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Old September 12 2014, 11:36 AM   #1
Bry_Sinclair
Commodore
 
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Location: Tactical withdrawl along the Klingon border
Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

Seeing as how my entry for this seasons challenge was well received and got some very positive feedback, I have decided to do a little more work on the Four Years Wars between the Federation and the Klingons. For this project, it takes place between 2242 and 2246.

This piece looks at what happened to those who survived from the destroyer Ares and tug Ptolemy. I hope you all enjoy.


* * * * *


Starfleet Sector Operations
New Tokyo, Drakonis IV


Thirteen days.

The Federation had been at war for thirteen days and lost far too much. Naya had spent most of the first week in a coma, having suffered a concussion when the Ptolemy had been cast adrift and powerless, but even then she was in a better state than most of her crew; out of one hundred and forty-two men, women and others only sixty-three were alive today. Feeling herself well up, she looked out at the grey sky and blinked back the tears. Her first command hadn’t ended the way she had hoped, but despite the heaviness of her heart, the tight knot in her stomach and the grieving she was going through, the Federation News Service was making her out to be a hero—delivering the most substantial blow to the Klingons since their incursion began. It wasn’t how she wanted to be remembered.

Fortunately the observation deck of the Starfleet Field Office was deserted, none of the staff or visitors wanted to look out at the bleak winter afternoon. The complex was one of the tallest structures in New Tokyo, offering great views over the city and the lush Plaines that the colony was situated on, and during the warmer months the view was inspiring, but at this time of year it was another story. Fortunately, Naya wasn’t looking much at the short grass, empty fields or bare trees (though the backdrop was definitely fitting given her mood), she was focused on the heavy clouds in the sky, threatening to dust the city with the first snowfall, and what lay beyond them.

In the next sector over, the war was raging. Starfleet was throwing all they had at the Klingon forces that had crossed the border, but they were losing ground daily. The Empire was annexing any outposts that offered them something of value and destroying all those that didn’t, causing thousands of terrified civilians to flee their homes and form enormous caravans of refugees.

A shiver ran down her spine, so she hugged herself to try and hold onto her body heat. The thought of being at war was something truly alien to her; Delta IV’s history hadn’t seen any major conflict in over two centuries, even then it hadn’t been a serious incident and lasted for only a month before a peaceful resolution was worked out. She had been the third Deltan to enter Starfleet, the first to go down the operations track (those before her had opted for the sciences), and the first to command a ship. Throughout her profession career, she had been taught how to take up arms, how to defend the helpless, and safeguard the principles of the Federation; all of which she had done over the last fourteen years since graduating from the Academy. She accepted the need for violence and made her peace with the actions she had taken, even for the lives she had been forced to take in the line of duty—thankfully not many (that was until thirteen days ago).

The whisper of the opening door echoed around the empty room. She dabbed her eyes with the cuff of her uniform, which now displayed the twin braids of a Starfleet captain, and turned to the entrance. The doors closed behind a tall, broad-shouldered Efrosian, whose braided moustache hung down several centimetres past his chin, whilst his long white hair was loose and wafted behind him as he strolled towards the viewports.

A faint smile tugged at his full lips. “It’s good to see you on your feet, Captain,” said Jaffari Xa-Haghaarn, whose soothing voice was like hot petal tea. The last time she had seen him was just the day after she’d come out of her coma, he had paid her a visit onboard the transport ship that had been used to ferry them from I-7 to New Tokyo.

“It’s good to see you too, Captain,” she replied. Like her, he had been promoted for his actions against the Klingons. Also like her, he too was waiting for his new orders to come through.

He came to a stop beside her, peering out the tall windows and squinting. Efrosians weren’t known for their good eyesight, with a significant portion of the population being technically blind (due to the harsh conditions they had evolved with on Efros), so the poor view would mean as much to him as a good one.

There was a moment of quiet between the two newly promoted captains, before he let out a sigh. “Admiral Chang will be calling you in shortly.”

She looked at him. “You have your new assignment?”

He nodded, still looking out at the colony. “The Alexander lost her CO at Tregoss, so I’m replacing him. I’ve also been given command of Destroyer Group Four.”

A smirk tugged at the corner of her lips. “I can’t imagine a better Wolf Pack leader,” she said, setting a supportive hand on his bicep. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you. The Admiral started off trying to give me another ship, but my whole career has been onboard destroyers, I can’t imagine serving on, let alone commanding, any other type of ship.”

“Well, the Alexander and Destroyer Group Four are in very safe hands.”

He turned to face her, a sad smile on his face. “I hope that we get to work together again soon, the crew of the Ares and I owe you a big one for what you did.”

“As do I. As for the one you owe me, I will be collecting on that, so you’d better stay safe, Captain.”

Xa-Haghaarm chuckled. “You can count on it, Captain. And it’s Jaffari.”

“Naya.”

There was a beat of silence before he looked away. “I’d best be going. The Alexander is waiting.”

“Captain Naya, please report to Admiral Chang’s office. Captain Naya to Admiral Chang’s office,” the intercom announced.

“It looks like I need to be heading off as well. Good luck out there.”

“You too.”

Xa-Haghaarn turned on his heel and headed for the exit. She watched him leave, not for the first time wishing that she wasn’t under the Oath. Shaking the thought from her hairless head, she left the observation room and started towards the admiral’s office.


* * * * *


“Congratulations Captain,” Vice Admiral Winston Chang said, though the hollowness of his tone robbed his statement of any sense of accomplishment. Then again, he would be dealing with numerous current battles, after action reports, casualty figures, refugee ships, and who knew what else, so his exhaustion and lacklustre kudos was easy to understand.

Naya however, couldn’t quite believe just what she’d heard. Her promotion came with a new ship, though not the scout or surveyor she’d expected, instead she was being given command of the U.S.S. Renown, an Armstrong-Class medium cruiser. Part of her suspected that she wasn’t HQ’s first choice, that this was the ship Xa-Haghaarn had turned down. It was a big step up from a tug, which generally stayed as far away from conflict as they could (the Ptolemy’s recent loss proving just why that was). Now she would be leading a much larger crew complement into battle.

As her mind grappled with the news, it dawned on her that a long moment had passed without her saying anything. Quickly focusing on the flag officer once again, she accepted the datapad he was holding out with a curt nod.

“Thank you, sir. What is the Renown’s status?”

“At present her weapons array is being overhauled; her phasers are being updated to cut down on recharge time, torpedo launchers replaced to hold a large magazine, deflector screens are having another power module installed to boost their integrity, as well as an entirely new targeting system. Every ship in the sector not currently engaged in combat or about to hit the frontlines is being upgraded; unfortunately a lot of the work will have to be done on the fly.

“Around two thirds of the crew are still onboard,” he continued. “When Captain sh’Seyna was reassigned to the Columbia, she took only a select few of her previous crewmembers with her. Others took other assignments. You’ll have a full list of readily available replacements sent to you by the end of the day.”

He looked at the chronometer on his desk and then rose up, joints popping as he stood. “You’ll have to excuse me, I’ve got another meeting in five minutes. If you’ve any more questions please put them to Commander Jenkins, he’ll be able to help you with whatever you need.”

“Of course sir.”

Tucking the PADD under her arm, she stood at attention for a moment, turned for the exit and marched out. In the anteroom of the Admiral’s office, there were three uniformed officers waiting impatiently and a Vulcan in long flowing robes. They all watched her enter the waiting area then, without the Admiral’s administrative officer telling them to, they headed into room she had just vacated. She gave the young bronze-skinned Rigellian a sympathetic look before heading into the corridor.

Her mind was still trying to organise itself, to make sense of all that had happened in a short space of time. It was almost too much for her to comprehend. As she slowly headed down the corridor, she activated the PADD and read the latest reports from the Renown, the system status updates, crew jackets, and her first orders once the ship was finished with its update. She was oblivious to all that went on around her, so those she passed in the hallways dodged her as they went about their duties.

When she stopped, she was surprised to find herself standing in front of the door to her temporary quarters. She tapped in her code and stepped inside. Looking at the tablet, she was about to sit down on the small couch when the computer chirped, seeking her attention.

“Yes?”

“You have one new message. Do you wish to view it?” the terminal informed her.

“Display.”

She looked up from the PADD to see the Starfleet emblem replaced with the face of Xa-Haghaarn, the backdrop almost identical to her own guest accommodation—he must’ve made it after they’d met on the observation deck. A knowing smile was plastered on his face.

“Naya, I just wanted to say, good luck on the Renown. You deserve it.” With that, the screen changed back to the customary logo.

Her soft, lyrical chuckle filled the room.


* * * * *


The Renown was magnificent. Naya was perched on the edge of her seat, in the shuttle that’d been sent down to collect her, when the ship came into view. The Armstrong-Class wasn’t the newest, or the largest, or the fastest ship in the fleet, but as Naya looked upon her new command, she found a new elegance to the design she had never noticed before. There was the customary saucer, though a wedge was missing at the back where the impulse engines were located, a rollbar (housing all three torpedo launchers) sat proudly on top of the primary hull, whilst three pylons descended from the ventral side, two for the warp nacelles whilst the middle was connected to the engineering hull, with the navigational deflector dish at the front and the hangar bay at the back. The flawless hull plating was a cool silver-grey colour, against which it was easy to spot the bright yellow workbees as they buzzed about, taking care of the hasty refit work.

“Captain?”

She almost jumped, though managed to maintain her dignity and composure. Looking at the junior lieutenant seated next to her, she realised that the younger woman must’ve been talking to her as she admired the Renown.

“I’m sorry?”

The raven-haired human tucked a rogue lock of hair behind her ear and gave a soft smile. “I was asking if you’d spent any time on an Armstrong-Class before.”

Naya shook her head. “Unfortunately not. I’ve seen quite a few in the last few years, though never managed to get aboard and have a look around.”

“Well, I may be a little biased, but I think you’re going to like it.”

She chuckled and glanced back out at her new ship for a moment longer, then back at the pilot. “Sorry, what was your name again—I’ve been having something of an information overload these last twelve hours.”

“Junior Lieutenant Robbins, sir.”

“Do you have a given name to go with that, Lieutenant?”

The younger woman blushed ever so slightly. “I’d prefer to keep my given name out of it, Captain. An old family curse. Robbins will be just fine.”

“Robbins it is.” She made a mental note to look into the woman’s record, see just what her first name was and why she didn’t like using it—though she would respect the Lieutenant’s wishes and not use it.

“Shall I do a flyby, sir?”

Thinking about it for a moment, she was tempted to see the Renown from every angle, but ultimately she shook her head. “We’ve got too much to do and not a lot of time. Take us into the bay.”

“Aye sir.”

The lieutenant altered their heading slightly, aiming the shuttle between the nacelles to the shuttlebay. She tapped a few more commands into the controls, slowly the craft and signalling their approach vector. Ahead of them the clamshell doors parted, allowing Naya the first glimpse of inside the starship. The bay was cavernous, two shuttles sitting on the deck ready for launch whilst the rest were stored on the deck below. She took note of the operators in the control room, but otherwise there were no other signs of life—not surprising considering the bay was exposed to the vacuum of space.

With practiced ease, Robbins slowed the shuttle down to a crawl and set it down gently, with only the faintest ting of metal touching. Behind them the doors closed and as the bay pressurised the Lieutenant powered down their engines and secured the shuttles systems. Naya watched her work. Having spent years serving at the flight control board, she always appreciated the intricate skill and practiced ease of helmsmen and navigators. Robbins, despite her youth, was definitely one of the most elegant she had seen.

She was finished by the time the bay was habitable. Naya stepped into the aft compartment and picked up the solitary shoulder bag she’d brought with her, which just held clothes, some cosmetics and a few datapads. All of her personal belongings on the Ptolemy had been lost, even some of her most treasured mementos—things that she could never replace. The thought led her straight to all those who hadn’t made it off of the tug. She fought back the tears that threatened to form, now was not the time to mourn—she would continue to do so in the privacy of her own quarters—she didn’t want her new crew to see her moment of fragility.

“Shall I take that for you, sir?”

Taking a deep breath, she looked back at Robbins. “That’s alright, Lieutenant, I can manage. Thank you.”

Robbins led her down the steps and onto the deck. Their boots rang around the empty hangar. Naya inhaled the recycled air and felt the corner of her lips curl. Every ship she had served upon always had the same smell—or rather lack of smell—the air was just clean, no fragrance or hint of anything other than pure oxygen-nitrogen molecules.

“We’ve prepared a formal reception in the recreation room. I’ll show you to your quarters and then take you there—and don’t worry, Captain, we’ve only called together a small number of the crew. We are still on schedule for our refit.”

“I’m glad to hear it, Lieutenant,” she replied. As they headed for the corridor, she couldn’t help but think that the meticulous, raven-haired woman would make a first XO some day.

The thought brought the crew situation to the forefront. She needed to select a new exec, not to mention a security chief, ship’s surgeon and science officer. She already had someone in mind for the vacant chief engineer’s position, if she could convince them to sign on to the Renown, not an easy ask seeing what he’d personally been through on the Ptolemy—but Eilo had raved about his assistant chief and she had always appreciated his hard work.

A soft, sad sigh escaped her lips. Of all the crew who had died, her fellow Deltan—and occasional yey’a (or ‘sex buddy’ as humans called it, though for Deltans the term was far too imprecise, but they had over two hundred words for intercourse)—was one that she missed the least, due to their connection and the intimacy they had shared. She was just glad that they had been together just prior to the battle, he would’ve entered the Ethereal Plaines with fond memories.

By the time their turbolift reached deck four, where her quarters were located, she had a content grin on her face, remembering the throes of pleasure they achieved together—it would be a while before she found a yey’a as gifted as he had been.

The stop off at her quarters had just been long enough to drop her belongings inside the door and glance at the small living and office space, before she they headed for the rec room, where she would meet some of her crew and have to give her first address as Captain of the Renown. As they headed through the corridors, Robbins gave her a briefing on some aspects of the ship, the little things that differed from ship to ship but never made it into the official specs. They had to duck out of the way of some of the refit engineers, though they all stopped and stood stiff when the saw her gold braids. She quickly had them at ease and carrying on.

The recreation room was in the middle of deck six. Though only a single storey, it had a well in the centre and a higher ceiling than most normal rooms, giving it a much more spacious feel. Most of the furniture had been reorganised, so the assembled crew could stand on the lower tier so that she could see them all from the podium that had been set up. As they entered, Robbins announced Naya’s arrival and the assembly stood at attention. There were two officers standing by the entrance, an Andorian in a blue uniform and a very tall human in gold. Robbins fell into place beside them.

“Welcome aboard, Captain,” the Andorian began, demonstrating a traditional Deltan salutatory gesture (the same way humans shook hands), “Communications Officer Tirinathorshan ch’Vahras, though please feel free to call me Thor.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant,” she replied, mirroring his greeting gesticulation, before moving on to the human, who she craned her neck up to look at.

“Welcome ma’am,” he said simply, holding out his hand. She took it and hid her wince as he applied only slight pressure. “Chief Helmsman Nathan Munro.”

“Mr Munro,” she said with a polite smile, removing her hand from his vice-like grip.

Taking a breath, she stepped to the podium and looked down at the two dozen crewmembers that had been assembled, all predominantly in gold and blue—all the engineering and tactical specialists would be busy with the upgrades. She set the PADD down and glanced at the display.

“To Captain Naya, stardate 1002. You are hereby requested and required to take command of the U.S.S. Renown, as of this date. Signed, Vice Admiral Winston Chang, Starfleet Command.” She deactivated the tablet and looked around at the faces before her. “I know these are troubling times we face. I know that it will take time for me to get to know each of you and vice versa—something that may be difficult to do during the foreseeable future. I will say this however, let each of us make sure that this ship lives up to her name, and what we do now will be remembered. Dissmissed.”


* * * * *


END
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Old September 12 2014, 02:16 PM   #2
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

Very pleased that you are continuing with the Four Years War story line. Glad that Naya survived the initial battle with the Klingons and now accepts a new command and promotion. I thought you captured the mood well - the sense of sorrow and loss mixed with determination to face the challenges ahead. Naya faces a daunting task in assembling a crew and preparing to enter the war but I sense that she is up to the task.
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Old September 12 2014, 02:36 PM   #3
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

Glad to see that Naya survived, and the adventures continue. I agree you did capture the mood very well. Looking forward to more.
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Old September 12 2014, 03:39 PM   #4
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

Thank you both, I'm glad you liked it.

Will hopefully get a little more done this weekend, at least introduce you to the rest of the main characters.
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Old September 12 2014, 11:29 PM   #5
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

Good start. Glad to see you're continuing this storyline and at least both ship commanders survived. There were a couple nitpicks. I think you meant that Eilo would be the person Naya missed the most not the least. And Munro has a vise-like grip, not a vice-like grip.
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Old September 12 2014, 11:42 PM   #6
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

Great start to a new series, Bry. I'm really enjoying this insight into the pre-Kirk years of Starfleet. I think you're gonna go far with this. Naya and your other characters are well-written and you certainly carry across a bunch of emotions that people who experience in that situation and time period.

Keep up the great work, please.
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Old September 13 2014, 04:45 AM   #7
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

DarKush wrote: View Post
Good start. Glad to see you're continuing this storyline and at least both ship commanders survived. There were a couple nitpicks. I think you meant that Eilo would be the person Naya missed the most not the least. And Munro has a vise-like grip, not a vice-like grip.
I'll correct the 'vise' on my copy.

As for missing Eilo, I meant it as I wrote it. Given that Deltans equate much of their lives and relationships to physical forms of pleasure, she would've known Eilo best of all her crew--since there was nothing hidden between them. Thanks to their telepathy, she would know him inside and out and had no regrets in their bond. She would be saddened by his loss, but having known him she would know that he entered the Ethereal Plaines with no regrets. The loss of the rest of her crew is harder because she didn't have the familiar connection with them that she would be used to. If that makes sense.

It's a Deltan thing--as I wrote it I thought about how they might view death, loss and regret. The original idea had been that Eilo would be the one she missed most, but as I wrote, I thought it would just be an interesting idea to flip it about and say that because theirs was part of normal Deltan interaction that that wouldn't necessarily be the case. Like how some say that when you look back on life you regret the things you didn't do and not the things you did.
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Old September 13 2014, 05:09 PM   #8
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

Bry,

Thanks for the response. It's definitely an interesting take on the Deltans. Cool that you put that much thought into it.
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Old September 13 2014, 05:30 PM   #9
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

What can I say, I like my aliens
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Old September 17 2014, 09:31 PM   #10
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - For The Renown

Just getting into the 4YW after watching the Axanar short film. I'm liking this so far, a new commander, a new ship and plenty of challenges ahead.
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