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The Distress Call

Posted on Wed May 11th, 2022 @ 12:19pm by Lieutenant Commander Shaille Levine & Captain Michelle Bartlett & Commander Rostra Tang & Major Hailey Weston & Ensign Andrew Gervais

Mission: The Koldaran Encounter

The three short sharp beeps from the console was a sound that Shaille knew well, an alarm of sorts designed to illicit an immediate response from anyone who heard it, and respond was exactly what it was that the newly promoted Chief of Security did. Her fingers danced across the console as she brought up the reason for the beeps before turning toward the command chairs. "Captain, we're receiving a recorded distress call on an encrypted Federation channel. It's Fleet Captain Laurens from the USS Astraea."

"The Astraea?" Michelle asked. "If it's something they're snagged in, they must need us." she said, sitting calmly in the chair. "Put it on screen."

Another few taps and the console beeped again, this time an acknowledgement as the distress call was transferred to the window overlay, the face of the fellow Starfleet Officer appearing in front of them.

"This is Fleet Captain Abigail Laurens of the USS Astraea requesting support from any Federation vessels in the sector. We are in the II-96 system and we have engaged the Koldaran on Odraiclite. I repeat. We are in the II-96 system and we have engaged the Koldaran on Odraiclite and are requesting immediate support from any Federation vessels in the sector."

Michelle turned to the Ops console. "Lieutenant, inform the Astraea we are on our way." she said before turning to tactical. "Take us to Yellow Alert and begin tactical drills. What is our ETA?" Michelle asked

With a silent nod, Shaille activated yellow alert mode, the strobe lights starting to flash almost immediately, plunging the bridge into an eerie yellow light.

"Message sent to Astrea, Captain." Garcia replied.

"We can be there in 36 hours at maximum warp, ma'am." Gervais replied.

"Lay in a course to the Astraea's last known coordinates. Maximum warp." Michelle ordered as Gervais acknowledged. "What do we know about these Koldaran?" Michelle asked Rostra.

"Far too much for comfort. They're an expansionist military dictatorship ruled by their admiralty board. Born into service, indoctrinated from childhood, they eat, sleep and ..."

"... breath what the military needs of them. They march into war, unconcerned with losses, as every Koldaran that serves with dignity gets a promotion and becomes..."

"... an adult in the eyes of society. Any Ts'usugi would tell you the same. They're the enemy." Rostra paused, "They've hurt, Stranded, and killed my people. They're my enemy too."

Michelle pondered the description. A lot of races like that back home, but nothing anywhere near as intense as that. This did not sound like it would be a peaceful resolution in the slightest. "If we've gotten ourselves involved in this, then the world in question must not have the resources for defence. And these Koldarans sound utterly fanatical. What sort of firepower are we looking at?"

"Christ... Sounds like World War Two Japanese, or maybe even mid-twenty-first century Sino-Russian troops." Hailey mused, referring to the mass charges during the Chinese-Russian war that had occurred well after the Third World War, but had been largely ignored by the rest of the world that had still been recovering from the devastation. "We're going to be massively outnumbered, but we can handle that."

Rostra thought for a moment, "Well, I don't really know the hard number particulars, but I'd feel comfortable saying Less Powerful than Federation Weapons, but more plentiful than..."

"... Federation weapons. They're the major reason the Ts'usugi and our people never abandoned our fighter wing tactics. They use fighter swarms as extra firepower, extra..."

"... coverage, and in a pinch, extra shielding. They're not a friendly people, so don't expect a diplomatic approach." a pause, "You won't be able to talk to anyone in charge."

"Officers are closely guarded and defended. The Admirals are.... well, the Admirals are essentially gods to them."

Listening as Rostra spoke, Shaille felt a cold shiver run down her spine. She knew of the Koldaran,at least in passing. She had heard about them once from Koh. The tension in his body as he spoke was something she would not ever forget. "Captain," she spoke up, trying to select her words carefully. "In this instance, I'm not sure drills would be necessary or even an appropriate use of our time. From my understanding, if we're facing the Koldaran, chances are we're going on foot. If our ETA is only thirty six hours, we would be better of spending that time preparing weapons and supplies needed to go planetside."

The resident Dalacari gave a pair of nods. A nod nod if you would. "I agree. Koldaran forces are possibly already on the ground. Two Starfleet vessels should be able to occupy the orbital forces and stall any orbital bombardment they..."

"... might call down. All we'd need to worry about, shipside, is keeping the targeting system from getting dizzy from the fighter swarm tactics."

"So noted." Michelle said. "We can hold our own up here. We do still have most of a fighter squad if needed and Marines to assist." she paused. All Prel had to do was wait a few days and he'd have had his blow-it-up-to-get-his-manhood-back mission. "I'd like you and Commander Tang to oversee weapon preparation.. Lieutenant Garcia can assist with arranging supplies."

"Aye Captain," Shaille responded. "I'll get security on it immediately."

"I'll get my troopers running a few exercises before we stand down for the last twelve hours." Hailey agreed, "I wish I had a Raider company here with us, I get this feeling we'd need them..."

Shaille cast a glance at Hailey, offering a slight nod. "We'll do what we do best," she added with a half smile of understanding. "Wing it."

"Koldaran don't concern themselves with losses. Victory to them is all that matters, and every soldier that dies is an opportunity for the next one to advance." Rostra advised Hailey.

"Their tactics are generally simple and overwhelming, but that's how teks take apart gloamings." a pause, "You... don't have those creatures on your world, do you?"

"Not sure what their equivalent would be, but there are societies closer to home that seem to work that way. Not ones we have a lot to do with." Michelle said. "I think if we need we have a few remaining fighters that aren't in the brig or transferred off the ship. It'll be shorthanded, but we can make it work."

Rostra gave a giggle, "Why, Michelle Bartlett, was that a Dalacari joke?" a smirk followed from both her forms, "Short handed indeed."

 

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