Starbase 72 - Minos Korva System
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Arrival

Posted on Sun Dec 31st, 2017 @ 3:58pm by Vice Admiral Zachary O'Connell & Commodore Meemmexi "Mex" Chai & Commodore Viggo Espersen & Commander Ombretta Del Carlo & Commander Strork & Commander Ebhyl ch'Rhalos & Petty Officer 2nd Class Janell Tanika

Mission: Settling In
Location: Starbase 72
Timeline: December 10, 2388

The last few days had been a whirlwind. To be fair, the last few months felt like several years had passed. From medical relief to fighting the Consortium to cleaning up after that debacle… Vice Admiral Zachary O’Connell sincerely thought that matters were finally settling down. In the midst of it all, his wife, Jillian, who’d also served under his command aboard the USS O’Carroll, had just given birth to their first child. Zachary thought he’d be able to step back and enjoy being a parent.

Starfleet, however, had to intervene. Within hours of contact, Zachary, along with his wife and four-month old son, boarded the USS Columbia to leave the Gamma Quadrant for good.

While the Consortium ripped Task Force 9 apart, the Cardassians had performed a power play of their own. Taking advantage of everyone’s attention on the Gavarian Corridor, the Cardassians lashed at the Breen. During the Dominion War, four systems were given to the Breen by the Dominion as incentive for allying with them during the Dominion War; four systems that had belonged to the Cardassians for decades. When the war ended, these systems remained in Breen hands, including the Cardassians who lived on them. In just a few short weeks, the Cardassians didn’t just reclaim those systems, but unleashed total hell on the Confederacy.

No one, not even the Federation, saw it coming. Even though these actions were still weeks old, the Federation was still recovering from the shock. Starfleet wanted someone in charge of Task Force 72 that not only could keep a proper eye on the Union, but someone who could do something about it when the time come. And it was Zachary’s performance during the Consortium crisis that stood out to them.

As flattered as most would expect Zach to be, the man looking out the Columbia’s forward viewport as it approached Starbase 72 was anything but. He thought it ridiculous that one man could make that much difference in this decades-old conflict. No, this would be up to the Task Force as a whole, each starship and crew performing their duty, to turn this thing around.

Behind the impressive Spacedock-class station was a small M-Class planet, roughly eighty percent the size of Earth. Its name was Minos Korva, the residential hub for what was arguably the most valuable system in this sector. Dilithium mines, deuterium refineries, excellent sources of duranium, tritanium and more had made this system a target during two wars. Amazingly, it had never left Federation hands, even when nearly surrounded by the Dominion in 2374. Even though its existence and location was no longer threatened, its proximity to both the Union and Confederacy made it the perfect location to transfer the Task Force Headquarters.

“Well,” Zach muttered to himself. “At least it’s a step up from Starbase Unity.” Of course, even a K-Class station would be a step up at this point. Anything beat a converted Dominion dilithium refinery.

* * *

“Another Commanding Officer,” muttered Commander Ebyhl ch’Rhalos. The Andorian had been serving for the last year as the Task Force’s Chief of Intelligence and considered himself fortunate that his resignation wasn’t demanded the moment the Cardassians acted against the Breen.

“It’s not about us,” assured the Efrosian Yivliv Ra-Havrox, 72’s Diplomatic Attache. The man had served with Starfleet for several decades and was one of the few diplomats the Cardassians would entertain these days.

The doors to the waiting room opened, allowing another Starfleet officer, an attractive Italian woman, to enter the room just in time to hear the conversation “Unique times, unique measures,” added Commander Ombretta Del Carlo, 72’s Chief of Strategic Operations.

“If you think this is frustrating,” said Commodore Meemmexi Chai, the station’s Betazoid Commanding Officer, who fought the urge to roll her black eyes at the inexperienced Starfleet officers around her. “You should have seen the start of the Dominion War. It was even more disorganized.”

Several other officers were in the room, including the station’s XO, the Vulcan Commander Strork, Commodore Viggo Espersen, 72’s Chief of Operations, and a security detachment. All of them awaited the Columbia to dock inside the station, even though the Galaxy-class ship was already in the main bay. Pomp and ceremony had not been requested, nor was the station about to award it. The arrival of the Task Force Commanding Officer, regardless of length of service, was never a cause for celebration. If anything, it meant more work for all, and crate after crate of coffee.

Finally, the docking procedure had finished. A minute later, the airlock hissed open, revealing a forty-year-old human male, two female companions, one of whom was holding an infant. Nearby, a boatswain pressed a whistle to his lips and performed the ancient three-note report, an announcement that admiralty had arrived.

Vice Admiral Zachary O’Connell stepped over the threshold to stand in front of Commodore Chai. “Commodore,” he greeted with a smile. “A pleasure to see you again.”

“We’ve both come a long way from the Achilles,” replied the Betazoid woman.

“Times have indeed changed,” Zachary said. He looked at the various officers gathered in the room, taking a moment to make eye contact with each of them. Zach didn’t need to be empathic to know that nobody was comfortable with this. “Allow me to introduce my wife,” Zachary said, gesturing to the blond woman to his left, “Jillian and our first born, Scott.”

He waited for a moment for Jillian to nod before acknowledging the dark-skinned woman to his right. “Petty Officer 2nd Class Jenell Tanika,” Zachary said, “my attaché. Commander Strork, Commodore Espersen, Mister Ra-Havrox, Commander Del Carlo, and Commander ch’Rhalos, I wish I could say that we are first meeting under better circumstances. I have reviewed the available reports on the journey here. Given the late hour, I think it’s best that we wait until the morning to begin. Daily briefings will be held in my office every day at 0700. Tanika will pick up any reports you have at the end of the day. I know we’ve got a hard task, but for now, it’s going to have to be wait and see. We’ve got to wait for the right moment to take action, whatever that is.”

Zachary smiled and nodded. “See you in the morning.” To Commodore Chai, he added, “Thank you for the use of Starbase 72. I hope to stay out of your way.” With that final nod, Zach led his party out of the airlock and into the starbase.

“Odd,” said Yivliv after O’Connell and his party had departed. “I was expecting more from the strategist that kept the Consortium at bay.”

“Strategist?” gruffed ch’Rhalos to the group. “He’s an engineer. We’re all doomed.”

 

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