‘It’s only three people,’ scoffed Vretar into his morning tea.
‘How many must it be,’ said Tauvits softly, ‘before we take action, Counsellor? Five? Ten?’
The diplomat sat up, scowling. ‘You misunderstand me, Admiral. Deliberately. Of course we should send someone. But a Galaxy-class? It’s a gross overreaction.’
‘Is it?’ Tauvits tossed the PADD bearing the latest report from the Gavarian Corridor onto his desk. ‘There have already been complaints from Colonial Affairs that Starfleet has given insufficient support to our settlements in the Corridor since the Exploration Agreement. Some of these people have lived there almost a decade and felt abandoned when we withdrew. Now we’re back, what are we to do about the very next threat the colonists of Pergamon face?’
‘Send something else. Endeavour is fresh off closing down the Gorn front; they’re a highly decorated crew on one of our premier starships -’
‘These all make Endeavour the perfect choice. Captain Tau commands a respected vessel which has no pressing assignment. And sending a ship of such prestige will reassure the colonists -’
‘One small settlement’s reassurance is not worth a Galaxy, Admiral.’
At the fresh interruption, Tauvits simply went quiet, clasping his hands on the desk and staring at Vretar. He held the gaze one beat, two, until the diplomat sat back in silence, grumpy expression suggesting the point was made.
‘The colonists want an explanation. We must give them one, or they will turn on and blame their Cardassian neighbours; the reports make that clear.’ Tauvits gestured to the dropped PADD. ‘When that happens, when the tensions rise between the two settlements, what ships do you think the Union will send? No. The colonists must know we are taking their plight seriously. The Cardassians must know we are taking the security of the region seriously. And, above all, we must find those missing people.’
Vretar sat forward, picking his words more delicately. ‘I suppose this means any enquiry into Captain Tau’s actions at Canterra must be delayed?’
‘First we win the peace, Counsellor,’ said Vice-Admiral Tauvits. ‘Then we can look to judge what happened in the fog of war.’
News from TF72 (Ship Updates)
New Lakarian City: With the city reeling from a terrorist attack at the heart of new aspirations for peace and unity, the embassy staff are forced to work closely with not only Cardassian authorities to get to the truth – but the Ferengi and their agendas.
USS Boadicea: Far from oversight, the Boadicea has engaged in a cooperative live fire exercise with Cardassian ships. Surely nothing will go wrong in this operation to test cannibalised Dominion weapon technology.
USS Sutherland: Deep in the Wastelands, the Sutherland has sought out a Federation distress signal – only to find a smattering of survivors of a Starfleet vessel lost more than 85 years ago, and left for dead.
Deep Space 12: Hot on the heels of the perpetrators of the terrorist attack that crippled the station, the crew pursue leads into the mysterious depths of the Cardassian DMZ.
USS Hope: Conducting research on a unilaterally unstable wormhole, the USS Hope gathers information ahead of a fresh return to the depths of the Inconnu Expanse.
USS Endeavour: Dispatched to investigate colonists missing from a settlement in the Gavarian Corridor, the Endeavour has been forced to accept an overseer from Starfleet Intelligence, suggesting more sinister agendas at work in this region of space.
Bravo Fleet and TF72
Some things have been going on across the Fleet of import. For one, the position of Logistics Officer in the Fleet has been abolished. It was a role for development of specifications of IC technology and ships, and with the departure of the last holder, the BFA deemed it appropriate for these responsibilities to be folded into those of the Loremaster.
There have been other BFA changes, however. We now have a Chief of Staff, someone primarily responsible for matters such as the Hall of Honour and maintaining the Fleet roster. This takes a load off the shoulders of the BFXO and allows us to do more to run the Fleet and offer recognition to hard-working players.
Finally, of most immediate need for attention, Bravo Fleet is looking for a new Internet Officer. While the incumbent will remain in the position until we have some candidates for replacement, we could really do with someone with the technical know-how and commitment to step up.
This has been a quiet month for the Task Force, but this is only natural; the start of September is always hard for everyone. So take it easy, folks, focus on real life for a bit, and we’ll turn our attention back to the game soon enough.