= New RP; Needs of the Many =

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    Admiral (Retired)
    Founder 44th Delta FleetFleet Shindig Risa 2019Team Player

    [[ OOC (Out of character); Hello fleet. Role-playing has been on the backburner for a while, and I finally had the time (and inspiration) to start a new one. This story is free for all, but if you don’t join in I hope you will just enjoy the story; my goal is to include the history of our fleet and hopefully add to it as well. If you have any questions pls use the [[ OOC: text-text-text ]] format. General RP rules apply (no God-modding) and all styles and formats are allowed. You can be conchise or elaborate as you see fit, just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. There will be hints within the story (“…known civilian traffic, passing comet fragment…”) which you are free to use or ignore, they’re just hints to give you a starting point if needed. Some more tips at the end of this introduction. ]]

    “Needs of the Many”,

    Chapter One

    Ice Queen, that’s what they called her. At least, quietly behind her back. Apparently it was both in respect and possibly insult. Which she found odd, because her obvious tall blue Andorian origin clearly displayed she came from that pristine ice moon. And queen in most languages meant “leader”, or that’s how she perceived it. So hardly insulting. Fitting, rather. The Vulcans considered their blue-skinned Andorian neighbours to be suspicious, volatile, aggressive and illogical. But she knew she had “mellowed” enough, a human term, to rise through the ranks all the way to the ultimate rank of Fleet Admiral.

    She looked down from the open conference room she used as an office, overlooking the busy concourse of the fleet’s starbase. It was brighly lit with the large transparent aluminium dome above showing the hundreds of visible stars and nebulae that made her choose a career in science, so long ago. But instead of scientific discoveries, she was “discovering” a desk. At least it was a large one.

    Down below Starfleet officers were still coming and going, resembling a typical town’s square like one would find among the many old and new civilizations she once visited and studied. At least here the local “townsfolk” didn’t have to watch and avoid ice-bores burning through the ice ceiling – or anyone’s skin – as on her own homeworld.
    She scowled; whenever she thought of Andorian ice-bores it was a bad omen.

    She walked back to the far side of the large table and waved to the stocky officer standing outside her office. All the glass surrounding her like a shield, and reminded her of the ice of Home.

    The visitor hadn’t moved, just stood there, intently watching for her reaction. He knew what the report said before it reached her, reading its contents just moments ago himself. It was a warning, and a lead. He saw it made her blue antennae twitch, a subtle sign her Andorian cold blood was boiling with anger.
    The short, bulky Tellarite marched in, almost the exact opposite in physique and temperament to hers.
    “You made a decision”, he pointed to the Padd in front of her. Not a question, an observation.
    “Yes. This is within our mandate, our area. Action will be taken.”
    “You will inform the Federation council”. A blunt statement.
    The Tellarite’s beady eyes peered back at the tall Andorian. “Not wise.”
    “As Admiral commanding a Numbered Fleet, I have a duty to protect the Federation’s citizens and civilians. Period.”
    The Tellarite performed something that could be considered a shrug or a snort.
    “They will not like this,” another observation. “Agreed then, action must be taken. Your orders.” Tellarites, always to the point.
    She could move this up the chain of command, perhaps ask for advice from her fellow fleet leader Admiral Sargon. But she knew he had his hands full with the latest tribble infestation at the Delta starbase. And this was adressed to her, asking for her help. No, ultimately the decision was hers to make, and the outcome hers to deal with.

    “We’ll need ships to investigate this, quietly. With captains who can handle this, quietly.” Her long blue fingers slid the Padd across the table where the Tellarite caught it by slamming it with his bulky hand. As if crushing a ice-bore. He tugged his shirt, looking back up to her.
    “You have them. Send them.” He pocketed the Padd and without a word turned and marched off.

    She watched him walk down, crossing the hall where he disappeared entering the transporter room. He would be boarding the D’Kora Marauder that visited the station on a regular basis and besides providing supplies and lucrative merchandise, also provided convenient off-the-record passage.
    She understood the need for secrecy in general, but generally did not like it one bit. That’s not what her fleet stood for.
    When the 44th Fleet founded Starbase 817 it quickly became a hub of activity in the sector before it even fully completed. This station was proof of what made the 44th “Mighty”. When the need arose teams were formed and missions were completed quickly and effectively. The officers in this fleet could switch from fighting Borg cubes to provisioning projects to creating exotic weapons and consoles, all the while still exploring space for new life, and new civilizations.

    This station had completed all goals brilliantly, met every expectation and more. Even found the time – and considerable libations – to create a large bar and deejay offering distractions. A small crowd enjoyed some sort of celebration there now. Those latinum traders again probably. Or perhaps the Romulan delegation letting loose. Morn was there (or “a” Morn probably, one couldn’t tell) with the station’s counselor keeping an eye on things, always observing.

    The federation was the only organization she ever heard of that invested so heavily in amenities and services to make its residents and work-force so comfortable, even for non-Federation civilians. Spending resources like that would never occur at the Andorian Imperial Guard. Or the Romulan Flotilla for that matter. Maybe at the Klingon starbase, but whatever happened there, stayed there.

    It was one of the Federation’s core missions besides exploration. To defend its people, all its residents, to keep them safe, secure, looked after. The revolutionary replicator technology meant there were ample provisions for everyone and all basic necessities were met for all sentient life, from member worlds or not. For the Federation considered all life equal. And without the need to compete for resources, energy and intellect could be devoted to exploring the wonders hidden among the stars instead.
    But the contents of this recent report said something entirely different. She needed to be sure, investigate. Before ‘cracking the ice’, so to speak.

    “Computer, fleet-wide message to the 44th Fleet, Delta Fleet and Assault Squadron, and inform the Armada-…” the computer beeped twice in response.
    “No, wait.” She hesitated. “Just 44th, eyes only.” Better not attract too much attention to this, for now.
    “From: Admiral Ardala Vrann. To: all 44th ships near the southern Beta Quadrant not engaged in current operations to report to Fleet headquarters, for a… special assignment”.
    This was special alright. Investigating a fellow Federation member and probably breaking half a dozen Federation rules, even perhaps the Prime Directive, was bound to have ‘special’ consequences.

    She followed the curved walkway down, acknowledging the guards with a nod, into the starbase’s operations room, which was efficient but small compared to the duties it had to perform. It was more of a nexus from where one could call up the resources of the lower decks which housed the large dedicated engineer, science and tactical departments.
    Even after the recent armed conflicts, various Borg and Tholian incursions, cold and hot wars, Eden thankfully never became a true battlestation, far from it.

    The very first commanding officer of the 44th, Admiral Webster, once called Starbase 817 a future hub for “research, resources and relaxation”, or just “Eden” for short.
    A lot had changed since its founding, in a good way to be sure. The whole 44th fleet dedicated itself and after Eden completed, it rapidly expanded even further with its own mine, embassy, alien spire and research labs spread out all over the Alpha, Beta and now Delta quadrant. Two sister starbases, one Klingon, both with their own outposts provided a tremendous amount of additional resources, unique officers, powerful fleet ships and advanced equipment they never even dreamed of during Eden’s founding. Almost a single Federation all by itself, a tremendous enterprise.
    And rumors were that another installation would be added soon.

    If the original founders only knew. She knew there was a Padd floating around the command deck with Doctor Latinumbar’s research on neurologic synaptic decay still on it, never finished. He and his away team were still considered MIA after contact was lost at Zorkom III. That particular Padd was left there as a token of respect for the admiral who once recruited her.
    So much history here.

    And that was what made the decision for her. She would uphold the founding principles of not just the Federation, but also of the Mighty 44th. The 44th was one of the oldest, most respected fleets out there, and it had never let the Federation’s (and hers!) principles down, so she wouldn’t either.
    She would guard the information presented to her and only share it with the captains she was going to ‘send onto the thin ice’, as Andorians would say.

    The officer of the watch turned and came to attention. “Yes admiral ?”
    “Commander, I need a full survey of all known space activity around the Ba’aja sector including stellar radiation activity and any other phenomena that could interfere with sensors.”
    The captain turned and replaced the hologram showing the starbase status with one showing several planetary systems, projecting animated circles and lines all vying for attention.
    “Nothing out of the ordinary ma’am, minor flare activity from the local star there. Nothing special for the last ten cycles. Known regular civilian traffic, some passing comet fragments that are being tracked by Stellar Navigation, space dust. The ocassional True Way incursion, nothing we can’t handle. Anything special you wish to know ?”

    The admiral looked at the map, there was nothing she would find from here, but she had to start somewhere. But she ultimately knew someone needed to actually be present and investigate this first lead, out there. There was no substitute for actual ‘boots in the snow’.
    “Not right now, I have recalled a few ships. When they arrive have them provisioned or repaired if needed, all services. Clear the docks if you need to.”
    “Yes ma’am, which ships?”
    “We’ll know soon enough”. She knew her fleet – good ships, good captains. They would come.
    “Have their captains report to my office when they arrive.”
    “Yes ma’am. And I’ll have an updated sector activity report on your desk before they do”.
    She nodded, turned and left.
    As he saw her leave the officer of the watch knew he had to clear the board; it was going to be one of those days. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he saw her antennae twitch.

    [[ OOC: If you wish to join the story, introduce your captain and ship, can elaborate but a few lines will suffice. Make way to the fleet starbase as Chapter Two will include a briefing and further introduction to the main story. ]]

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Marcase.
    • This topic was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Marcase.

    "Boldly bashing Borg to bits since 2012..."

    Fleet Member
    Fleet Shindig Risa 2019

    The new junior Comm officer spun around quickly from her console. “Captain, there is a secured message for you. It’s marked as urgent!” She seemed surprised, excited about the sudden message alert on her monitor.

    “I’ll take it in my ready room. Zarva, you have the bridge.” He stood up from his captain’s chair, and stepped down off of the raised bridge command platform, his towering height daunted by the massive expanse of the gleaming Odyssey-class bridge. He stepped past his chief engineering officer as he walked off to the side of the bridge, chuckling softly under his breath. “This should be interesting.”

    He sat at his large curved desk, cold and vast, adorned only by a few selected keepsakes and his person PADD. “Computer, play secured message 031A, authorization Bjarnason-six-tango-alpha,” the computer chiming its succession of short beeps, indicating a successful validation. The message was from Fleet Admiral Ardala Vrann.

    “To all 44th ships near the southern Beta Quadrant not engaged in current operations to report to Fleet headquarters, for a… special assignment.”

    There was a sense of urgency and uncertainty in the Admiral’s voice that he had not heard in a very long time. This was serious. He leaned back in his chair, perplexed by the cryptic message from his fleet’s home base. Standing up quickly, pulling down his uniform to straighten out the few small wrinkles, he made his way quickly back towards the bridge.

    “Helm, plot a course to Starbase 817, maximum warp.” The regular hum of chatter and console beeps paused abruptly as all bridge officers stopped their activities and turned their attention towards their captain, watching him intensely as he returned back to his centre position on the command podium.

    “We’ve been ordered back Eden at the request of Admiral Vrann. I have no further details at the moment, but I’m sure we will be briefed on our new mission once we arrive.” The captain quickly turned to his left and smiled at his senior engineering and science officers, “looks like shore leave to Risa will just have to wait.” A look of disappointment quickly appeared across the senior officers’ faces, immediately followed by a gleam of excitement in their eyes. It had been an uneventful last few months for the ship and it’s crew, being on an extended science and research mission through the south-east sectors of the Beta Quadrant. This was the moment they had all been waiting for. The massive ship had an equally-massive crew, comprised of a good mixture of experienced senior officers and new recruits, many just arriving weeks prior from Star Fleet Academy and re-assignments from DS9. This unknown mission would be the perfect opportunity to bring the crew together.

    With that, they were off, headed west towards the 44th Fleet’s crowning jewel, Starbase 817; Eden. The trip was short, just a mere 24 hours, but to the crew, the anticipation seemed to last an eternity. But finally, they had arrived at their destination. After docking procedures, the crew made their way onboard the glistening star base, many for their first time. Most crew went about standard procedural processes; restocking provisions, maintenance, enjoying the bases many amenities. But for the senior crew, they had a much more urgent matter to attend to. As they made their way onto the main concourse, they were greeted by the officer of the watch.

    “Captain Bjarnason of the U.S.S. Ainsworth reporting for duty.” The officer of the watch kept a stern and expressionless stance. “The Admiral has requested your presence in her office.”

    Admiral (Retired)
    Founder 44th Delta FleetFleet Shindig Risa 2019Team Player

    They said that you could ‘feel’ it whenever an Odyssey class entered the system, its sheer presence creating a bow-wave commanding respect and inspiring awe. The scientist in her found that nonsense of course since there wasn’t enough matter in space to create an actual pressure wave, but the Admiral part of her swore she felt it.

    She watched the massive ship glide towards the station from her private quarters; the ship was almost blocking the entire outside view.

    When the class was orginially introduced and the initial shake-down cruises completed, the Odyssey was often referred to as a ‘whale’ – certainly big and tough, but slow to turn, hard to handle. But in the hands of a capable captain combined with the recent Tier 6 updates it would turn into a Killer Whale, as many enemies old and new found out the hard way.
    Perfect, the admiral smiled. An Odyssey would send the right signal for what she had in mind.

    Her communicator chirped. “Admiral, the USS Ainsworth has arrived, captain Bjarnason reporting in.”
    “Thank you, Ops, I’m on my way.”
    She grabbed a Padd and left her quarters, entering her private elevator. The short travel time back up to the Operations level gave her the opportunity to quickly scan the USS Ainsworth recent mission reports. Nothing dramatic: good captain, good crew, mission success. Reliable. Due for some shore leave and resupply, but instead the Ainsworth had responded, turned and headed home, arriving in less than 24 hours. Excellent timing.
    She moved briskly back to her office, where she saw the tall officer waiting.

    “Captain Bjarnason, good to see you.” She walked in, offered her hand and pointed to the large table.
    “Thank you for coming so fast, have a seat.”
    She moved to her chair at the head of the table. “I’m expecting another ship to arrive shortly, but before I start the full briefing,  let me start by saying that I appreciate you arriving so quickly. I know you and your crew have deserved some leisure time but good timing is of importance, especially in this case.”

    She paused and observed the captain for a moment, then leaned back. “Tell me, how familiar are you with the Coridans…?”

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Marcase.

    "Boldly bashing Borg to bits since 2012..."

    Fleet Member
    Fleet Shindig Risa 2019

    Captain Bjarnason reached out to embrace his Andorian Admiral’s hand in a firm but reassuring handshake. Though cool, the captain was always taken back by the warmth of an Andorian’s touch; always expecting it to be much more frigid, considering their species “icy” heritage. He took a seat across from her, quickly trying to compose a response to the Admiral’s unexpected question.

    “The Coridans? Last I heard they were still making progress rebuilding their dilithium mines on Coridan III?”

    Hearing the Coridans being mentioned was a cause for concern. Historically, the last few centuries have not been kind to the Coridans and their resource-rich  home world, still feeling the devastating effects of the Dominion war.

    “We actually just helped a Coridan ore freighter that was having EPS conduit problems not even 2 months ago as we passed through their solar system. Everything seemed fine,” he replied back.

    An unsettling and anxious feeling fell over the captain. Whatever this was turning into, he had a bad feeling about it.

    Admiral (Retired)
    Founder 44th Delta FleetFleet Shindig Risa 2019Team Player

    [[[ OOC: You are still free to join, just a short introduction of your captain and ship and ‘arrival’ at the starbase is required. No prior experience with RP-ing is needed, just play-by-post. ]]]

    The Admiral’s combadge chirped, “Vrann here.”

    “Ma’am the other ships are enroute, but still over two cycles away, two more ships an extra cycle.” Starbases counted work-days in cycles simulating day-night cycles, and besides work here was organized in shifts, so the starbase was always operational, regardless of its occupants sleeping pattern.

    “We’ll start now and have them catch up then, thank you Ops.” She turned to the captain.

    “The following will need some ground-work, a back-story to sharpen the iceblades, as we say.”

    She took a deep breath, and started.

    "Boldly bashing Borg to bits since 2012..."

    Admiral (Retired)
    Founder 44th Delta FleetFleet Shindig Risa 2019Team Player

    “The Coridans homeworld has been, and will continue to be, a mess. The truth is it never really recovered from the devastating Romulan suicide attack back in the 23rd century. On top of that, the Dominion War sealed Coridan’s fate as a member world in constant turmoil, with competing organized crime syndicates and civil wars creating chaos and disorder on an almost regular basis.” The admiral got up and started to pace.
    “Even so, Coridans mines and shipyards continue to be a strategic asset for the Federation, especially after the recent Iconian War. With direct support of the Vulcan Science Academies, Earth trading houses, Tellarite heavy industry and Andorian political backing there have been many successes rebuilding local industries, improving mining and restoring Coridans natural environment.”

    “The Federation doesn’t interfere in internal planetary matters of course, so how the Coridanites spend their mining resources or conduct their business is their affair.”
    The Admiral stopped near a console and picked up her Padd, held it up. “But the Federation takes notice when certain heavy industrial equipment seem to suddenly disappear – as has been the case with Coridan.”
    She put the Padd flat on the table, tapped it twice, calling up a floating hologram showing various technical schematics of large machinery.

    “Under Special Federation Law, the off-world representatives of the civilian organizations I mentioned, organized in a consortium and calling themselves COSA, had to sign a special contract, as their business involved the deployment and use of these specific Graviton Generators for a deep-drilling mining project.” She froze the image on a particular technical overview.
    “COSA was now responsible for the safe and controlled use at all times of these generators. The reason?” Again she tapped the Padd changing the schematic.
    “These special types of graviton generators are dual-use systems, meaning that they can be weaponized.”
    A scene played showing an enormous crater, surrounded by a totally crumpled and uprooted landscape. Tiny shuttles were buzzing over the devastation providing scale.
    The Admiral walked back to her chair, stood behind it, and grabbed the headrest, almost like she was about to choke it.

    “Before I joined Starfleet I was attached to the Andorian trade delegation to Coridan as science advisor. That was all a cover. Andor was secretly contacted by a Coridan rebel movement that wanted Andorian support to overthrow the then ruling government. Overall a sensitive mission, to say the least, considering our common uneasy history.” She scowled, gestured at a new image.
    “In return for military support these rebels offered the modification plans for these machines. They somehow obtained the schematics but, thankfully, lacked the resources to actually build, test and use them.”  “We confirmed the possibility to use these graviton generators as a potential weapon, and it was my job to further investigate their actual practical use as a deployable system. We succeeded in adjusting the design, improving it, turning them into orbital mass-drivers, and finally conducting an off-world test. The result you see there.”

    The image switched back to the crater, and upon closer examination the shuttles visible appeared to be of Andorian design, performing scans all over the test-site.

    “Simply put they can be used as catapults, siege weapons. Able to accelerate large objects at high speeds over long distances.” She reached over and changed the scene yet again.
    “Andor, in its wisdom, decided to decline. We were recalled, the files sealed and the Coridan government, such as it was, tipped so to arrest and detain the rebels under Coridan law.”

    “A few days later the entire rebel movement was neutralized, every member dead, due to a form of triolic energy poisoning. Every last one of them.” Figures wearing protective clothing were shown collecting bodies in some of the typical Coridan slums.
    “The technical plans or any other indication of them, gone.”
    After watching it for a moment the admiral seemed uneasy and switched it off. She turned directly to her audience.

    “Three shipments of this specific type of large, industrial Graviton Generator have gone missing from Coridan. And not only that, the Coridanite specialists that operate them did too.” She paused for a moment trying to let that information sink in.

    “COSA claims they still have the generators at a secure location, off-limits to all, claiming safety rules. That they’re just adhering to the strict Federation regulations.” Her agitated body-language showed what she really thought of that statement.

    “A thorough investigation by my intelligence specialist says otherwise. I’ve send him undercover to Coridan to find out more since so far further official inquiries, including to the UFP Industry and Trade Commission, have failed,” Finally she sat down, tired, looked at the captain.
    “Mass drivers are a crude, indiscriminate weapon and their use not endorsed by Starfleet Command, so the Federation is not -should not- be interested in their development.”

    “We need to find these generators before they are modified; in the wrong hands they can bring devastation on a planetary scale. We have a few leads that I need you to investigate. Since this investigation includes weapons of mass destruction, this all will require… finesse.”

    The admiral looked at the captain sitting at the table, who took it all in, unmoved. “If you accept this mission, I will provide you with some leads that may point you in the right direction, but I can’t give you open support or we attract too much attention and risk losing the few leads we have.”

    “Are you up for this captain ?”

    "Boldly bashing Borg to bits since 2012..."

    Fleet Member
    Fleet Shindig Risa 2019

    This is exactly what Captain Bjarnason had been waiting for. Over 3 months of science and research missions, and mediating through Federation red-tape had come to an end.

    The U.S.S. Ainsworth was barely broken-in; being one of Star Fleet’s most recently assigned crossover Odyssey-class star cruisers. Though it was a newly-developed tactical-science hybrid, built-up to look more like the familiar Yorktown class, she had the blood and guts of the mighty Endeavour class variant, ready to lead a fleet into battle at a moment’s notice. This is what she was built for. She was a war ship at heart. And this is what the captain and his crew were trained for.

    “Of course! I proudly accept your mission, Admiral.” The captain fought back a slight smile, but couldn’t hide the excitement in his eyes. He stood up from his chair, now standing across from the Admiral, who was still standing behind her chair, hands still tightly gripping her headrest.

    “Anything I can do to assist and protect the Federation and our mighty fleet. My crew is ready for this challenge, we will not let you down.”

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by TBjarnason.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by TBjarnason.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by TBjarnason.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by TBjarnason.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by TBjarnason.
    Admiral (Retired)
    Founder 44th Delta Fleet