Task Force 72 – Operational Report – July 2019

The Devil to Pay

Conference Room: Starbase 217

1435 HRS

“Seems a bit bold.”

Colonial Planner Madison looked away from the holographic projection and gave the Starfleet officer a level look. “Thank you, Commander,” she said acerbically. “Nobody’s pointed that out before.”

“I just would have thought,” said Lieutenant Commander Vikar, crossing the conference room to nod at the multitudinous planets on the holographic display, “a settlement could have been found with more room.”

“Let’s cut to the chase,” said Madison. Steely-haired and steely-eyed, she had done enough rounds with Starfleet over her long career to know how to handle them, and to be rather tired of it after thirty years. “You would rather the Pergamon IV negotiation to have been unsuccessful.”

“I would rather it had not been attempted. Sharing a world with a Cardassian settlement -”

“A whole world, Commander.” Madison shook her head. “If Starfleet’s return to the Gavarian Corridor is to be successful, Federation and Cardassian interests are going to have to co-exist. I’m aware of all of the reports of fraught confrontations between your ships -”

“That’s one way to put it,” grumbled Vikar.

“- but there are two ways to establish peace. At the barrel of a phaser rifle, or with an outstretched hand. Surely this is the better way forward?” A flick of the wrist expanded the holographic display to focus on the lush world of Pergamon IV, the latest venture in the Federation’s ambitions for the Gavarian Corridor. “There’s more than enough room that the settlements won’t be rubbing up against one another. But proximity to give opportunities for trade, mutual support, cultural exchanges. Two peoples living side by side to build something new on the bold frontier. That brings people together far more than it tears them apart.”

Vikar looked as if he might argue more, but stopped himself. Tore his gaze from the holographic plan, already shining and bright, of the Pergamon IV settlement. Looked at the optimistic faces of the Colonial Planning Committee, all neatly appeased by these words of a bright future. Looked at the impassive gaze of Madison, who would brook no further obstacles to her latest gambit.

He sighed. “Very well.”

“Then I can trust Starfleet’s continued support for the development and protection of this colony?”

“Of course, Ms Madison. After all, if this little venture doesn’t go smooth?” He gestured at the display. “There’ll be the devil to pay.”

 

News from Task Force 72

  • USS Hiryu: Finally embarking, the titanic Hiryu has set off for a diplomatic assignment in Ferengi space – but not after a stop at Lagash for some final business.
  • USS Magellan: En route to Starbase 295, along the Tzenkethi border, the Magellan has picked up a long-range sensor echo, emanating from somewhere near the gravimetric anomalies of the Inconnu Expanse.
  • Deep Space K-17: The old starbase, left to fall to ruin with the isolationist policies of the Tzenkethi, finally sees a return of personnel, resources, and attention with the rise of the Alrakis Pact.
  • USS Pandora: A fraught encounter with the Breen has been averted by a diplomatic victory of the USS Pandora, the crew uniting a region of the Inconnu Expanse against the aggression of the Alrakis Pact.
  • USS Boadicea: While making her transit down the Gavarian Corridor, the Boadicea has encountered a group of Keldon class scouts, using sensor masking technology. Attempts to peacefully parlay with them have failed.
  • Deep Space 12: The station has been wrecked by an explosion, and the new crew of DS-12 race to find the culprits – and come to terms with their place on a frontier of renewed political importance.
  • USS Sutherland: Examining a subspace distortion in the Wastelands, the Sutherland is investigating sensor readings suggesting Federation escape pods in the region – but there exist no records of Starfleet ships this far out.
  • New Lakarian City: Weapons fire has been exchanged by Starfleet ships and a mysterious, aggressive runabout of unknown origins in orbit. Amid this confrontation and an incident of kidnapping, the embassy staff are endeavouring to investigate while avoiding a diplomatic incident with their Cardassian hosts.
  • CDS Damar: Ordered to the Hugora Nebula by Cardassian Intelligence with little warning and no information, the Damar is racing to prepare for any and all possibilities despite the uncertainties ahead.
  • Enigma’s Restaurant: As autumn grows colder, the leaves come off the live oaks and the river drops to a low ebb. Enigma’s Restaurant, however, remains as it ever is.

 

Canon Updates

While our Area of Operations covers the whole Alpha Quadrant, most of Task Force 72’s attention of late has fallen along three major plotlines:

  • Alrakis Pact – Since the destruction of 14 Pact ships in the Wastelands, Starfleet has dispatched an Exploration Task Force. Rumors have arisen of an independent faction within the Alrakis Pact itself, and Starfleet will be monitoring the situation closely
  • Gavarian Corridor – Starfleet’s recent return means finding their footing in the new politics of the Corridor, especially with renewed Cardassian confidence. With both factions far from their governments and diplomats, politics becomes a matter for captains to figure out between themselves – by words or phaser-fire.
  • The Cardassian Front – Increased Cardassian ambitions in the DMZ, the Corridor, and Breen space have created new challenges for diplomats and for Starfleet border forces, all charged with protecting Federation interests as they keep the peace.

 

Bravo Fleet and Task Force 72

There have been some exciting changes in Bravo Fleet this month – the new website! Our all-new logos and makeover! And, most significantly, the news of the upcoming change in Bravo Fleet’s timeline to the year 2399 to follow the new canon of the Picard show. It is absolutely the ambition of the Task Force 72 team to make the most of the time we have left in the year 2389 to tell satisfying stories over this period, and to end them so we can all advance into new canon with fresh ideas and closure on this wonderful period of Fleet history.

Also pertinent has been the reform to our operational policies (https://wiki.bravofleet.com/index.php?title=Operational_Policy#Simulation_Standards_.26_Status_Classifications) on classifications for our games. I heartily back this policy, allowing games to better advertise and define themselves according to what’s the most fun for their players. I encourage all COs of TF72 to take a look at this and advise me if you require reclassifying.

 

In Conclusion

Task Force 72 is only going from strength to strength. We’ve had some new games join us this month, ones with original and interesting ideas. Our consolidation of TF72’s canon proceeds apace; our games are telling fresh stories with the Alrakis Pact, and the return of the Gavarian Corridor to Bravo Fleet’s storytelling is an opportunity about which I’m personally excited.

This ongoing return to form couldn’t have been done without the commitment of players and especially my GMs, old and new, to whom I am profoundly thankful for their enthusiasm and support.

Bravo Fleet & Star Trek: Picard

To all the members of Bravo Fleet, past and present:

In early 2020, we will be receiving the first new official canon in the late twenty-fourth century of the Prime universe in nearly twenty years with the debut of Star Trek: Picard. This is an exciting time for Bravo Fleet, and we intend to take full advantage of it. This is something that Bravo Fleet, and in fact the simming community at large, desperately needs. Bravo Fleet will be going in both feet first! We want to make this announcement now so that everyone can get ahead of the game and be properly and fully prepared!

Within a month of the end of the first season of Picard, we will be changing the default setting of Bravo Fleet’s fiction to 2399 to line up with Picard. Through the run of the series we will be proceeding at a 1:1 time scale, with one year passing in-universe for each that passes outside. This will allow us to keep pace with Picard in time.

This is a necessary step in the long-term security and survival of Bravo Fleet. With the exception of the Hobus storyline, Bravo Fleet has largely languished in its own fanon (“fan canon”), far removed from any source material, since Nemesis premiered in 2002. And while we are all some of the most creative people on the planet, we can only do so much with so little over almost two decades without feeling stale. Another large reason for this change is because we don’t want to have to continually and constantly have to retcon our own ongoing writing as Picard is airing. It’s much more conducive for us to move to 2399 and adjust our “history” according to Picard. Rather than Picard outright changing what we’re doing in its history.

What does this mean for you? It means that our primary canon support will be focused on the new 2399 setting. Most current fleet stories will be wrapped up or see major changes as we prepare for the time skip, and new stories to tell in the new setting will be discussed. Some stories will endure a decade into our timeline’s future. In the end, the specific year doesn’t affect most individual sims, but it does affect fleet storylines which, in turn, trickles down to the sim level. For your sims, we will offer as much time as you need to tie off your current storylines and make ready for the time skip. For those who do not want to move to the 2399 setting, there will be options as well. If the number of sims staying in the 2389 setting is small, they will be moved to a new Task Group in Task Force 99; if it is large, we will open a new Task Force for the “classic” Bravo Fleet setting. Fictions outside Task Forces 99 and 64 will need to advance to the new setting – a part of the point of fictions is to help tell the fleet’s stories, and that means they need to run inside the main setting of the fleet. All non-alternate (TF99) or historical (TF64) sims opened once the time jump is made will be 2399.

This will also serve as a soft reboot of sorts for Bravo Fleet. We have two decades of our own canon, and we do not know how much of that will be contradicted by what happens in the new show. We will, as always, be following screen canon first, so this will be an opportunity to bring our stories and those being told by the creators of Star Trek more closely into line. But it will serve as a fresh start for many people and will allow us to tie nice ribbons on other storylines.

At the same time as the time skip, we will be restructuring our Task Forces! The current structure, while straightforward, has led to situations where areas of operations and breadth of storytelling, especially in 72 and 93, are overwhelming. While each task force is simply divided into the four quadrants, 38 and 9 don’t encompass the entire quadrants they represent. Asking the staff of 72 and 93 to manage the canon and sheer potential number of sims in those task forces is not fair. Additionally, we’re looking for stability in our task forces, and burnout is not the way there. We will be adding multiple Task Forces to Bravo Fleet between now and around the time skip, each with a smaller, more focused area of operations. We’re hoping this will help sims focus on the stories they want to tell a lot better, allow task force staff to have more individualized attention on specific stories and areas of operations, and help build a more cohesive story overall between the sims in a task force.

COs – look for surveys to be hitting your inboxes in the next few days so that we can get a tally count for those wanting to stay in the 2389 era and those going with Bravo Fleet to 2399. We will also be releasing more information on future task forces as we finalize what that will look like.

New Task Force Logos!

To all the members of Bravo Fleet:

As part of our fleet rebranding, the task force logos have also been at the top of our list. They have largely gone unchanged since their current inception which has been well over ten years. I will also explain some changelog thoughts with each one!

TASK FORCE 9

This one is pretty self-explanatory. 9 is keeping its iconic cyan-like blue color, but the logo in the center has changed to something more 9-centric: the Bajoran Wormhole!

TASK FORCE 38

Task Force 38 keeps its purple color! The Greek delta logo has changed, though. The lowercase Greek letter was simply too “fat” to fit into the new Bravo Fleet logo correctly. The solution was straight-forward: use the uppercase delta letter!

TASK FORCE 64

This one was probably the logo that saw the most change and was a bit tricky to work with. A few concepts were drawn up that changed the inside logo to laurels and other imagery. However, with a 64 “rebranding” of sorts coming soon (more on that once Domingo returns from STLV!) we wanted some imagery that really conveyed what 64 is all about. The logo color was also changed to red for the simple fact that the gold coloring did not work well with the gold accent of the new logo. It was very much a pain in the ole’ eyeballs.

TASK FORCE 72

Very little change here. 72 has barely changed in 20 years. Continue on with your sexy logo, 72!

TASK FORCE 93

This is the other logo that, along with 64, got quite a bit of change. The first was the color. With 9 and 72 occupying a lot of the blue spectrum, 93s “greyish blue” was hard to accommodate. To set it apart and on its own, it has been given a more emerald green. To mix with 72, you get some very Earthish colors. It’s also a reminder that those sneaky Romulans are right around 93s corner! The sextant that originally occupied the 93 logo was also changed for similar reasons to 38: it was too “fat” to sit in the current logo properly. 93 has instead been given the replacement of a compass, which is the most fitting logo 93 could have.

TASK FORCE 99

Just as with 72, 99s logo remains largely unchanged. Black, infinity, infinite possibilities. Go 99!