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Part of USS Saratoga: Behind Enemy Lines and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

9 – Behind Enemy Lines

Lungurn Fleet Yards / USS Saratoga
March 2401
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The darkness of the stars that were shown in space at that moment soon changed as it lit up as the explosion of the last Jem’Hadar ship was seen right in front of their ship. Azras Dex sat in her chair, blood dripping from her forehead after being tossed around from the ongoing fight. She probably was injured more than her head but at that moment she wasn’t feeling any pain, just adrenaline from the fight to even notice. Sitting there in silence not saying anything, thinking about everything that had transpired or still currently happening.

If time could stand still it certainly did in this moment, after watching the scene unfold right in front of her with the Gagarin and hearing the news that Tajir Derohl had died. Tears ran down her face from the grief of losing a good officer under her command and someone who she had gotten to know over the past few months. Now the pain of having to make those calls, the hardest part of this job was making those calls.

Her mind drifted back to the Dominion War, she had watched people get killed by the hands of the Dominion. Seen how ruthless they were not caring for any life, only to conquer worlds to dominate under their regime. She had almost lost her life if it wasn’t for her a fellow officer laying down his life to save hers she wouldn’t be here right now, fighting them yet again.

She seemed to snap back to the present when a voice broke the silence, “sir your head is bleeding!” T’Prel said as she didn’t look much better and seemed to be battered and bruised.

Taking a moment to look around the bridge, a few of her senior staff had been injured and taken to medical for treatment. She wondered how many had they lost and how badly the ship was damaged. Sparks seemed to be flying at a few consoles, smoke filled the air for a few moments as the fire suppressant system kicked in putting out the small fires from consoles that overloaded.

Reaching for her head she felt a wetness to it as she brought her hand down and looked. “So I am,” Azras finally spoke up as T’Prel used a dermal regenerator to stop bleeding.

“You need to go to sickbay,” T’Prel said.

“I am fine,” Azras said even though the pain from her chest started to set in. Though she did not let it show, she would go to sickbay but would go once they were finished with their mission. “Damage report,” she asked no one in particular.

“Hull breaches on our starboard side decks five and six,” T’Prel said. “Engineering took a hit, warp core is currently offline though should be back online within the hour. Currently, we do have impulse engines,” she added as she listed off other minor damage from taking on four Jem’Hadar fighters. Taking the report she read it for herself, the hull breaches were minor in comparison to the one sustained on the previous Saratoga that took the life of her younger son as well as others.

Her heart seemed to drop to her stomach yet again, “casualties?” She asked as she looked at T’Prel, one that showed no emotion you could tell she was deeply affected by what she was about to report.

“One hundred were lost, another sixty are injured with ten of those in critical condition,” T’Prel said as had a look in her eyes of sadness for those who gave their lives.

Azras closed her eyes for a moment, war was a horrible thing and to lose good officers was never easy. Some of them were just fresh out of the Academy on their first assignment and didn’t even get a chance at life beyond the stars. Her heart ached for the wonderful journey and challenges they wouldn’t be able to experience. Looking around the bridge, some of her senior staff had been injured one of which was in critical condition.

Chon’al looked worse for wear, you could see beyond that wall of toughness to see the worry in his eyes. He had just started seeing Deza Airje who was in critical condition when her console exploded while she sat there. She knew his story and how he must be feeling at not knowing if someone he began to care about was going to make it or not.

Dazra had always acted tough, keeping most people at arm’s length in terms of personal relationships with those who she worked with day in and day out. Keeping up the facade of not being bothered by anything though now she looked exhausted both emotionally and physically. This war has taken its toll on everyone though the battle was over their mission was far from over. This war was far from over.

“Sir,” came the voice of Jeesa Atur from the science station breaking the silence. “I am picking up three battlecruisers on long-range sensors. They are headed this way,” she said as she looked over at Azras.

“How long till they get here?” Azras asked looking at Jeesa.

“Two hours,” Atur replied.

She sighed, they were in no shape to go toe to toe with three battlecruisers even with the three of them. She knew that even with the communication blockers, they would eventually send reinforcements when they failed to check in or answer any hails that they had tried to send. She was grateful that it wasn’t any sooner than now or they all be in more trouble than they wanted. This mission would have possibly failed if they noticed sooner.

“Bridge to engineering,” Azras said.

“Engineering here Captain,” Jheria said over the comm channel.

“How long until we have warp drive?” Azras asked as she looked towards the viewscreen even if there was nothing there except space and wreckage of the enemy ships.

“Another forty-five minutes sir,” Jheria replied.

“You have thirty minutes, we have three Jem’Hadar Battlecruisers on their way. They will arrive in two hours and I want us long gone before that.” Azras ordered she hated to push repairs to be done faster but this time they had no choice.

The line went quiet for a moment, “understood.” Jheria finally replied, “you will have warp drive in thirty minutes sir.” Jheria added.

“Thank you,” Azras replied before closing out the channel.

Turning to Ritru who had just returned from sickbay after being mildly injured, “get me both Commanders Rayu and Tilana.” Azras ordered as Ritru nodded before she turned around and began to get the two commanders on the line.

Teila had walked out of the surgical suite after finishing up surgery on her last patient, she was being moved to the recovery ward where she will be closely monitored. Deza Airje had taken an explosion causing most of her body to be covered in burns along with shrapnel in her stomach causing severe damage.

The rest of her staff was busy taking care of the rest of the patients, most of them had minor injuries and only about a few were in critical condition and required surgery to repair the damage they had sustained. She was feeling hopeful that they would make it, medical officers and nurses would remain in the recovery ward to monitor each one and act quickly if anything were to change.

She had made her way to her office and plopped down in her chair, putting her face between her hands for a few moments. Emotions began to pile up, being a doctor you see many things. See death more times than you care to but it never gets any easier losing a patient or many patients that just succumb to their injuries.

Rubbing her face she looked up as tears streaked down her cheek, staring off towards the corner of the room she began to think about her life and her career. This war had put a huge burden on her and she began to wonder about her life and career as a Starfleet Doctor. Just then the door chime went off, she wiped her eyes before she looked at the door. “Come,” she said as the doors opened to reveal Lieutenant Jaliyo Raid one of the ship’s Counselors.

“What can I do for you, Lieutenant?” Teila said looking at her before motioning for the chair that was located in front of her desk.

Taking the offered seat, “just a social call to see how you are doing.” Jaliyo said with a soft smile, with everything that has happened or still going on she wanted to make sure everyone was alright. “Is there anything you want to get off your chest? I wanted to make sure our medical team was alright.” She said as she looked at her, she wanted to be an outlet for anyone who wished to talk about their feelings.

She sat there for a moment, “just been questioning myself and why I am here.” She said as she stood up from her chair and walked over to the nearby window. Jaliyo stayed seated and turned in her direction.

“Why?” Raid asked gently.

Silence filled the room as she stood there thinking, “we lost so many good officers today, some of them succumbed to their injuries during surgery.” Teila began as tears began to flow down her cheeks again. “More are in critical condition and could go either way,” she added. “Questioning whether I have done all that I could have, could more have been done quicker.” She said with a heavy sigh.

“Feeling powerless is a tough feeling for anyone,” Jaliyo replied. “Wishing you could have done more, please know that you have done everything you could. Not everything turns out like a storybook ending,” she said referring to stories with happy endings. “That doesn’t make you any less of a person, any less important in your job here.” She said with a soft and understanding tone.

“Know that you are needed and you are wanted here, war is an ugly thing but we can get through this together,” Raid replied as she got up from her chair making her way over to the doctor. Placing her hand on her shoulder, “we are in this together.” She added with a small gentle smile.

Just as she was about to respond one of her monitors started blaring, rushing over she saw that Deza began to seize. She was about to speak when Raid raised her hand, “go take care of your patients my door is always open when this is over.” She said as Teila ran out of her office towards the recovery ward as Jaliyo made her way out of medical onto her next destination.

“Over half of the bases have been destroyed while others are completely out of commission,” Tilana said as she looked at Azras through the viewscreen. She had also given a damage and casualty report, though it was nothing like what the Saratoga had experienced.

The only ship that didn’t receive any damage was the Knight as they were taking out the orbital weapons so they couldn’t be repaired before teaming up with the Gagarin. The only casualty was their first officer, which was still in the back of her mind about that incident.

“We have detected three battlecruisers on an intercept course, they will arrive in less than two hours.” Azras began to explain, “begin to wrap up we are leaving the system in less than thirty minutes.” Azras ordered.

“Understood,” both replied in unison.

“Your fighter squadron is en route to your location,” she added.

“Aye sir,” Tilana replied.

Shortly after the viewscreen went back to the view of space, Azras sat back closing her eyes as now the pain had begun to set in. She was being stubborn not wanting to leave her post just yet but knew she had to go sooner or later.

“Sir you need to go get checked out,” T’Prel pressed again looking at the captain.

She looked at her for a moment as she worked her jaw for a moment. “Alright, you have the bridge.” Azras replied as she stood up, “once the other two ships arrive back and we have warp drive set course for the Ciatar Nebula.” Azras ordered looking at her.

“Understood,” T’Prel replied as Azras made her way toward the turbolift and disappeared. T’Prel got up from the chair she was sitting in and walked over to where Ritru was sitting.

“How are you holding up?” T’Prel asked as she leaned against the console looking at her partner.

“Doing alright I suppose,” she said looking at her. “We have been through so much over the last year, I think this war has taken a toll on all of us,” Ritru added adjusting in her seat. “After what we experienced with the Blood Dilithium crisis in the Delta Quadrant, to losing our other ship. To only get a different class of ship, one that we are unfamiliar with before being thrust into another Dominion War.” She said as everything was getting to her, though it was getting to a lot of people as well.

T’Prel nodded placing a hand on hers, not sure what to say other than give her the support she needed. “Sir the Gagarin and Knight have arrived,” Odan spoke up from his console.

“Thank you, Commander,” T’Prel replied as now they waited for word about their warp drive. She squeezed Ritru’s hand briefly before walking away and heading back to the commander’s chair where she sat down.

“Engineering to bridge,” Jheria said over the comm channel.

“Go ahead,” T’Prel replied.

“Warp core is online and stable, you should be able to hit at least warp eight,” Jheria replied.

“Thank you,” T’Prel replied before ending the channel and looking over at Ritru. “Send a message to the other two ships to set course for the Ciatar Nebula warp eight,” T’Prel replied.

“Aye sir,” came the reply as she sent the message.

“Lieutenant Rass set course for warp eight,” T’Prel ordered.

“Course and speed set,” Rass replied.

“Engage,” she said as all three ships in unison jumped to warp heading towards the nebula where they would make their return to Federation space. They would make it back just in time for when those battlecruisers would arrive to find the present they had left them. They had delivered a hard blow to their operations and hopefully with those fleet yards out of commission they would have a more difficult time in repairing their ships.

Just as she leaned back in the chair the doors to the turbolift came open to reveal the captain. Getting up from the chair she moved over to hers before the Azras had taken hers. “Warp core has been repaired and all three of us are on our way back through the Ciatar Nebula,” T’Prel said as Azras nodded before taking her seat.

“Thank you,” Azras replied as she watched the fast motion of the stars while the ship was at warp. Silence once again filled the bridge, no one wanting to talk each one reflecting on everything that had transpired. Though this mission came at a great cost, they had delivered a crippling blow to their operations here at Lungurn Fleet Yards.


  • No one likes the consequences of war and even more so when its a foe from battles past. Once again you effortlessly weave together many different stories and never lose the cohesiveness. I'm so glad the mission was a success despite the losses and I hope Azras hasn't lost too much of herself. Despite the heavy particulars of the mission, the affection and camaraderie between the crew is admirable. Another enjoyable read on your part!

    June 14, 2023
  • This story did an excellent job capturing the weight of war and how it burdens a commanding officer. It also gave us some insight into the challenges crew members were going to face in the aftermath, all while still keeping the pace going with the countdown for the incoming battlecruisers. Had me hoping they’d hurry up and get out of there.

    June 17, 2023