Starbase 72 - Minos Korva System
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Catching Up on Paperwork

Posted on Sun Mar 24th, 2019 @ 4:58pm by Admiral Zachary O'Connell

Mission: Task Force Operations
Location: USS Galvani, VIP Quarters
Timeline: May 30, 2389

“That’s amazing!” smiled Jill through the holographic communications system. She, like her husband, found the holopresence communication method to be quite the technological marvel. Neither had had the opportunity to use it until he’d been ordered to travel to the Neethia system for the Negotiations. His transport, the USS Galvani had been hastily outfitted with the technology so that he could use it to conduct business with the rest of his Task Force staff still assembled at Starbase 72, and, of course, his significant other. “I know how much the Expanse has burdened you for the last few months. You can finally take a breath now.”

Both she and Zach knew better. Unlike her standing and cradling their eight-month old son, Zachary had retired to an arm chair in the ship’s VIP quarters which were also doubling as his office for the four-day trip back to the starbase. Agreements, even unapproved written ones, were not yet set in concrete, nor were they invincible to rogue parties or changing regimes. This peace would be a temporary one, though he would do everything in his power to make it last for as long as he was in charge of Task Force 72. “I hope so,” he honestly told his wife. As much as he marveled the advances in holographic technology, having a representation of his wife in the room did nothing to help his soul. Oh, how Zachary wished he could hold his son, or his wife. Even holding both of them would be ideal right now.

Such was the punishment of being a flag officer in Starfleet.

Jill knew this too, having watching him for decades, and recently while pregnant and nursing as her husband dealt with increasingly difficult decisions and situations. She approached him, reaching down to put a hand on his shoulder. “Get some rest, Zach. And, take a day for yourself when you get back.”

Zachary reached to put his hand on top of hers, only for it to fall through the projection and land on his shoulder. The projector was not yet strong enough to simulate an actual hand, just a hollow visage. He looked up to see her tender eyes just before the image flashed and disappeared. The transmission had ended.

The Admiral sighed before yielding to a yawn. For the last five days, he’d been consumed with nothing more than preparing for the negotiations. He was grateful for his Task Force Senior Staff as they had shouldered his share of the load while he worked with Starfleet Command and the Office of the President during the intense time. Pushing himself out of his chair, he approached the desk, also outfitted with a holographic workstation, in order to get a pulse on Task Force happenings.

As expected, there were hundreds of messages from the last few days. His filters had sorted them into categories, something managed for him by Petty Officer Tanika back home. A glance at the messages from Commodore Espersen and Commander del Carlo told him those would have to wait for a time when he had more of a sound and active mind. With a brush of his hand, Zachary shifted over to the Task Force folders and began to review the updates from his Task Group Commanders.

The Magellan still hadn’t returned from the Inconnu Expanse, though its most recent update indicated it was about to make contact with the Gisborne, one of the Task Force Intelligence units that had gone quiet the last few weeks. The Hope was still near Tshuud, as it had for the last several months. Rumors of a stable wormhole had appeared in previous reports, yet Zachary was curious to find out more. The Ark Royal was still on her way to the Expanse, though it notified that it was moving to assist the Hitachi, upon which the Ark Royal’s true CO was in temporary command of. The Pandora was continuing to explore Paradise Outpost in the Inconnu Expanse, only to find itself in the midst of a local investigation. Zachary frowned and shook his head there, praying that the investigation stayed local and out of the peering eyes of the Alrakis Pact. And then there was a possible pulse on a Marine team that was lost in the Expanse, but only time would tell.

The newly formed Task Group Artemis was already getting to work, beginning with some continued repairs to Roosevelt Station, one of Task Force 72’s many Nor starbases. General Leah had previously indicated that the Ferengi were involved in some sort of lucrative business contract with the Pact, and those investigations were still ongoing. The Kitsune was still patrolling the Tzenkethi border, putting the new sensor palettes to test, but still no word on whether or not these new units could be cleared for mass production. The Standing Bear was at last on route to Athegan Station. Zachary had enjoyed hearing about this initiative from his predecessor, knowing it was a chance to showcase the Federation’s true ideals to a new civilization, much like with the Bajorans so many years ago. Both the Nogura and the Atlantis, thanks to prior discussions, were already en route to the Wastelands. The Nogura would first reinforce the aging Starbase 214, and the Atlantis was diverted from its original destination thanks to a new anomaly not far from Neethia. The Boadicea, one of the the Task Force’s older ships, had been reassigned to the now-overlooked Gavarian corridor where it would be able to do what much of the Task Force couldn’t do, some old-fashioned exploring.

Group Hecate, under the Office of Special Investigations’ watchful eye, was once again demonstrating how much marker ink they possessed through its redacted reports. Even Admiral O’Connell’s clearance didn’t allow him to see much more than anyone else in the Task Force, but that would soon have to change. Canopus Station, the starbase Project Long Jump managed to send outside of the galaxy after years of construction, had been able to send back a few cryptic things. The redaction ink blocked out a number of species names, but he was able to learn that the base hadn’t yet been assembled. And, he swore he saw a glimpse of the Traveller’s name, which had eluded Zachary’s view for months now. The Phantom seemed to have an eventful time on all its own, having been involved with a nasty JAG case. Commodore Tau’s fingerprints seemed to be on the submitted report, leaving Zachary to conclude he’d have to have a meeting with the man at the next opportunity. Starfleet also seemed to assign a ship, the Trenton to this Task Group as well, according to the brief message in the box. He filed that one away for further scrutiny in the morning. The Pioneer seemed to have the most normal circumstances of all of the reports, engaging on a simple investigation of a lost science vessel near Stellar Mass Charybidis-A at the center of the Scylla Nebula.

The homefront, which Admiral O’Connell considered to be the backbone of the Task Force, was operating well outside of comfortable parameters too. The Assembly Hall of Ashalla completed its special election at last, and Zachary was pleased that an administration that favored the Federation had been installed. Yet, Bajor seemed to be in the crosshairs of many, ranging from the appearance of agents connected to the Sovereignty of Kahless at Starfleet Academy’s Bajor Campus, and also a potential threat from the Freedom’s Legion among its students. This was perhaps a timely arrival for the Thurgood Marshall, who’d just thwarted the efforts of a rogue captain who’d targeted Deep Space 10, and Law Enforcement Team 72, who’d just spearheaded the security arrangements aboard the St. John Talbot for the Inconnu Expanse negotiations at Neethia. The new Vidal Fleet Yards were still in the process of setting up operations, leading Zachary to believe it was time to start putting in a few starships for quantum slipstream upgrades, provided LET 72 could confirm the station’s security. Meanwhile, a Scientific and Technical Assessment Team (STAT) had been activated aboard the Polaris in time to investigate a subspace communications array near Neethia that had gone silent.

Sighing, the Admiral leaned back in his chair, wondering why all of a sudden Neethia had become a major fixture for the Task Force. Negotiations, dead communications arrays, and spatial anomalies... Who knew what was coming next? One battle had concluded, yet so much more hovered over the immediate horizon.

Other reports gave similar status updates, ranging from rumors that the Cardassian Order of 12 hadn’t been disbanded, but lurking in the shadows, to a notice that Deep Space K-17 on the Tzenkethi border was requesting reinforcement, resupply and repair.

Zachary sighed once more, deactivating the holographic screens with a quick gesture. He decided that he would certainly follow his wife’s suggestion. A day off was exactly what the Admiral needed most right now.

Notes: For a complete listing of all sims in Task Force 72, click here. We are also aware that this post contains events that occur after Negotiations, yet they were included as to not exclude any one sim's activities.


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