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Part of USS Saratoga: Strength In Weakness

4 – Strength In Weakness

USS Saratoga / Starbase Bravo
April 12, 2401
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The Saratoga and Knight had completed repairs, though it was too late to join the Gagarin for the Frontier Day celebrations at Earth. Since they couldn’t be there for the big event, Azras ensured she set up a party for those who wished to attend from both ships. This would allow them to enjoy some celebration and be able to watch the event that is taking place at Earth.

Walking into one of their lounges which were the largest out of the ones onboard, tables that once filled the room had been cleared. Instead, you could see a row of tables near the wall that had different types of food adored the tables. Around the room, some circular tables and chairs were strategically placed. Leaving a little area for those who wished to stand and mingle.

Tianna Anai had closed the Hillside Country Bar & Grill that day to help take care of everything for the party that was taking place in a couple of hours. She was just putting some finishing touches on a few things. “This looks so lovely. Thank you, Tianna, for volunteering to put all this together,” Azras said as she walked up to the woman with a smile.

“Was my pleasure,” Tianna said with a smile as she looked at the captain.

“You always seem to know how to set up a stunning party,” Azras added as she was pleased with how everything looked. She was sure that her officers would enjoy it both from both ships that were docked at Starbase Bravo. She wished the Gagarin were here with them but they were needed at Earth for Frontier Day.

“Years of experience,” Tianna replied as she continued working while chatting with the captain. She and her staff would be making sure the food and drinks stayed replenished throughout the event.

“Well, I just wanted to check on things before I head off to get ready, again thanks for doing this,” Azras said as Tianna nodded with a smile, she made her way towards the door and began making her way towards her quarters. The event would be formal but dress uniforms were not required, just a nice dress outfit would be sufficient.

Upon entering her quarters she looked around to see if her husband was there, “Arzin?” Azras called out as she moved deeper into their quarters. She smelt an incense that made her feel relaxed and she knew he was here.

Popping his head out of their bedroom, “yes love?” Arzin asked, looking at her with a smile as he was shirtless with a towel around his waist as he just got out of the shower.

“I was just wondering if you were here,” Azras said as she looked at her husband’s attire. “Looks like you’re getting ready already,” Azras said as she walked into the room with him. She noticed that he laid out a beautiful blue gown with thin straps at the top and fluffy type shoulder straps. Nothing too extravagant but still looked beautiful nonetheless. To Azras it almost looked like an old Earth storybook princess dress. “Wow, that looks beautiful thank you, love,” Azras said as she drew Arzin closer to her and kissed him.

Arzin smiled as he returned the kiss, “well you better go get ready. We don’t want to be late.” He added as they both chuckled as he walked over to where his nice set of trousers, khaki in color, and a nice button-down dress shirt which was a light blue to somewhat match what Azras would be wearing.

Azras smiled, kissing him one more time before making her way toward the shower, undressing along the way. After a while she finished wrapping a towel around her, she walked back out into the bedroom to get dried off and dress when she saw Arzin looking stunning. “You look so handsome,” Azras said with a smile.

“Thank you,” Arzin smiled. “Oh, Linha will be joining us for the celebrations. She said that she would rather join ours than the many that are currently happening on Starbase Bravo.” He said looking at her as he was adjusting his collar.

“Wonderful,” Azras said as she finished getting dressed before walking over to where the mirror was and starting to do her hair. She always enjoyed any time she could get with her eldest daughter, even more so now since the passing of her son. After a while, she finished doing her hair up in a nice bun.

Looking at herself again in the mirror before she turned to look at the time, “we better get going or we will be late,” Azras said as she emphasized the word ‘will’. She let out a soft chuckle as Arzin nodded in agreement. They both made their way out of their quarters heading to the lounge.

A short time later they arrived and walked through the doors, soft music was playing as officers from both ships had already arrived and were mingling with each other. People were lined up at the buffet getting some of the good food that was offered thanks to Tianna Anai.

Azras smiled as they made their way deeper inside the lounge, “glad you could make it captain.” T’Prel said as she walked up to her, she was wearing a nice two-piece outfit, nothing too extravagant. Ritru walked up with her and smiled at both Azras and Arzin, she was wearing a nice green dress.

“Well this was my idea so figured I’d have to be here,” Azras said with a chuckle. “Seems everyone is already enjoying themselves, I hope you two are as well.” She replied looking at the two recently married couple.

“This is sufficient for today’s events,” T’Prel said as Ritru snickered a quiet laugh at her use of words. Looking at Ritru, “what do you find humorous?” T’Prel said with a raised eyebrow.

Looking at T’Prel for a brief moment before looking at Azras, “what she means to say is that this is enjoyable.” Ritru replied with a smile as the two walked off to get some food before it was all gone.

Azras smiled at the two, “those two make a very interesting pair.” She commented as they both made their way to where the food was located. Everything looked so delicious, picking up a plate she grabbed a few things before making her way toward a table that was near the screen where the news feed would come through soon from Earth.

Rayu Isha walked up to where Azras was, “thank you for throwing this party I think this is what everyone needs, especially with what we have gone through. Also, to celebrate Frontier Day,” she commented with a smile.

“Of course,” Azras replied with a smile as things were about to start as the screen came to life to show Earth’s Starbase as well as ships that were in formation around the Starbase. Everyone stopped talking turning towards where the screen was located the music was lowered even more to where it was only softly playing.

Short while later the hangar doors opened and slowly they saw the Enterprise make its way out while fireworks were going off in the background. Everyone seemed in awe of the spectacle of the Odyssey-class Enterprise. Linha had arrived walking up to where her parents were located just as things started. Drink in hand she smiled at them as she began to watch the spectacle.

A moment later Admiral Shelby came on the screen and began to give her speech, everyone listened intently to every word that came out of her mouth. Then they saw the Titan arrive causing Azras to raise her eyebrow as there had been reports of the Titan going rogue or had been compromised. Then the next thing they saw was fleet formation going live and all of a sudden the whole fleet began its assault on the Starbase.

There had been loud gasps from everyone in the room, people watched in horror at what was happening. Azras looked around the room but they seem to be unaffected, she looked around until she saw Jheria and walked over to her. “I need you to go check out our fleet formation mode installation,” Azras ordered as quietly as possible to not panic the crew more than what they already were at what they were witnessing happening at Earth.

“Understood,” Jheria replied quietly before exiting the lounge and heading directly to engineering.

Azras noticed that Piyu was here she also had him head back over to the Knight to do the same thing. He nodded in agreement and he to left the party, walking back over to where Isha and her family stood watching things unfold. It began to look like the crew of the Excelsior had gained control of the ship but moments later the ships turned on them and destroyed them. Azras gasped at the sight, trying to figure out what was going on. Was it the fleet formation or something more sinister going on, all she could do was watch in horror.

Both Jheria and Piyu arrived back and gave their report, there seemed to be nothing wrong with their fleet formation mode. Now she began to wonder if it was something else making those ships do what they were doing. Then it happened Earth’s defenses went down, though just then the Titan broke formation and began to fire on their ships trying to stop whatever they were doing.

She helplessly watched everything unfold, not able to do anything. Then just as it began everything stopped, she looked at everyone who just looked lost at what had just happened. “Well, looks like the party is over…” Azras said as everyone seemed to file out of the lounge.

“Linha you better get back to the station, I suspect many wounded will be brought in from ships returning,” Azras said as she hugged her daughter one last time who nodded before hugging her father and headed back to Starbase Bravo. She stood there for a while longer just looking at the screen at the aftermath, Arzin placed an arm around her and just stood there quietly as she tried to process everything. “What happened…” Azras began, “what caused them to do this…” she added with so many more questions than she had answers at the moment.

“I am sure we will find out soon enough,” Arzin replied.

“Ya,” is all that Azras had said before they both exited the lounge heading to their quarters to change clothes.

An hour had passed since the catastrophe had taken place at Earth, they didn’t know the status of the Gagarin. Azras was pacing in front of her chair on the bridge for the last twenty minutes. Silence had filled the bridge as everyone didn’t know what to say, they were still stunned at what they witnessed and shouldn’t blame them.

“Sir,” Ritru spoke up from the comm before facing the captain. “Incoming transmission from Captain Tilana,” she said.

“On screen,” Azras ordered as the screen changed to see the bridge of the Gagarin. “What the hell happened Captain?” Azras ordered looking at her who looked exhausted and looked like she and everyone on the bridge had been through hell.

“The Borg,” Tilana said as she began to explain everything that had happened.

Azras and T’Prel looked at each other for a brief moment, “how?” She asked.

“I am not sure of all the details yet but it seemed the younger crewmembers turned into living Borg and took control of the ships and hunted down those who were not assimilated. Beginning to kill us…we had to find shelter and seal ourselves wherever we could,” Tilana replied. “They took advantage of the fleet formation to bring down Earth’s defenses, I am not sure how they turned into Borg I am sure we will learn more soon enough,” Tilana added before she paused.

“The Gagarin is dead, she isn’t going anywhere between the Starbase and the Titan we took a beating. Can you come get us and take us to Avalon Fleet Yards?” Tilana asked looking defeated and exhausted. She didn’t want to be on that ship anymore, she didn’t even know if she wanted to be in Starfleet anymore. She didn’t expect to be put through so much in the short amount of time she had been on the Gagarin both as the first officer and the captain.

“Of course, we will leave immediately,” Azras said as she wasn’t going to push things further as she could tell they had been through a lot.

“Thank you,” Tilana replied before the line ended.

Azras sat down in her chair and silence filled the bridge for a brief moment as others looked at her. “Ritru send a message to the Knight letting them know we are departing from the Starbase and are heading for Earth,” Azras ordered.

“Understood,” Ritru replied as she sent the message. A few moments later Ritru looked back at the captain again. “They have acknowledged and are preparing to depart,” she replied.

Nodding, “open a channel to the Starbase.” Azras ordered.

“Channel open,” Ritru responded.

“USS Saratoga to Starbase Bravo, requesting permission to disembark from the station.” Azras requested and waited for a reply.

Saratoga this is docking control, you are cleared for departure.” Came the reply of the dockmaster. “Starbase Bravo out,” he added as the line closed.

Azras looked to Deza who had returned to duty after her whole ordeal, “release mournings and docking clamps. Then back us away from the Starbase before setting course for Earth at maximum warp.” Azras ordered as Deza nodded, the mournings had released, and a short time later so did the docking clamps. The ship came to life and both the Saratoga and Knight began to slowly back away from the station until they were at a safe distance. Once they were clear both ships had jumped to maximum warp heading for Earth.