A Few Updates – Task Force 38

What a busy few weeks it has been! There have been lots of developments and I thought I would take this opportunity to fill you in on some of the more recent ones.

Firstly, it is with regret that I announce that James, aka Brigadier General Christopher Mitchell, has stepped down as both TFXO and as CO of Anchorage. I’m sure you all join me in wishing him well. I have begun the process for appointing a new TFXO and I hope to have an announcement in the coming days.

I also had to make the difficult decision to close two sims for inactivity. I can confirm to you that both the USS Boise and the USS Vanguard have been closed. If you were on either of these sims and have not been contacted, you can contact me via PM here or on the fleet Discord server. Again, we wish both former CO’s all the best for the future.

But, following that mass of sad news, I am delighted to inform you that we have already begun to recover our losses. I happily announce the arrival of a brand new sim! Please welcome:

The USS Tennessee is commanded by a former TFCO of the fleet. Kyle, aka Captain Javin Kile, has returned and it gives me great pleasure to welcome the Captain back. I cant wait to see what Kyle has in store for his sim and the Task Force.

For now, that is all. Please stay tuned for further updates in coming days.

-VADM Mitchel Hanson

Active and Pip It Up!

The USS Southern Cross barely touch the ground and its game master already achieved to get a full crew manifest of more than six players. But that is not all, oh no Sinara did not stop there. No Sinara also finished the Academy Command Course and that, oh yes that requires a good fix! Lieutenant Commander Jack Lashmore is no longer a Lieutenant Commander! No! Jack shall bare the weight of that pip of Commander from this day forth!

Congratulations Commander!

Sovereignty of Kahless Strikes!

We are joined by Rear Admiral Joyce in the aftermath of the attack on Starfleet by the recently declared Klingon faction the Sovereignty of Kahless, which has inflicted number of casualties of various degrees on a number of different sides.

FNS: First of all, just how bleak is this situation?

RADM Joyce: I don’t think that word is sufficient to describe it. We’ve had three commanding officers taken prisoner and two crews have been taken prisoner after their ships were destroyed. We have attempted to retrieve them, but so far we haven’t had any luck.

FNS: Which ships have been affected?

RADM Joyce: The USS Tornado, USS Tyson and USS Washington have had their commanding officers taken prisoner, whilst the USS Phobos and USS Tesla have been destroyed. The Tornado, Tyson and Washington remain in service, with new Commanding Officers assigned to each vessel, initially on a temporary basis until we can resolve the situation and return the kidnapped officers to their respective commands. Understandably the crews of those ships in particular are downhearted, but their dedication to their respective duties is unwavering.

FNS: Do you have an idea if the hostages are still alive or what the Sovereignty wants in return for their release?

RADM Joyce: We don’t know anything at the moment. We have attempted to establish a dialogue with the Sovereignty of Kahless but so far each attempt has been unsuccessful. We do not know what they want in exchange for the release of Captains Demets, Ivanovich and Takato as well as the crews of the Phobos on Tesla, or where they are being held. We don’t know if they are still alive, but we like to think they are unharmed and would like to reassure those affected, we are doing everything we can to get everyone released safely and unharmed.

FNS: What is the status of the Klingon Empire as it stands?

RADM Joyce: The effect the Sovereignty of Kahless has had on the Klingon Empire is severe. The Empire has been fragile for a while, but this has thrown it into a state of civil war which will have ramifications of various degrees for all bordering governments, including the Federation. This only adds to the problems in the Canterra Sector following the Gorn Invasion, and our resources have become rather stretched having to keep the peace in the Canterra Sector and now render assistance where we can in other areas.

FNS: Can Task Force 93 deal with the situation with its current resources?

RADM Joyce: We’re doing our best, but that’s all I can say right now. Our numbers are low across our operating area, but even though we’re now stretched further than ever before, our determination to protect the Federation and its citizens is strong and we’re confident we can keep it together with what we have. We will do our utmost best to strengthen our borders and ensure that the ongoing problems in the Klingon Empire do not overflow into Federation space.

So there we have it, although it sounds bleak, RADM Joyce is confident that Task Force 93 can overcome this difficult situation with its limited resources and ensure that the current civil war in the Klingon Empire won’t overflow into the Federation’s territory. All of us at the news service wish for a speedy recovery of the hostages held by the Sovereignty, and of course, our thoughts are with those affected by the situation.

Rebel Klingons Engage Federation Forces on Arcanus IV

Shortly before twelve noon, local time, a fleet belonging to the rebel Klingon houses engaged with Marines from the 19th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Starbase 400 in the Arcanus system. Initial reports put the rebel fleet at somewhere around 30 ships of various types. Opposing them, alongside the planetary defense grid, was the 19th MEU, the three ships that brought them to Arcanus IV, and a detachment of the 181st Fighter Wing and its transport vessel.

Initially the Federation forces in orbit were forced to pull back to safety due quite simply to the number of vessels arrayed against them. Planetary defenses were almost as quickly overwhelmed and the Klingons began to deploy their troops to the planet’s surface. After a brief reorganization, the limited forces the Federation had in orbit took the fight to the enemy. Though heavily outnumbered, the three ships and their fighter support stubbornly held their ground against a numerically superior force and destroyed numerous enemy vessels. Including several Birds of Prey and a Negh’Vaar, before reinforcements of the 18 th MEU, also from Starbase 400, arrived. These reinforcements were then further reinforced by the unexpected arrival of a task force from Klingon Loyalist forces. This combined fleet was able to destroy the majority of the enemy fleet before the enemy disengaged and fled the area.

According to witnesses the fighting on the surface was desperate and quite literally hand to hand and face to face at times. The Marines were set up in defensive positions around their three landing zones, which had been selected because they were the most obvious locations for the enemy to land at as well.

Forward elements of the 19th MEU engaged the landing Klingons before they were forced to execute a withdrawal under heavy fire. This withdrawal pulled the Klingons into the guns of the entrenched Marine defenders at the landing zones. The fighting was quite literally hands and teeth before the Marines received reinforcements as well as fire support from the 18 th MEU and its vessels that had by this time arrived and engaged the rebels as well.

Casualties on both side are reportedly quite heavy. Klingon losses are unknown at this time, though quite a few were killed by the precision phaser fire from the ships in orbit. The USS Tirpitz, most of her Marines deployed to the surface leaving only about 500 onboard to crew the vessel, lost all life support during the fighting in orbit. There are reportedly less than twenty survivors. Figures on the ground forces report several hundred killed and possibly well over a thousand wounded, perhaps as many as two thousand between the 18th and 19th MEU’s. The detachment of the 181st Fighter Wing accompanying 19th MEU reported about 25 aircraft destroyed, about a dozen pilots killed and the rest of the fighters that accompanied 19th MEU damaged. Fighters arriving with 18th MEU reported no losses and only some aircraft damaged.

Klingon Loyalist forces have assumed defensive position in orbit as well as on the ground of Arcanus IV. The 18th and 19th MEU’s and their support elements are preparing to return to SB400 at the time this report was written.

Changes in the Delta Quadrant

We’ve seen a sea of change in the Delta Quadrant, with death, destruction and a new discovery. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this, but that is the unfortunate reality in the area of the Delta Quadrant the Federation currently operate in.

Task Force 38 is the Fourth Fleet’s task force in the Delta Quadrant as part of the Delta Quadrant Initiative. With its focus area of operations being the Round Table (Sector 22 Delta), its main goal is first contact, exploration and providing diplomatic support.

Tragically, a surprise and ruthless Borg attack on Starbase 900 meant the orbital facility was destroyed with a massive loss of life. To further add to the Federation’s problems in the area, Rear Admiral Diego Macedo ordered Captain Peter Gardner of the USS Excelsior to destroy the Solaria Gateway and cut the Task Force off from the Beta Quadrant, although on the up side it prevents the Borg from easily reaching Federation space.

To further boost Task Force 38’s chances of survival against the Borg, Rear Admiral Macedo decided to step down as Task Force Commanding Officer and is now in a new role as a diplomat, hoping to forge alliances to combat a common enemy. In his place, Lieutenant General Jagged Anderson takes over as TFCO, with his former role being the Marine Expeditionary Brigade Commanding Officer. He is now in charge of protecting the survivors of the Borg attack and using that as a platform to rebuild the Federation’s personnel and infrastructure. Rear Admiral Solek remains as the Task Force Executive Officer.

To remember those who were tragically lost in the destruction of Starbase 900 and other conflicts with the Borg in the Delta Quadrant, a memorial named Hestia’s Hearth has been created in the same place as Starbase 900.

Now Lieutenant General Anderson faces a tough task, rebuild the Federation’s forces in the Delta Quadrant whilst attempting to make new allies. Despite what people think, the Borg aren’t the only threat the remaining forces in the area face, with the Vaadwaur also posing a serious threat, could they be the next ones to strike? Time will tell, but one thing I can tell is that despite everything, the determination to rebuild and carry on is stronger than ever.

Trouble in the Beta Quadrant

Since the Canterra Sector was overrun by the Gorn, the way of life in that region of space has changed for its inhabitants in ways they could never imagine. What was once a peaceful and quiet region of space is now a hive of activity as Starfleet attempts to halt the Gorn’s advances…

Task Force 93 has a five point mandate, which is to provide incident response to the Gorn invasion in the Canterra Sector, monitor the Romulan Star Empire, protect the Raeyan Transit Corridor, rebuild Starfleet’s presence in the Raeyan Sector and seek peace in the Gavarian Corridor. More recently, there have been a number of issues in the Klingon Empire to deal with as well.

Speaking of the Klingons, rumours have been rife that their government system is currently unstable, although all attempts to confirm these rumours have been met with a firm denial. Despite this, there are a number of rogue elements that carried the Klingon Empire who are carrying out their own activities as they please, which does little to alleviate the concerns that a number people have about the stability of the Klingon Empire’s government.

Federation starships have encountered these rogue elements who are attempting to expand their territory into the Raeyan Transit Corridor, claiming that it is “Their rightful place of expansion”. At least one vessel to witness these events unfolding is the USS Centauri-B, with its Commanding Officer Captain Ch’qaoqihr who has shared his deep concerns about the pressure building up in the area and beyond and the uncertainty that it presents.

This means that Task Force 93 is now stretched to its limit, having to devote its resources to no less than three areas in order to try and maintain the region’s security as best as they possibly can. This devotion of resources could mean that Task Force 93 could ultimately have to draw in more reinforcements from other areas of the Fourth Fleet to stop the Gorn in their tracks, protect the vital Raeyan Transit Corridor and also prepare for the potential civil war in the Klingon Empire.

Despite all these issues however, Commodore Anin, Executive Officer of Task Force 93, informs us that at the present moment in time very little resources are diverted to monitoring the Klingon Empire, with most of the task force’s strength diverted towards the Canterra Incident in an attempt to find a diplomatic resolution to the Gorn’s invasion of the area.

Behind Enemy Lines

The crackle of static announces the brightening of a still black screen. The sizzling sound of an electrical short followed by a quietly muttered curse follows. Suddenly the screen turned from black to a fuzzy, dusty grey. Then came a rag wiping the lens off followed by another curse as the screen turned to a close-up of a man’s shirt, so close you could almost tell the thread count.

“James, this recording light is on. I think it’s starting to work.” A woman’s excited voice comes from somewhere to the right.

“Yeah, but no way to tell if it can transmit, or if the microphone still works.” Came the reply, sounding quietly hopeful.

“I’m doing the best I can with scavenged parts, I’m not a miracle worker. There, if this thing’s gonna work at all, it’ll be now.”

“I know Sam. You’re the best in the station at what you do.” This James replied as he stepped back from the lens.

As he moved back the scene begins to take shape around him. Debris and rubble litter the area, his own clothing is dusty, torn, and in a few places, dots of dried blood can be seen on his shirt sleeves. He looks tired, haggard even, that things haven’t gone well for him is obvious.

“This is James Devlin, until the Gorn invasion I was a reporter here on Cestus for FNS. I don’t know if anyone can see this, hear me, or if this is even transmitting at all, but I have to try and get the word off planet. It’s been weeks since the Gorn invaded, I wish I could be more exact, but the days just run together.” He looks around, drawing a deep breath and letting it out slowly. “I… I’m not sure where to begin, so much has happened.

“The initial orbital bombardment was over quickly, only a few hours, but as you can see around me, it did extensive damage in the cities. Then came the Gorn themselves. They arrived by shuttle, transport ships, and transporter. They overran the capital in little more than a day. Patrols are everywhere, curfews are in effect, if you’re lucky enough to have somewhere to go at night anyway. Prison camps have been erected outside the city, Sam do we still have that footage we shot?”

“Nope. That was on the drone the lizards shot last week when they saw us filming.”

“Well we did have footage anyway. Civilians are kept in one camp and any Starfleet personnel the Gorn find are put in another. There are shelters, but they can’t be enough for everyone and I don’t want to guess at the treatment people are getting there. There are even rumors of people just disappearing, both from the streets and the camps, usually after a patrol has been through the area.” The man visibly shuddered at the idea that ran through his mind.

“I think we’re transmitting James.” Came Sam’s voice from off screen with a sense of urgency. “Liazards just moved into the area. Even money they’re tracking the transmission signal. We gotta move.”

“I.. uhm.. this is James Devlin signing off! Hopefully we can still report tomorrow or the next day.” James moved back in to the camera to shut it down.

“Yeah if they don’t catch…”

The Akagi: Mainstay of the Fleet

Akagi is a name that has travelled with the history of Bravo Fleet for a very long time now. Even with several different commanding officers and appearances in different Task Forces over that time, the Akagi has finally become a mainstay in Task Force 38 under the command of Captain Aurelia Prendergast. Karen, the commander of this sim, revealed that “this particular version of the Akagi began back in the spring of 2012, originally under the command of Captain Jeff Murdock. When Murdock stepped down in March 2014, the sim was taken over by myself and a new website was created for her.”

Karen was an ideal candidate to step up when Murdock stepped down having been aboard the sim since its early days. “Myself and the XO have been on board the Akagi since the very early days and we’ve seen many people come and go, including the ship’s first Captain,” she reveals. But despite the losses along the way, something must have been going right for the crew. “Several of the players currently on board have also been with the ship for a long time, some of them as far back as 2012. Whilst we’re not the fastest at churning out posts, we’ve stuck together and I feel that we’ve created some fantastic stories along the way. The old Captain has also returned as a regular crewmember.” Whether it’s the writing or the community, a cohesion exists among these players that has encouraged several of the crew to stay together for so long at a time when player turnover elsewhere is extremely high. One thing is sure, this all bodes well for the sims continued participation in TF38’s future.

But what exactly has been going on, in character, that has encouraged these people to remain and dedicate their time to writing their characters’ lives aboard the Akagi? “As I took over the sim in 2014, my character who was then the XO ended up becoming the commanding officer when the Akagi was thrown out of the transwarp network thanks to the dealings of the old Captain’s future self. This left the ship stranded 100 light years from known Federation Occupied space in the Delta Quadrant. The main premise of the current storyline has been to get the ship back to Federation occupied space. Along the way, the ship has encountered a previously unknown species from another dimension known as the Krentarii and taken shore leave on a planet where it turned out that the tourism industry held a sinister secret and used children as slaves. The ship and the crew helped to liberate the slaves and end the terrible situation and also helped to return a lot of the slave children to their rightful homes.” Slaves, transwarp networks, beings from another dimension – it all sounds very exciting in the Delta Quadrant and its clear these enticing stories are part of the reason for the sims success in the past. But what has the CO got in mind for the future? “In the current mission, the Akagi has encountered another of the portals connecting our space time to the Krentarii’s dimension in the mess hall of all places and at the same time, a fleeing ship has happened upon the ship chased by a Borg Sphere.” The dastardly Borg were always bound to make an appearance at some point, weren’t they? It wouldn’t be the Delta Quadrant without them.

For some, enticing and keeping players is a difficult task, but Karen has a solid plan of attack to address this. “I want to provide my crew with a welcoming place to write and to help guide them to write some good solid science fiction stories.” We’re in this for the stories we write, and Karen is clearly focused on achieving quality rather than quantity.

It wouldn’t be Star Trek, though, without time travel and it’s clear that Karen has one aim in mind when she thinks to the future; longevity. “I want to see the Akagi last for a very long time and to be known for its strong science fiction stories that holds the essence of Star Trek at its heart.”

Unlike many, the CO of this fine little ship is humble to the end. “I’m honoured that the Akagi has been chosen for this article and I’d just like to say that every single one of my crew is valued and that it’s been an honour to write with them for the past few years.” But like always, the Akagi is just one cog in the wheel of Bravo Fleet and for that cog to keep turning, new recruits are needed. “Whilst all of the senior officer posts are now taken however, we have junior officer posts available in all of the major departments and are happy to accept both civilians onto the crew as well as consider other roles that a new player might be interested in creating so long as their ideas are sound and consistent with Star Trek canon.”

Congratulations to this month’s Sim Spotlight.

Starbase 400 News [Updated]

(Starbase 400-Stardate 69945.3) Hello again, this is Joseph Cronkite reporting. Fleet Admiral Bremer has been arrested! Returning from a Federation/Cardassian conference, Bremer was arrested by Commander Cobb of the Starfleet JAG Corps for the murder of a Cardassian Legit and the destruction of his ship. Bremer denied the allegations, saying he’d spoken to the Legit at the conference but certainty never attacked or killed him. Bremer will be taken to Earth to appear before Starfleet Command and for a General Court Martial, and the Cardassians are demanding he be extradited to stand trial on Cardassia.

In other, more happier news, we’ve learned that Major General Hurd has been promoted to the position of Task Force 99 Commanding Officer within the Forth Fleet (Bravo Fleet). She has chosen Rear Admiral K’Temoc to be the new Task Force Executive Officer. Congratulations to them both.

Update: We have an update to this breaking story. We’ve been told that Commander Cobb will be taking Fleet Admiral Bremer to Earth today. We’re not sure if it’s for a Court Martial or to be extradited to the Cardassians. In a possibly unrelated story, we’ve also learned that newly promoted Rear Admiral K’Temoc has taken the Pegasus out for a patrol mission. Unnamed sources stated several key Officers and a unit of Marines lead by General Jackson were also aboard the Pegasus.

Update II: We’ve learned some addition information. Fleet Admiral Bremer has escaped custody and Commander Cobb is also missing. No one aboard the USS Kuznetsov is sure how either could have gotten off the ship while it was at warp enroute to Earth, but all ships in the sector as well those between Starbase 400 and Earth have been placed on alert.

We will continue to follow up on this story, and more, as details become available. Until then, I’m Joseph Cronkite for the Federation News Service.

Sim Profile: USS North Star

February 2016 was a strong month for the fleet as a whole. Representing Task Force 99 with the Sim of the Month award is a recent addition to the fleet, the USS North Star. This Vesta-class starship is commanded by Captain Cyndi Song.

“WOW!” exclaimed Cyndi in an interview with BFNS. “What an honor! I’m stunned and extremely humbled by this. I never expected to gain this award being so new into the Fleet. Many, Many Thanks to everyone who nominated the North Star.”

Neither the North Star or its Captain have strong roots in Bravo Fleet as the sim was founded a couple years ago in a different fleet. After seeing firsthand how the dwindling simming community was causing that fleet to dry up, Cyndi began looking for other options. “I looked at several fleets before deciding on Bravo Fleet. I felt it was a good fit for my ship and my crew.”

The North Star currently sports an amazing roster backed by ten versatile players. “Some of us play more than one position,” says Cyndi, who also indicated that there’s always room for more.

Where is the North Star now? After dealing with an intense mission which started with a garbled distress call, the crew is currently enjoying some R and R at the infamous Starbase 400. They’ll be launching on their next adventure very soon.

Captain Song’s amazement with winning this award did not stop throughout the interview. She had this to say: “I’d like to say Thank You to EVERYONE who nominated the North Star for this award. It’s a great honor and one I am very proud and honored to have been awarded. To my crew, I’d like to say thank you for serving on this fine ship. Without you and your continued support and creative writing skills I’d not have the ship, crew or this award. Ya’ll are the best and I’m honored and proud to be your captain.”

Congratulations to the crew of the USS North Star! Keep up the great work!

Sim Profile: USS Argonaut

In a rare move, the first Sim of the Month Award for Task Force 72 was awarded to a brand new sim in Bravo Fleet, the USS Argonaut. Overseeing eight other players is Commander Michael Cousland, played by Jason.

“It is an honor,” says Jason, “to be in Bravo Fleet and to earn this award in our first month here.”

Like the Argonaut itself, Jason too is a recent addition to Bravo Fleet, having signed up for service on another vessel before sitting in the Captain’s Chair. “I started to get that itch all us old CO’s get,” he explains. He’s commanded a couple sims before outside of Bravo Fleet, and it was the connections he made over the course of his simming career that helped to quickly launch the Argonaut. “You never know what you will find when you give people a chance.”

And with just a month of game time logged, gameplay continues to excel, breathing life into Task Force 72. As with 72’s other simulations, the Argonaut finds itself charged with the defense of the Alpha Quadrant and also challenged to explore strange new worlds. It’s current mission, “The Fate of Us” finds the Argonaut clearing an old Federation outpost that was last used as a hospital. Unfortunately, the Hospital was bombarded, leaving few survivors.

When FNS asked Jason if he had any advice for struggling or new COs, he replied, “The first thing keep your head up. Things will always happen in the simming world, sometimes those things can bring you down. Give everyone a chance in your sim, you will never know who will be great with a little help and training.”

Jason even declares that the Admiralty and even one’s own crew are excellent resources for help should it ever be needed. And of course, “Having fun is the most important thing of all and very important it is a game.”

Much more is in store for the intrepid crew. After all, the Argonaut is just getting started.

Starbase 900 Destroyed!

In an unexpected return, the Borg have struck with a vengeance. Four Borg cubes were spotted approaching Starbase 900. Instead of their typical assimilation patterns, the Borg mercilessly struck and destroyed Starbase 900.

Crewman Apprentice Jonas Gabriel, who was piloting a workbee tending to the nearby Norway-class USS sh’Pavress, didn’t expect to survive. “The sh’Pavress immediately broke its moorings in an attempt to retrieve as many survivors as possible,” he told the Federation News Service. “I watched as she wasn’t tractored, and instead took a cutting beam to the middle of the Engineering hull.” The sh’Pavress suffered what appeared to be a warp core breach moments later.

Other eyewitnesses confirmed the Borg sent in further reinforcements to the attack, including two more cubes and three spheres. One can assume they wanted to leave nothing to chance, absolutely destroying Task Force 38’s Command and Supply Hub in the process.

The surrounding radiation field amazingly shielded Gabriel from the attack and Borg sensors, allowing him to hide until he could be retrieved by a relief force that arrived from the Solaria Gateway. “I might be a crewman,” says Gabriel, “but I’ll definitely do my part to avenge those the Borg savagely murdered.”

Several Starfleet vessels responded to the crisis, including the Sovereign-class USS Helios. What’s curious is that the Helios arrived without her saucer section. Its fate, and those aboard it, remains unknown. Rear Admiral Diego Macedo had been reported aboard, and it is uncertain if he survived the battle.

Among the casualties are the USS Talyx, USS Claw, USS Magellan, USS Monitor, USS Khitomer, USS Hammond and USS Takei. A final casualty list has not yet been released as survivors are still being processed and accounted for.

Rumors are circulating regarding what could be the Admiral’s final order: destroying the Iconian Gateway that connects Task Force 38 elements to the remainder of the fleet. FNS reached out to Fourth Fleet Command to investigate the validity of this rumor, but our representatives were unavailable for comment.