng and Lieutenant Devron alone together.
“Lieutenant, it’s very nice to meet you. Welcome aboard the Los Angeles.” 

“Glad to be here Captain,” replied the young Lieutenant. “And apologies for the mix up on our arrival.  I should have realised we’d be giving off an unfamiliar warp signature.  As for the transponder malfunction, I’ve got my Chief looking that over.”
Captain Oteng nodded with approval. “I’m glad you’re here. We have a bit of a mystery on our hands, and a fresh pair of eyes could be useful.” He hands Lieutenant Devron a PADD containing Lt. Commander Pearse’s report and analysis.
“In the past three days, we’ve had two engagements with Dominion forces. The style they’ve adopted is hit and run tactics; though we’ve managed to destroy one or two of their fighters, they just retreat. By the records, the strategy doesn’t make sense. We need to figure out what’s going on.” Captain Oteng’s visage becomes resolute and determined. He was implacable in his quest to figure out what the Dominion was doing.
“What do you think, Lieutenant, based on what you’re reading? What’s your take on the situation?” 

“All I know about the Dominion is stuff I’ve read about and the occasional story from those that saw action during the original war.” Devron replied frankly, “This as you say, isn’t their style.”

“Exactly. We need more intelligence.” Right as Captain Oteng is finishing his sentence, the intercom chirps.
“Captain, the Task Force CO is sending us a message. Would you like to have it now?”
“Pipe it through, Commander Pearse.” He turns to Lieutenant Devron. “Our Task Force CO is hailing. I hope there’s more information from Command.” 

“Anything will help.” Jason said in a low murmur

Barrington idly tapped his desk as he waited for the comms system to catch up. It wasn’t a surprise with the amount of calls going out as the fleet tried to co-ordinate against the new threat. 

The screen cleared and he found himself looking at not one, but two Starfleet officers. 

“Good morning, gentlemen. Captain Oteng I was expecting,” he said, shifting his attention to the other man, a Lieutenant. “Which would make you…”

“Lieutenant Devron, Sir. Captain of the USS Jaxartes. Sir.” He answered with a slight nervousness

Barrington nodded. “A pleasure to meet you. I wish it were under better circumstances.”

He leaned forward on his desk, steepling his fingers. “I’m sure by now you will have heard reports that the Lost Dominion Fleet, the one that disappeared at the end of the Dominion war, have reappeared and are now causing havoc. Fourth fleet has mobilised to contain the threat and stabilise the Deneb sector, and I’m going to need both the Los Angeles and the Jaxartes for border security.”

“Yes, sir. We’re currently on station and we’ve held the line against three attacks so far. There are some things that you probably will want to know though..” Captain Oten looks down and taps a few functions into his console. “Captain, you should have the latest after-action reports written after the Los Angeles’ encounters with Dominion forces. My Operations Officer has been trying to figure out a mystery about strange behaviour by Jem’Hadar; after they attack, they run. The Jem’Hadar aren’t known for retreat.” 

Barrington’s console cheeped as the report arrived. 

“Indeed, they are not,” he replied with a frown. “Thank you, I’ll pass them along for analysis. We’re currently building a picture of exactly what the Lost Fleet’s movements and tactics are.” 

He reached forward and typed quickly. “I’m sending over the patrol routes I need you to cover. But, if a situation develops, you are authorised to use your own initiative in defence of Federation citizens, planets and installations.”

Captain Oteng nodded. “Am I to understand that I have operational control on how to proceed and as long as the line is held or territory gained, we’re good?” 

Barrington nodded, his expression serious. “Indeed. I don’t think I need to tell either of you that the situation we are facing is normal. Exercise your judgement as Starfleet officers, in accordance with fleet directives.”

He relaxed a little as he regarded them both. “Basically, don’t go blowing up any installations unless you can demonstrate that you had a valid strategic reason to do so, and no war crimes.”

Captain Oteng laughed. “Got it. Well, that makes sense.” He then gets a mischievous smile on his face. “So you said no war crimes…how ironclad is that directive?” He gives off the ‘I’m genuinely kidding’ vibes, hoping to set his CO at ease and give him a good laugh, which it looked like he needed. 

Barrington chuckled. “Do anything that causes me problems and I’ll assign the pair of you to retrieve every piece of the ships my other CO’s are bound to destroy,” he said with a grin.

Captain Oteng gave Barrington a smile that turned into a chuckle.
. “Operation Clean or else Operation Clean-up, got it. We will figure it out. That being said, thank you Captain. We’ll start working on our operations. Are there any further instructions, Captain?” 

Barrington inclined his head. “Stay alive and one final thing… trust only the Fourth.  Barrington out.” And with that, he cut the comm. 

The young lieutenant who’d remained silent for a few minutes, listening to the two Captains’ exchange; switched to a view of the surrounding stars on the Padd he’d been given and scrolled through the information regarding each of their associated planets.  He stopped at one in particular; nothing that special, M-class, slightly smaller than Mars, but with a rather dense ionised cloud layer which appeared to have blocked any attempts by the Los Angeles to scan it since their arrival. “Mind if I take a closer look at this place?” He pointed to the planet’s location on the star chart, just half a light year away. 

Captain Oteng nodded. “Yeah. I’m not sure what that place is, so we flagged it and sent it to Starfleet Intelligence; perhaps they can use it. Although…if you’re up for a little reconnoitring, perhaps we can figure out what it is.” Captain Oteng stands up and turns to look out the window of his ready room. “Lieutenant, let’s develop an op for reconnaissance and intel gathering, and reconvene in a few hours with our staff. That way, we can present the op and go from there. Not sure if that makes sense?” He looks expectantly at Lt. Devron. 

“Whatever you feel best.” Replied Devron. “Myself and my crew are here to hopefully make things a little easier.”

“Excellent. Let’s reconvene in the conference room with our command staff in 3 hours. Then go from there.” 

Devron stood up and shook Otengs’ hand. “I’ll head back over to the Jaxartes then.”  He walked towards the door which swished open.

Captain Oteng remained standing, thinking about what his next move was.