11/24/12: Strike Force Kargas Counter Attack & Aftermath

Post your news, short stories, and blurbs on what's up with your character during the attack and the aftermath. We want to know!

For those interested in a counseling session with Katriel, please also include a 'Mental trauma sustained' status if your character would be recommended for counseling.

Shortly after the fleet's return to Outpost Argo, the station was put into a communications blackout and the replicator systems taken offline. Minor system glitches appeared all over the station- a result of the virus infecting the base itself. The incident lasted no more than eight hours before the virus was isolated and eradicated, and a solution for the infected ships prototyped.
Captain Chassy Skyler Quaen was not at all idle during the fleet's encroachment on Klingon space. Safely ensconced in her facility on the Industrial Replicator, she drowned her restlessness in the unending pile of PADDwork, a communicator tuned the the incoming messages from Ops.

When they caught the first news of the fleet's defeat, she heard it, and she was there to work on possibilities of what had happened. Whispers of a virus, whispers of the IFF being disabled, these things she took on as fact and set herself to information gathering. Anything at all similar, related in the remotest degree. Once the fleet reached the Donatu sector, she directed communications with one of the flagships and gathered more data to work with.

By the time the fleet limped home, she and her people had a preliminary assessment of the 'Kul virus' for Razor's eyes. She hadn't asked about the ships destroyed or the people listed dead. She didn't want to know while she still had work to do. She didn't even know the Commodore had survived it until the ensign confirmed delivery of the report PADD.

But she still had work to do.

Amanda Barclay, a tech aboard the U.S.S. Albion, had familiarity with the infectious aspect of the code. It was, in short, her code, a modification of the highly volatile Iconian stuff. It took guts and gall to even consider touching Iconian programs. Barclay's version had been taken from the U.S.S. Farseer when the Klingons had scuttled it.

When the virus escaped their scrunity- hers, her team's, and Barclay's- dodged the containment of AG-21-8 and infected the Outpost via a leiutenant's 'I'll be home late' call from the replicator to the station, Chassy couldn't put the blame on any one thing. They'd taken necessary precautions and she didn't think they'd missed anything, but they had. It was a security disaster, but with minimal damage.

The replicators malfunctioned- perhaps advantageous with John's request that alcohol be limited for officers the rank of commander and above-, lighting fritzed, and the holodeck spewed nonsense projections. There were a few other abnormal systems reports, but nothing too unmanageable.

Communications were blacked out before the Kul virus could spider to the visiting freighters and whatever back line ships had remained for defense, but someone up the line was going to be furious. Furious at her, as she was determined to keep the scatter brained mastermind programmer of a human out of the punitive spotlight. She took full responsibility, and filed the incident report herself to ensure it, without Razor's consent. She'd get in trouble for that, too.

But the Outpost was finally scrubbed, some eight hours later. It was very early in the morning, but she, they- her team, herself, and Barclay- had isolated the spread function of the virus and neutralized it on the grounded ships. Tomorrow- today, later today- secondary engineers would put the infected vessels through systems sanitation and eradicate the virus overall. Luckily, she wasn't needed for that part.

She stretched herself standing, leasing a sigh for all the crinks and muscle complaint. She'd been sitting for too long. And she'd forgotten to feed Roxborough, which she strove to remedy now, now that the emergency was over. Everything else- almost everything else- could wait until tomorrow.
For Nethali Aster, there was no sleep. There wasn't even drink. The buzz from Blackbeard's bottles had long since faded, her rage had quieted, and then, somehow, she just didn't feel like drinking. Oh, she stood around with her fighter squadron, lifting her perpetually full glass in toast to all the grand words and sorrowful epitaphs, but she didn't drink. She joined in the songs, led a few herself, and introduced the thickened accent people expected when she'd been in her cups, but she didn't drink. She repeated the act again, later, with all precious few of the Celtic's refugees that weren't strapped to a biobed or drifting in hopeless space.

When someone started to catch on that her drink never changed, she slouched against a wall and let Mjoll's eppoh lap booze from an overly relaxed grip on her glass. Mjoll's eppoh was no worse for wear for this embibment, and nobody really caught on once the alcohol level started sinking. They were too desperate to see straight, clinging to the stray companionable threads of the web Kul had torn down.

Her hands hurt. So did her feet- she'd kicked things just as much as she'd hit them with that tantrum in Blackbeard's cargo hold- but she wasn't going to bother anyone about a hypo or a regenerator. The smarting bruises-in-action and skinned knuckles were a reminder. Life. Proof of life. Life is pain. Enjoy it, life and pain, because some people won't get either anymore. She sucked the metallic taste of raw skin on her knuckles, then grinned across the room at a lieutenant with a stammer, and probably a concussion.

These were her people, every one of them. All few left of them. Even the ensign she'd met just once, and that nurse she'd hated for years.

The lieutenant wasn't part of the Celtic- he was here because he was was Jenner's little brother- but right now, all these people, everyone on this starbase, everyone dying in their biobeds, everyone laboring over damaged ships, everyone in Task Force Argo: the harpy voicing announcements about communication blackouts, and even the damned idiots who let this happen, were hers. She watched as they drank, sang, talked and wept themselves into exhaustion, working off the fear, the hate, the grief; her people, enjoying life.

Early morning, she let the lieutenant take her home- was he from the Moirai or the Albion? Was it either?- and she made sure he enjoyed life too. Life, with all its pain and pleasure. One in the same.

Once he'd fallen asleep, with Nethali stretched restless on the floor next to him, she hopped to her feet, collected her clothes, and nicked his cigarettes.

She didn't have a room. She didn't have the Breshtanti, she didn't have a ship. But she had life, her people, and half a pack of cigarettes.

Here, in the depths of the Starbase structure, where modular corridors ended in bulkheads leading out to space, where the promise of life and future filtered down from the unfinished vents and jeffries tubes with light and voice of those still awake, she lit up and listened to her people enjoying life.
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Captain Areyis watched with his emotionless analytic stare as the Fleet was decimated before his eyes.
The rest of his crew had a look of grief upon their faces rather than shock, they seemed to maintain
their discipline, as if they had seen worse.

"Hold your fire" said Commodore Razor as Areyis was ready to order a spread of Quantum Torpedoes fired.
The Klingon known as Kul told them to leave, and Razor accepted the terms.

As they set course back for Outpost Argo several scenarios went through Areyis's logical mind. Kul had said that
Commandant Riles had been removed from the association of the Klingon Defense Force, but did that mean
he was under capture? It was possible.....however unlikely.

No....Riles wanted this, he lured Task Force Argo into a trap. He had discussed this with Captain Tsang earlier
who was coincidentally injured.

Riles commenced a small attack on Outpost Argo which utterly failed, it was speculated by Tsang that it was
mean't to fail and that the fighters were acting as probes to test the defensive capabilities and reaction times
of Task Force Argo.

He then allowed them to become aware of their current location in hopes of luring them into the trap, Commodore
Razor took the absurd risk and ordered a counterattack, as Captain Tsang and Areyis had suspected, it was indeed
an ambush.

Surprisingly the ambush was done by the Klingon Forces rather than Riles personal forces. Which left for two possibilities
in Areyis's mind.

What Captain Traise insisted on was indeed the truth, "General" Riles had been captured.
And decided to take credit for a plan Riles had already created.

But that failed to explain the lack of ships that were originally from Strike Force Kargas, key individuals
most significantly Commander Duuz were not present at the battle. Or else the Gorn would have undoubtedly
made an attempt to destroy the Mabel. There were too many loose ends for this Captain Traise to be entirely
correct in his assumption.

No....the other scenario was more likely, despite having gaps that could only be filled with speculation.
It is highly improbable that Riles and his loyal followers would simply submit to Klingon Authority without
a battle.

Pity is an emotion, thought Areyis to himself as he watched Razor throw the PADD against the glass wall.
Yet I feel an odd emptiness within myself.

Meanwhile he watched as Nethali argued with Captain Traise, it began to look as if it would turn to blows, and
Areyis had noted that the Warrent Officer made a habit of insubordinate acts. He was tempted to forcefully
remove Nethali from the area via Nerve Pinch should things go too far. But he concluded that it may end in
creating more emotional strife within the other individuals who appeared to be entirely demoralized, unlike
himself. Who was incapable of being demoralized.

He even attempted to reason with the other officers and try to plan the next course of actions to no avail.
Suddenly he watched the Commodore walk off with a look of horror on his face.

I must reason with the Commodore, only he is capable of keeping our morale from collapsing, Areyis thought to himself, then following
Razor down the ramp and into a room.

Commodore, I am aware that I am unable to give the appropriate emotional response.
But I can only express that i am truly as apologetic as i am capable of being.

It is likely that you desire revenge.

In order to achieve this goal, we must focus on our next course of action.

Dismissed t'heh
, was the cold reply. Areyis could only wonder if his words mean't anything.

((On an OOC note....this is how i felt about this event))
Oliver looked up from his desk, shifting his gaze around his ready room. He ran a hand through his hair, exhaling deeply. He stood up from his chair, stumbling lightly as he made his way over to the window, gazing out to the stars, and to Outpost Argo. Hrmm- maybe those bottles hit me harder than I thought- haven't drank in bloody ages. He sighed, glancing down to the PADD in his hand- one of the figures listed stood out: preliminary casualty report. He blinked a few times, sighing, clicking the PADD off. No, not now. Now wasn't the time. Now was the time to-

A woosh -the sound of the door to his ready room opening- interrupted his internal monologue. A woman, black of hair, stepped in. Her uniform was read, and her rank pips identified her as a commander. She was Alisani Nixoto, his first officer- she was his counterbalance. Where he was aggressive, she was calm, and so on an so forth. He turned to her, sighing.

"Sir, some of the crew wanted me to speak to you. They're worried-" She relaxes her posture, frowning. "I'm worried." She steps forward. "What happened there wasn't your fault."

Oliver glared at her. "I should have seen it coming."

"You couldn't have."

"You know bloody well that I could have. The intel was there."

"You can't blame you-"

Oliver narrowed his eyes. "I supported the plan- even though I could see that it was a trap. I kept on telling people that that was irrelevant- that this was our only chance."


"Get out."


"Get the hell out of my ready room."

Mental Trauma Sustained: It seems that Oliver isn't taking this well.
Captain Steven DePoe wandered into his small quarters on the Leyte Gulf and slapped the lock on the door controls. He didn't want to be bothered right now for nothing less than Kargas deciding to come along and finish Argo off. He plopped himself down on the bunk and rubbed his face with his hands, exhaling slowly. The past ten hours since the assault force returned to Outpost Argo had been nothing short of a living hell.

The Leyte hadn't been part of the actual strike force, it would have been had it been able to return to the base when ordered, but the Earth Home fleet commander had refused to let his orders be rescinded at the time. As such, the Leyte was left behind with a few other ships to babysit Outpost Argo. A job DePoe wasn't happy with, but one he accepted without so much as a complaint. Orders were orders.

Orders. If only he had followed his instead of hiding in the relative safety of the Home Fleet, he would have been out there with his fleetmates, not sitting at home listening to things going to crap via subspace. Sure his ship may have been destroyed in that disaster, but it sure beat living with the fact he had let everyone down.

No. He wouldn't let those thoughts enter his head again. It was bad enough when he'd seen some of Starfleet's finest, let alone some of his best friends die when MACO 7th Fleet had engaged House MeQpu'yay and both fleets wiped each other out. Ironically, that had been in Donatu too, hadn't it? He was beginning to really hate that area of space. He has seen two separate fleets suffer major defeats there already.

DePoe sighs and sits up, stooping forward so he wouldn't bump his head on the low clearing of the bunk's ceiling. Wallowing in self pity and recrimination wasn't going to get him anywhere. Not his ship, not his fleet, and especially not him. It wasn't something he could shrug off and ignore, but he was prepared to cope with it. He wouldn't let it distract him from the task at hand, whatever the Commodore and the other fleet officers came up with. Until then- well, he had his orders. He had gotten them just an hour ago. His status with the Home Fleet was on permanent hiatus, and he was back to running patrols of the Klingon border, despite the current cease-fire the KDF and Starfleet had, not that he was surprised Kargas had broken it anyway.

There was only one loose end to tie up, now that the comm blackout had been lifted. He needed to call his fiancee back on Earth, and tell her he'd be out here for a while. At least she would understand. He was sure of that. She was Vulcan, and she'd see the logic of the situation. Still it wouldn't be easy for him to say, but it had to be said. Slowly, he got up and walked over to his desk...
Among the fleet refugees, starbase crewmen and a few select officers who just happened to be there... the phrase "Shuddup an' eat your effin' pancakes,' has become something of a verbal meme, started and well-abused by one Nethali Aster who, with the assistance of one of her squadron mates, Mjoll, mixed up some fifty batches of pancakes, Aster Style (vanilla liqueur and cinnamon) and hand delivered them, overriding anyone's /actual/ meal order.

Something went off, though-- maybe the vulcan insulted her lovingly crafted flapjacks, 'cause..well, that evening, Warrant Officer Nethali Aster was arrested for assaulting Captain King. Plenty of witnesses to attest to it-- a fist right in the solar plexus! She stood down peacefully enough, and submitted, grinningly, to being ushered away by security.