=/\= CSOD, Fort McDill Florida =/\=
Jason sat in his office after coming in from his parents home. He had
moved everything to his Tokyo apartment since he was going to stay on
Earth for a while. He had just sat at his desk and was getting settled
in when a message flashed on his screen, from Enterprise before she left
orbit. He read it over and blinked before reading it again, "that may
not be good," he muttered and tugged at his collar, "Roberts to Admiral
Travers and Commodore Drayson, I need to speak with you both ASAP."
"Drayson here, on my way," the Diplomatic Corps Director replied,
heading for the nearest transporter pad at Starfleet Command. He
momentarily materialized at Fort McDill, where a Marine oversaw the
biosign security confirmation on the console as the Commodore appeared.
"Follow me sir," the Marine invited, escorting Jack to Admiral Roberts'
office. "Go right in, sir."
"Thank you Gunny," Jack replied, stepping through the doors. "Good
From San Francisco, it was the CinC's aide, Commander Bryce, who
answered the communication. "Good day, Admiral Roberts. Admiral
Travers is currently in a meeting. May I ask what the nature of your
Jason gave a nod to Drayson then let his hands drop and bit back a
retort about just wanting to have a beer, "I'm afraid not, Commander,
but it is rather urgent or I would not have attempted to call him
directly," he replied, deciding that saying there are several thousand
more Zentrad ships incoming was best left off the open comm, "just tell
him it's about the project he asked me to help with."
"I see. I'll relay your message, sir," Cmdr. Bryce reported before
cutting out comms.
A few minutes later, a marine escorted Admiral Travers into the room.
When the doors closed behind him, leaving the three senior officers
alone, Zeke spoke. "I trust this won't become a habit, Jason. I hate
to sound haughty, but you know I don't even get five minutes to myself
these days, let alone being able to pull myself away for unscheduled
visits." He sounded only marginally gruff, but also with an
undercurrent that hoped they understood. "Jack," he said with a nod to
Drayson before turning back to Roberts. "Now, whats on your mind?"
"About three thousand more Zentrad ships," Roberts replied and handed
each officer a PADD with a copy of the report, "I wouldn't have called
except this may make things a bit harder and I thought you'd rather be
told the highlights before the report is triaged by assistants," he
added conversationally, knowing most Yeomen just delivered one large
"Three thou- what are you talking about?" Zeke asked. "I understood
there was only the one." One ship that in itself was a technological
and engineering marvel. Practically a mobile starbase, from what Zeke
"That's what I understood as well," Roberts replied with a nod,
"apparently they sent the word out. The USS Crete and Admiral Valor
intercepted them coming out of the fissure and asked them to hold but
they got tired of holding there."
Travers turned his eye to Drayson. "You've been speaking with the
Zentrad leadership, Jack. Did they ever give any indication as to this?"
Drayson shook his head, "Absolutely no warning whatsoever. In fact
they've just put on the table the idea of a joint exploration mission on
their side of the fissure. No indication of anything either from Intel,"
Travers blinked, then rubbed his head. "Alright, let's not get
side-tracked. What does this do to their population estimates, Jason?"
he asked while sitting in a nearby chair, already knowing he wasn't
going to like the answer.
Roberts looked at his terminal and started typing, "well, the ship sizes
vary, some with only ten, others fifty, others as many as two hundred
crew. Given that....." he started then winced, "about five hundred
thousand people give or take, from the two hundred fifty we expected,"
he finished then looked back, "don't suppose we have a spare planet or
two floating around?" he asked, "no pun intended."
"As Ms. Tura explained earlier, that's going to be held up in political
maneuvering," Travers recapped, "but she was confident it could have
been pushed through within a few months. Now, however, with this
undisclosed development... I can just see it now. The opponents are
going to cite breach of agreement and so on." Zeke hated to have to
consider the political side, but it was the unfortunate side of his job.
"Alright, never mind that for now. Let's talk about how in the hell
we're going to coral three thousand ships in the interim," Travers
followed up with, trying to regain some focus on the issues they could
have some control over.
"Is the Twenty Second Fleet free?" he asked, the twenty second being one
of a few Fleets specifically tasked with Earth defense, "if they are,
between them and maybe having the Zentrad shrink to a few ships they
should be containable. After they..micronize I think the term was,
there should be plenty of room on their larger ships," he offered.
"They're tasked presently with the opening of the Supreme Assembly
term," Drayson replied. "We've got heads of state and ambassadors
arriving from across the Federation for it," he added.
Roberts nodded and pursed his lips, there was no way to bring in his own
Task Force, and even if they could efficiently most were watching for
anymore Zentrad or what they were fleeing from. He pulled up a map of
current deployments and rubbed his chin, Starfleet had been shrunk more
then he realized from the second Dominion War, which made him realize
how detached he'd made himself from the cores affairs, "hmmm, maybe we
can get Admiral Cerywyn to loan us a few ships from Versailles and her
sector then shore those up with some of the defense forces from a few of
the surrounding systems," he asked, knowing more then a few Governments
kept local defense forces to protect their systems, "we might also try
to have a few Capellan vessels there as well, they have a similar
physical appearance in regards to height and such as well as a history
of being a warrior race as well."
Travers looked at the same map. "It's the higher gravity on their world
that gives the Capellans their imposing stature, but I don't want to put
two bulls into the same pit. That's the same as putting Zaldan ships on
a patrol detail, it runs the risk of causing trouble, even with
Starfleet supervision. But you're not wrong in the similarities." The
CinC took a few steps away, stood in thought a moment, then turned back
to the other two.
"Let's not put all of our eggs into one big basket. A fleet of
thousands, even scaled down to three digits, would tax our standing
fleet and weaken our borders. What if we were to spread them out into
manageable groups, place them in sectors near worlds like Capella or
Zald that could lend a hand without going too far out of their way.
Meanwhile, the Zentrad could be near and start to associate with similar
cultures within the Federation."
Jason nodded, "that would work from the looks of it, then we can put the
Border Patrol ships Versailles has on the borders on alert and have them
keep watch for anything coming from either empire," he said and looked
to Drayson, "we'd need to give them a reason why though, other then we
are watching so we can intercept "problems," he added knowing both the
Klingons and Romulans would bluster about it being an act of war.
"Something about helping them to navigate, logistical support and so on,"
Drayson suggested. "They'll know why regardless of what we tell them, I
agree we can be diplomatic about it."
Jason nodded and looked back to Travers, "with your permission, sir,
I'll start making necessary preparations for the Zentrad arrival?" he
asked, though his voice started more as a statement and turning to a
question at the end as he caught his habit of just going after so much
time on the fringes.
"So long as everyone saves a little face," Travers commented. "Alright,
have General Liconie see to the patrols. Jason, go ahead and start working
on divvying up the escort assignments for when they get here. In the
whichever one of you speaks with their leader , this 'Zrenn,' next,
to him the importance of 'full disclosure.' We're taking them into our
pulling a stunt like this is a poor way to pay us for our offered
Roberts nodded, "aye, sir," he replied simply, the wheels in his mind
Admiral Zacharias Travers (NPC)
Admiral Jason Roberts
First Force Special Operations Commander [Commanding Officer]
Starfleet Command [Task Force 2.2]
Commodore Jack Drayson
Diplomatic Corps Director