Part of USS Dragon: Abeloth and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

ABELOTH – 15

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Viameli, set a course for Farpoint station.”

“Course laid in, captain”

“Let’s get moving then, warp nine. And no rest stops.”

“Aye ma’am. No sightseeing, damn I really wanted to see that ball of twine.”

“We can always come back.” Aryanna said with a chuckle as she turned towards the comms officer “anything?”

A shake of the head in reply

Science was next followed by intelligence as they all gave the same negative reply. She knew better than to breathe easy just yet, a lot of space was still in front of them including a long run across dominion-controlled territory, and she knew that there was a fleet behind them somewhere.

“Zoltia, get with engineering and prepare two mark nine probes for warp eight travel. Set them up for long-range reconnaissance. I want them ready to go in the next hour.” Aryanna drummed her fingers on her armrest as she looked around the bridge. “Skagath, once they have the probes ready I want one loaded in a forward tube and one loaded in an aft tube. We need to know what is ahead of us and where that fleet is.”

“Aye captain.”

Aryanna tapped on the internal comm button on the console to her right. “Doc, how is everything? How are our guests doing?”

“Busy as you could probably guess. Nothing to serious manly malnutrition and dehydration, we do have some broken bones and such that healed incorrectly as it seems that medical help was not high on the confederacies list, for the most part. We have most of them in the wings. The more severe cases came from the strafing runs those bastards did against the encampment; they had them lined up like one of those old-fashioned shooting galleries. Many burn victims and some severe damage to extremities. We should be able to handle most of the cases, but it’s going to be slow going and long hours.”

Aryanna nodded as she heard the emotional toll it was taking in the doc’s voice. “Okay, I’ll make my way down there to get a full briefing from you in a bit.”

“Roger”

Aryanna sat back in her chair with PADD in hand and started to reread the after action reports from the previous day and leading up to this point in time. She knew that they had accomplished their mission in the destruction of the Breen dilithium mining operation but she could not stop second-guessing herself and the mission’s plan. Why did the Breen go after the slaves in such fashion? What had they missed?  Something was off; something was making her question what was really going on, on the planet. Moreover, she could not put her finger on it and that really bothered her.

<<” The answer is right in front of us. I think that meeting with the Doc needs to happen now.”

“You don’t think?

“You’re the one putting the puzzle pieces together; I’m just following your lead. Though if it is what you think it is then this just put a whole new spin on that camp and we are lucky we got to it when we did.”>>

Aryanna jumped up from her seat. “Skagath you have the Conn. ” as she tossed him the dragon ring. “Launch those probes as soon as they are ready, aim the one aft towards that fleet. I am going down to sickbay. As she all but dashed toward the turbolift, tapping her combadge “Meadow, meet me in the doc’s office. I’m on my way there now.”

The bridge staff looked at each other a bit stunned, as they had not seen their relatively new captain move and act in such a manner.

Skagath made his way over to the center seat and picked up the captain’s PADD from where she had dropped it in the seat, flipping it over he quickly scanned the PADD. “Shit” as he looked at it again wondering if he had read it right, he then ran a hand through his hair and over his face as he thumbed the screen off.

 

Aryanna exited the turbolift into the mass confusion of the sickbay working to its fullest. There were crew and slaves now refugee’s spread all over the sick bay. Most were on bio beds but some were seated in chairs with nurses tending to them while others stood waiting their turn to see someone anyone that could help them. Making her way through the crowd she stopped the first blue tunic’d person she saw. “Excuse me, lieutenant”

“The nurse pointed over her shoulder at the line that was forming at the sick bay main entrance. “The line is over there,” she pointed over her shoulder ” we will get to you as soon as we can, everything will be alright.” she felt the pressure on her arm just a tad bit more than usual, as it was quite persistent.  She went to brush it off and realized that the hand was gloved in black which was not normal from what she had seen so far today, she turned to look at whoever it was that was being persistent in their questioning.

“Oh, captain. I’m sorry I thought you were one of the injured.”

“I understand lieutenant. Where is Doc?”

The nurse looked around the sick bay as she thought for a second. “I think she mentioned something about going to her office for a few minutes.” as she pointed towards the glass-enclosed office off towards the port side of sick bay, its windows now a shade of black, obviously a try at gaining some peace even if only for a few seconds.

“Thank you, lieutenant. I will find you after this is done. I would like to be shown around if you don’t mind.”

The young lieutenant nodded as she held a medical tricorder over her next patient’s severely burnt arm and neck.

Aryanna made her way over to the door that the lieutenant had pointed at and gently knocked.

“Enter”

She entered the chief medical officers’ office and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dim light; as they did, she noticed the doc and her XO. One behind the average sized desk and the other in what looked like some sort of recliner from ages long past both of them held a short thick glass with a brown liquid in the bottom third.

“Want one?”

Aryanna shook her head, not yet but i may need one once i say what i came to ask.

“Have you been able to compile a roster of those that we brought on board?”

“Ammmm, yes. Have it right here, well at least the ones we have been able to get to already.”

Aryanna accepted the PADD as she started to scroll through it. “Do we have a total count yet?”

“Yes, that we do have. “As doc typed something on her desk console and some numbers came up on the rooms view screen.

Aryanna stopped looking at the PADD and looked up as the numbers came up. “Total of 2523 survivors” she felt her shoulders slump.

“That’s not including the remains we have in the starboard mission/cargo room, we estimate another 500 there give or take a few, of the ones we were able to retrieve.” Doc added.

Aryanna slumped onto the room’s small couch and felt her shoulders drop even lower as meadow stood and retrieved the glass that was offered seconds ago and handed it to her captain.

Aryanna looked at the PADD again and took a deep breath followed by a sip from the glass, as she felt the fire go down her throat. “Have you had a chance to check these yet?”

“Not yet, at least not against any other databases.”

Aryanna nodded. “Ok, I have a hunch on why they attacked the slaves. Something has been clawing at the back of my mind since I started to read the reports. why that row? What not both? Why attack the slaves at all?”

The two other women in the room both put their drinks down and looked at their captain.

“You’re not thinking? They wouldn’t?” Meadow looked at the two others in the room. “Would they?”

Doc motioned for the captain to hand her the PADD, which Aryanna gladly did. She then typed a few commands and transferred the list from the PADD to the main view screen. She raised an eyebrow as if she just now was able to see the list for the first time, noticing that some of the refugees did not have names but just an alphanumeric code entered by her team. “Computer separate the alpha numeric from the named.” They watched the list separate into a longer one and much shorter one.

Doc knew she needed to ask even though she already knew the answer “Computer, is the shorter list the survivors of the Breen attack.”

“Affirmative”

She dropped the PADD on her desk as she fell into her seat and looked at the Captain.

Aryanna looked at the list being displayed on the view screen. “Computer, using the transporter logs, run the list against all known databases.”

“They watched in silence as not only names began to filter onto the shorter list of survivors but also ranks, ship and station names and dates of when they were presumed missing or dead.

“Those bastards, they did not want us to find this out, they were hoping to kill them all. These are not just slaves these are POW’s.

Doc started to quickly type something onto her console and then briskly made her way to the door and yelled for the nurses to gather around. Stunned silence as she broke the news on who they were dealing with.

“This changes things,” as she returned to her desk. “We are no longer just dealing with slaves turned refugees, we are now dealing with returning federation members thought to be dead to their homes and loved ones.”

Aryanna stood and straightened her shoulders. “Looks like I have some calls to make. I can’t believe this, even seeing it with my own eyes I can’t believe it.” she nodded toward the list.

Doc downed what remained in her glass and stood. “This changes things for sure as now we have names to put with those that are in the cargo bay. I better get back to work.”

Meadow finished her drink and looked up at Aryanna. “I’m going to be down here for a while, if you need me topside just call for me. Till then I have a feeling I’m in for some long days ahead.”

Aryanna patted her on the shoulder. “We will be fine, take care of those that need you here. They are the ones that will need you the most at this time.”

Meadow nodded as she gulped down the remains of her drink and put the glass on the small side table.

 

 

****

Aryanna sat across the desk from Yatokii as she received his final report on the actions of obsidian during the Deptrock six operation.

“Yatokii, I’ve already read the report, no need to continue. I am fully aware of the actions of the team and its members and I can wholeheartedly say that if it was not for you and your team that we would not have been able to successfully complete that operation. It is because of obsidian that we have 2523 souls on board who just a few days ago probably thought that they would never see anything beyond those domes or the mines again.”

Yatokii blinked as he set the PADD down on the desk “Yes, ma’am”

“Let’s not forget that roughly a thousand of those souls are or were prisoners of war captured at the beginning of this conflict and taken to the mine to disappear.  Bravo fleet has begun the notification process for their families and loved one but they have a long road ahead of them.”

“Yes, captain.” Yatokii took a deep breath and then let it out. “Captain, if I may ask. What is to happen to the team?”

Aryanna sat back in her chair and looked at the saurian lieutenant in front of her. “Now that is the question in front of us.” Aryanna tapped on her console “Lieutenant Scamandrius, join us in my ready room please.”

“On my way, captain”

She then stood and walked towards the room one-view panel with her hands behind her back as he heard the door chime. “Enter, and take a seat lieutenant.”

Scamandrius looked at the Yatokii, then back at the Captain, and took a seat on the floor knowing that none of the chairs in the room would hold him.

“Gentlemen, the Dragon is at a crossroads. Not many are aware of this at this time but the Dragon has become something of an anomaly in the Task Force. We are overall an exploratory cruiser but we have, with the assistance of the lieutenant here, grown to become the task force’s premier intelligence platform.” She walked back to her desk and sat down. “As such I feel that it is time for us to add another asset.”

“Yatokii, as of this date and time I am hereby activating Obsidian as our special operations/hazard team. This is something that Scamandrius and I have discussed in the past. Sometimes, just like in the Deptrock six operation, we will have need for boots on the ground and Obsidian will be those boots.”

Yatokii blinked and sat up a bit straighter in the chair. “Thank you ma’am.”

“However, I can’t have my chief of security leading this team when I may need him on board by my side. So I have decided, with the help of Scamandrius’ assessment of the team’s actions and his conducting a few personnel interviews by my request, to bring in a new team leader.”

She tapped her combadge. “Chief Samples, please join us in my ready room.”

Aryanna hands her PADD to Yatokii. “You can read his file, we think,” she nodded at Scamndrius “That he will be a good fit to lead this team.”

Yatokii accepts the PADD and begins to read.”

A few minutes later, a middle-aged human chief in engineering gold enters the captain’s ready room. ”Ma’am”

“Master Chief, have you had a chance to read over everything?”

“Yes, ma’am” he stood in a modified parade rest roughly five steps from her desk.

“And?”

“There a good group of people ma’am, looks like they operate well together and from what i hear they did a hell of a of freeing the POW’s, ma’am”

She raised an eyebrow toward the two lieutenants.

Yatokii looked up from the PADD. “Master Chief, do you think you could lead a group like this if the need arose on this ship?”

“If the need was there, sir”

“Hmmmmm, he will do.” Yatokii blinked several times as he went back to reading the PADD.

“Ma’am?”

“Master Chief, you are now part of Obsidian, Lieutenant’s Yatokii and Scamandrius will brief you.” As she sat back and let the two lieutenants, brief the Master Chief.

 

****

“Crew of the Dragon we are gathered here today to remember those that have recently been taken from us before their times. “

A bell toll echoes through the cargo bay. ”We remember those that sacrificed their lives so that others may live.”

A slow count of ten bells echoed. “we remember those that many had forgotten or were presumed lost.”

A lone bagpipe player shown on the view screens throughout the ship, standing in front of the forward shuttle bays open doors, and begins to play the death march as many stand with heads bowed.

“We remember so that others do not forget, we remember so that the fallen are never forgotten. Today the Dragon remembers all of those that we have lost.”

Aryanna looked at one of the view screens, as a wall was uncovered in another location on the ship. “The names of the fallen will always be displayed in that place of honor, so that we and those that follow will never forget those that have sacrificed their lives to protect us.

 

****RED ALERT RED ALERT, ALL HANDS MAN YOUR BATTLESTATIONS****

The lights went red and the klaxons sounded, as the crew looked stunned for the briefest of moments before they started to scramble and make their way.

“Captain, Message from Admiral Beckett. Dominion fleet inbound. All ships prepare to defend Deneb.”

Aryanna tapped her combadge “On my way” as she looked at her senior staff. “Well there you have it, Commander Thornton, prepare the Angels.” as he made her way to the closest turbo lift. “Bridge”