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The Loss

Posted on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 @ 12:40am by Captain Keziah Nazir & Lieutenant Commander Garen Romaes & Lieutenant JG Marcia Byers

Mission: Episode 1: Armageddon - The End of All Things
Location: Runabout Perseus
Timeline: Day 4 at 1400

The journey from Bolarus back to Deep Space 5 would take some time in the runabout the officers from the Ulysses were currently in ownership of. Captain Nazir had finished several meetings on the surface and was currently sitting in the back room of the runabout, going over the reports and findings of the command course that Commander Garen had taken whilst on the surface. They had picked up a new crewman on the way, a Lieutenant J.G. Marcia Byers, who would be joining the Ulysses’ engineering department as a communications systems specialist.

Marcia was insanely nervous as she sat near her new CO. She’d placed her hands firmly on her legs in order to stop them from shaking. She looked from Nazir to Garen before diverting her eyes to the deck.

“Sorry if I seem a bit distant,” she said with a forced smile. “I’m honestly a bit nervous.”

“About what Lieutenant?” Nazir queried as she continued to read the report in her hands, opting not to look up.

Marcia tried to swallow the lump in her throat and her forced smile relaxed. She cleared her throat and looked across at the woman in command red. “I, uhh…This is a new experience for me, sir. I’ve never served on such a grand vessel, under a commanding officer with such a reputation. Don’t get me wrong, Captain Ramir was a massively capable commanding officer, but, your time in the gamma quadrant is a thing of legend.”

Nazir smirked as she placed the PADD down on the table and clasped her hands together as she looked across at the newcomer to her crew. “Never trust stories you didn’t experience first hand Lieutenant. While my reputation may be well earned, I’m sure some of the stories are more than a little exaggerated,” she suggested as she looked to her Operations Chief. “I am sure that Commander Garen will tell you I am no more special than any commanding officer in the fleet,” she added with a grin.

Garen Romaes rubbed his Bajoran nose ridges slightly as he looked up from his own reading and at the Captain and the Lieutenant. “I’m not one to disagree with my commanding officer, but Captain Nazir is one of the finest officers I have served under,” he nodded slowly before turning away again. He was preoccupied with thoughts about the process he had just been through and didn’t find the distraction all that welcoming.

It was then that a voice from the Runabout cockpit permeated the ship via the communications array. “=/\=Captain. We’re receiving a transmission I think you are going to want to hear,” the Pilot declared.

That suddenly got the attention of all aboard, especially the Captain. The Trill rose from her seat in the aft section of the Runabout made her way to the cockpit, accompanied by both Garen and Lieutenant Byers.

“Captain,” Ensign Brel, the Benzite at the helm, called out as Nazir appeared. “The transmission is coming from Starfleet Command, but it is a bit garbled and I’m struggling to get it through clearly.”

Lieutenant Byers was already hard at work at one of the aft consoles, tapping away furiously in an effort to break through the distortions that prevented them receiving the transmission. Then, she started to slow down, pressing several console buttons slowly before looking up. “I think I have cleared it up enough…” she spoke quietly. A nod from Nazir indicated to play the message.

“=/\=Admiral Nechayev to all Starfleet vessels. The Borg, our most lethal enemy, have begun a massive invasion of the Alpha quadrant. Attacks against our homeworlds, our very way of life, is currently underway. We do not yet know the size or disposition or strength of the enemy forces but all indications point to a massive assault against defenses across the Federation and beyond. All personnel are ordered to mount a coordinated resistance as swiftly as possible from any starbase, outpost or world where forces can gather.”

The occupants of the Runabout looked at each other in disbelief as they listened to the transmission. Many questions were racing through each of their minds, but they had to wait while the transmission continued.

“Any Fifth fleet personnel receiving this message; if you cannot reach Deep Space 5 for whatever reason, report to the nearest starbase or starship for assignment. Survive. Get back in to the fight, but make sure you…”

The transmission suddenly stopped and Nazir looked towards the younger woman for some sort of explanation. After a few seconds she got it.

“Sorry sir,” Byers frowned as she turned to the Captain, “the transmission is being jammed at the source. That’s all there is… no, wait… I’m picking up a transmission on Starfleet frequency one two six three,” she then piped through an additional message. “It’s coming from Deep Space 5.”

The message was a jumble of voices, until one broke through which was clear enough to guide the rest into action. “=/\=th’Zorati to Roehampton. Standby to engage at grid A-fifteen. ...Devonshire and Brittain, fall back to mobile position one. ...Acknowledge. ...We have them in visual range. Four Borg cubes on course zero point two one five, speed warp nine point seven.”

The Starfleet communications quickly drifted out and were replaced by an all too familiar, but dreaded message.

“=/\=We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

Nazir placed a gentle hand on the nervous communication specialist’s shoulder as they listened.

“=/\=All units open fire.” Admiral th’Zorati declared before the mass of voices returned. “...They've broken through the defence perimeter. ... Continue to attack. ...We need reinforcements.”

The last voice, however, was one that shook Garen and Nazir in particular. A familiar voice. Commander Levett to be precise. “...Ninety-six dead and twenty-two wounded on the Ulysses.”

Nazir collapsed into the vacant aft chair of the Runabout. Silence engulfed the cockpit until she finally spoke up again, in a much quieter voice than usual. “Garen, get on the sensors and find me the nearest ship or base in an isolated area. We need to meet up and mount an offensive.”

“But Captain… the Ulysses?” the Commander protested quietly. Ulysses was their ship, he couldn’t believe that she wasn’t pushing for them to get to their friends.

“We’re lucky to have survived as long as we have, likely due to our size and the Borg having bigger fish to fry. Levett is one of the best, Ulysses will be fine under his command. It will do us no good if we warp to DS5 and get blown to smithereens. The best thing is to find something closer that we can assist with,” she told sternly as she looked out of the forward cockpit window. “Judging by those communications, we won't be alone for long. Get to it.”

As Garen relented and reluctantly got to work, Nazir glared at the back of his head briefly and then turned back to the console in front of her. As she folded her arms across her chest, the Captain couldn’t help but think he was right. It was taking every ounce of her strength not to disregard her orders from Starfleet Command and send the Runabout to meet the Ulysses, but sense had to prevail. All she could focus on now was a single word from Admiral Nechayev’s earlier transmission; survive. She had to make sure that the rag tag group she was with survived and if that meant going somewhere other than her ship at the minute, so be it. She just hoped she would see her friends again.

“Captain…” the Lieutenant sat near her spoke up. “I’m receiving more reports sir,” she looked confused as she made them out and began to relay the information to the crew. “Starbase 718, the Bolarus Shipyards and the Fleet Depot near the Delta system are all destroyed. The starships Excelsior, Phoenix and Pegasus led a resistance of thirty ships near Benzar…” she trailed off, looking across at the Captain, “All contact lost.” she relayed.

At that, the Pilot looked at her. “30 starships? That’s a quarter of the fifth fleet!”

“There’s more,” the communications specialist confirmed, tears welling up as she looked away, “There’s a large Borg force converging on Deep Space 5. Ten more Borg vessels …”

Keziah Nazir lowered her head and let out a silent prayer. That was it then. There was no way the fleet at the station, including Ulysses, could possibly hold off that many Borg ships. The news made her decision even easier, at least in her eyes.

“Captain…”

The voice of the Bajoran from behind her took the Trill out of her momentary daze and made her turn in her chair. “What is it, Commander?” she asked quietly.

“Sensors have detected two facilities that seem to have not attracted any Borg attention,” he pointed the two areas out on the display for the Captain to see once she had stepped over and was peering down at the console. “There’s the shipyards at Deep Space 4 or Starbase 514 on the edge of Federation space.”

Nazir stood with hser arms folded across her chest as she tried to recollect any information about the two places. “If memory serves, Starbase 514 is a Regula class outpost, whilst Deep Space 4 is, essentially, an old construction facility turned scrapyard,” she mused while looking at the screen.

“Indeed, ma’am. Deep Space 4 is closer and has the added benefit that we might be able to muster up some vessels to get back in the fight,” Garen told as he gave his opinion as de facto XO of their little crew. “If we are to get back into the fight, we are going to need ships, no matter how old,” he concluded.

Nazir nodded slowly and looked at her colleague with a smile, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Well done XO. Ensign, set a course for Deep Space 4, maximum warp,” she ordered before stepping back to her seat at the back of the cockpit. “Lieutenant, transmit a message locally and on a scrambled Starfleet channel. Tell anyone that receives it that we are headed to Deep Space 4, and that they can regroup with us…”

“We need to get back into the fight...”

 

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