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Part of USS Bellerophon (Archive): This Far, How Further? and USS Odyssey: This Far, How Further?

This Far, How Further? – 4

USS Bellerophon (NCC-74705), Avalon Fleet Yards, Avalon System, Grazer Sector
Stardate: 78250.7
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“The True Blue is disengaging tractor beams, commander,” announced Lieutenant Jarata from the helm. “We’re being pulled into the drydock now.”

“Steady as she goes, Rubon,” Lieutenant Commander Jirani ordered. She looked over to the engineering station on the bridge. “T’Penni, are we ready for docking procedures?”

The Vulcan female chief engineer looked up and nodded once. “We are, ma’am.”

Jirani sighed and wondered what it must be like watching the Bellerophon, a ship that had created a sort of recent legacy due to its fame during the Dominion War, being towed into a drydock above Avalon II after being battered by the Dominion. With a missing warp nacelle and significant hull damage, the Bellerophon could barely limp home under its own power. The scorch marks showed the hell it went through during the Lost Fleet incursion into the Deneb Sector. The fact they survived the attack by the Dominion battlecruiser was purely down to the quick thinking of its crew and the use of more advanced technology to sustain such a brutal assault. Alongside this, Jirani’s sigh was also out of relief. She had been ordered to take the ship to Avalon while its rightful master, Captain Horatio McCallister, commanded the Triton ahead of the upcoming Frontier Day celebrations.

Like everyone else left on the ship, the Bajoran chief security and tactical officer, as well as the second officer, was in no mood for partying. They had lost so much, not only to the ship itself but to the people who died during the attack. Commander Jaz, their faithful first officer and Chief Bronden (their chief of operations) had been killed when the bridge was severely damaged. That damage remained. A fallen bulkhead, broken beams, destroyed consoles and debris littered the floor on the Bellerophon’s bridge. Even the captain’s and first officer’s chairs had been charred during the fire that ravaged areas of the bridge. 

Having Captain McCallister reassigned, even temporarily, felt like another hot painstick stuck into their sides. With so many dead, Starfleet didn’t seem fussed that he should remain to help everyone grieve. Instead, they felt he was needed to be on the bridge of Triton during the circus display they were putting on in orbit of Earth. It was utterly ridiculous and a kick in the teeth for those that the Bellerophon had lost.

It was enough for Jirani to reconsider her career in Starfleet. She had been here before, questioning the sincerity of Starfleet. This was another moment for her to evaluate her current path. She had prayed heavily to the Prophets for guidance, hoping her Bajoran faith would provide the answers she sought.

Peering around the bridge, she could see that everyone was thinking and feeling the same as she was. Her temporary first officer, Lieutenant Jarata, was almost slumped over the helm as he worked with the dockmaster to bring the Bellerophon into its new home while it underwent extensive repairs. Typically the Risian man was jolly, energetic and could encourage anyone under any circumstance. Instead, this had been wiped out of him. 

Then looking behind her, in an unusual spot for him to be at, Counsellor Hilgan had offered to take over at operations. Not having Bronden there was like the ship was missing a limb. Hilgan only knew the basics, but it was enough to get them to Avalon. The Trill man could oversee what was needed to get the ship there in one piece. 

Like Hilgan, Doctor Corben had doubled up with roles. With Jirani in command, and a number of her staff from her department dead, they needed a chief of security and tactical officer. Corben, who had been trained in Hazard Team tactics and was a qualified bridge officer, had volunteered to take over from her. Though some were still injured, the entire sickbay staff had survived and, under their EMH’s guidance, could help those who still needed treatment. 

It was all enough to get them to safe shores.

“Do we know if Jonarom will eventually join us?” Jarata asked aloud as they were carefully guided into the arms of the dry dock.

“I do not believe so,” T’Penni answered. “Starfleet wishes to debrief fully with Lieutenant Commander Jen over their discovery of the Dominion technology they had evaluated.”

“In other words, Starfleet still wants to know the secrets they discovered,” Corben remarked cynically. The young Betazoid doctor looked down at her controls, “Avalon Yard Twelve is transmitting their security protocols to us.”

“Approve and upload them to the main computer records,” Jirani ordered before returning to the previous topic. “Even still, surely Starfleet would have to admit that it was more than a Breen border dispute.”

“Will they, though?” Higan questioned.

Jirani conceded perhaps the Trill counsellor was right.  

“Once we’re finished here, how about we all find a decent bar in Sato City and get terribly drunk?” Jarata suggested.

Jirani smirked at that idea. “That sounds good to me, Number One.” 

“Thank you, Captain,” Jarata said, emphasising her temporary tile as she had with his. 

Jirani scratched her forehead and wondered just how much they could all drink to forget the tragedies they had just endured.

Comments

  • Short, punchy, to the point! Like it! As a recap of the horrors Bellerophon suffered this was on point! And a good insight into the mindset of Jirani as well. The hell they went through and then get picked on by Command for a circus act would set me in a bad mood too! And people doubling up or taking on other tasks - hints at potential shuffles aboard Bellerophon? Again, a wonderful and punchy recap that does the job and does it well!

    August 3, 2023