Task Force Phoenix

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Task Force Phoenix.png
Rising from the Ashes
Task Force Phoenix
General Data
*SIM Type: UFS Task Force
*Production number: TF-14
*Initiated: 191006
*Year: 2417
Navigation
*Forum Thread: Task Force Phoenix Mission Logs
*Previous Mission: Task Force Interphase
Credits
*SIM Concept: Rich Lombardia - Kristoff Jameson - Te'ellis
*Historian: Kermie Mistwallow


Prelude

After the destruction of Romulus there was a void in the Romulan Empire. Empress Sela attempted to consolidate power but there was another faction that wanted to form a new Romulan Republic.

This power struggle eventually dragged in both the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Seeing the writing on the wall, a large number of ships fled to the Delta Quadrant and found an area to carve out a new Empire.

Over the course of the last decade or thereabouts, the Romulan Star Empire has been rebuilding. This includes developing their new home world, constructing outposts and new ships, making alliances with worthy partners and conquering those who are deemed unworthy. This has helped them build a significant “slave” workforce.

Week One

Three Birds and One Veracruz

  • Stardate - 190925

After losing contact with two probes that had been sent into a previously unexplored region, the USS Veracruz had an encounter with a D'deridex class Romulan Warbird. Their commander ordered them to withdraw, but the Captain of the Veracruz Kinney Randt chose to keep the Veracruz at thier current location. Whatever they were up to, he was sure UFS Command would want to know, and they were more than a match for the one warbird.

That was when two more warbirds decloaked and opened fire. Kinney Randt would put his ship and crew against any challenge in a fair fight, but three to one was far from fair, forcing the USS Veracruz to withdraw before they were destroyed.

The Romulans held their ground, and did not pursue, leading the crew to believe that they were hiding, or protecting, something important. I

Colonel Mustard, In Engineering, With A Chip

  • Stardate - 191002

Now that the USS Veracruz had escaped from the 3 Romulan warbirds, they had come to a stop to assess damages and commence repairs. All was proceeding rather smoothly, considering how severe it could have been, but that was when a rather unusual discovery was made.

They detected a low level, microburst frequency that was transmitting from the Veracruz, while bypassing the comms panel on the bridge. Someone, somewhere, was sending copies of the damage reports and scans, and they were being aimed directly at the system they were just chased out of.

They had either an intruder, or a spy, on board. Their task now is to discover who and where, and to do so before they discover that the crew was aware of their actions.

Leads to the Past

  • Stardate - 191006

The USS Sheppard is dispatched to investigate a freighter that has been linked to a terrorist attack on a Federation Space Station.

Most of the crew was dead except for one female who we stunned and arrested. It is reported that the survivor taken hostage by the crew but escaped and took them out. This unknown female claimed to be Leyla Lombardia, the very late twin sister of UF Starfleet Officer Rich Lombardia , who died 23 years previously in an attack on a Federation Boarder world preceding the Federation Klingon war of 2405. After confirmation that the survivor was indeed Leyla there was brief tender reunion while the Sheppard crew investigated the freighter.

Further disscusions with Leyla revelaed she had lived a terrible life as a slave and guinea pig for Klingon testing for 10 years as they tried to unlock the secrets of the Lombardia patriarch's work. Layla managed to get away and make her way to the Delta Quadrant where she became a merchant until being taken from her ship by this freighter crew. They too had experimentation in mind. Leyla stated "We are two sides of the same coin. Always together but never on the same side."

Rich Lombardia discovered his phaser beeping, it is unknown at this time why the Captain was armed however he investigated and teh Phaser armed stunning the Captain. Leyla then proceeded to attack Emerald Lombardia knocking her unconscious.

During the time of both the CMO and Captain's incapacitatioin Layla manages to access a highly protected file located on the Captain and modifies a combadge to contact a nearby ship.

The USS Sheppard proceeded to engage an emergency beam out of the away team on the Frieghter as the area began flooding with radiation. A Romulan Empire warbird de-cloaked and destroyed the freighter then took off at warp speed.

The USS Sheppard pursued and Security swarmed medical after detecting the breech in security. The Captain came too and was filled in on what occurred. Soon afer Layla hailed the USS Sheppard.

She darned the Federation for everything that happened to her and swore to make them pay. The warbird then swung around to attack. After a brief fight the Warbird made a direct flight at the USS Sheppard. Leyla says "Death is only the beginning." before the entire ship is destroyed.

Rich Lombardia sends a report to UF Starfleet Command while investigating the wreckage and looking for other ships that might have been cloaked.

Cloak and Dagger

  • Stardate - 191006

During the briefing aboard the USS Neil Armstrong, a recap was given on the current situation, in that whilst on a routine patrol of the Astraios sector, the crew had come across a civilian freighter near the Treman border. The freighter seemed to be in poor condition.

It transpired that the freighter was commanded by Ray Dixon - a rouge that had encountered before. Ray Dixon was brought aboard the USS Armstrong and placed in the Brig.

Scans and inspections of the freighter determined that it was unsafe and not space-worthy. As such the crew were on their way back to Astraios with the freighter in tow.

After a while, Cmdr Flip Thatcher reported that the Science scanners had detected an anomaly. The Captain ordered that an 'eye be kept' on the anomaly. Science then reported that the anomaly seemed to be following them.

Ordering the helm to drop out of warp and come to a full stop the Captain recieved a further report that the anomly had followed suit and also stopped. Again the Captain ordered movement at full impulse, and again the anomoly mimicked.

It seemed as if the anomaly was acting more like a ship than a natural phenomenon. Ops suggested that it might be a sensor echo, as it mirrored the ships movement. Tactical suggested that we go to Yellow alert - which the Captain confirmed, just in case it did prove to be a ship.

As the Captain hailed the ship no responce was given. Tactical suggested that it might be a cloaked ship, as scanners had picked up a brief warp signature.

By sending out a tachion beam to the co-ordinates of the 'anomaly', to the surprise of the crew they briefly caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a Romulan Warbird.

Proceeding to Red alert, the ship disappeared from view. The Romulan ship then suddenly reappeared and fired directly at the freighter - which exploded. The USS Armstrong quickly moved away of the explosion, but found that the Romulan ship had by then disappeared before they had a chance to fire upon it.

Standing down from Red Alert the crew began to discuss and investigate the proceedings.

Romulans in the Mist

  • Stardate - 191007

USS Maxwell has retrieved her commanding officer, Commodore Nora Gerhadsen, from the surface of Hapke 012 III, rescuing her and her Subere pilot from Romulans, whose presence in the area has not yet been fully explained. Maxwell participated in a battle against a Romulan warbird, and emerged victorious. The Romulans were encountered again on the planet's surface. They fought to the last, and would not surrender.

Events before the battle

Making her way to the Hapke Cluster to find further signs of the passage of Commodore Nora Gerhadsen , USS Maxwell detected a signal consistent with the Commodore's Viridium patch moving at slightly less than Warp 7 toward the Hapke 012 system from deeper in the Hapke Cluster. It must be noted that Hapke 012 III (called Ffeeneth III in Subere charts) is rich in magnesite ores and other materials that tend to confuse sensors. Very soon after detecting this signal, the USS Maxwell picked up the signal of a pursuing Romulan Bird of Prey.

Not long after picking up the Romulan's signal, Subcommander Varel, the commanding officer of the Bird of Prey, hailed the Maxwell on voice only, seeming to identify the Maxwell as IRW Tinnerix, the ship from which Maxwell crew retrieved the singularity warp core that the Maxwell has been using for nearly four years. Subcommander identified his ship as IRW K'Taavok, and requested Tinnerix's aid in pursing his quarry -- Commodore Gerhadsen's shuttle. This shuttle has since been identified as a Subere runabout, and contained Commdore Gerhadsen, as well as her pilot, Lieutenant Harald Porpington of the Royal Subere Navy.

As the IRW K'Taavok caught up with the shuttle, it fired weapons, damaging the shuttle and causing it to crash on the surface. At this point, the USS Maxwell came within weapons range. The K'Taavok turned and engaged. Fire was traded; both vessels maneuvered, but Maxwell ended up destroying the K'Taavok. Maxwell sustained substantial damage from the battle, but is still operational.

Energy surges from the K'Taavok indicated that she transported her crew down to the surface before her singularity core suffered catastrophic evaporation -- the Romulan equivalent of a warp core breach. USS Maxwell personnel transported down with transporter enhancers to an area of forest scarred by the crashed Subere shuttle. There, they encountered the surviving crew of the K'Taavok. A ground battle ensued in which the Romulans fought to the last. During the ground action, Commodore Gerhadsen and her Subere pilot emerged from the forest to help the Maxwell personnel defeat the Romulans.

After the battle, all personnel transported back to the Maxwell. There, as per Starfleet Orders, Commodore April Coswell, Acting CO of USS Maxwell, officially transfered command back to Commodore Gerhadsen, and relieved Captain Jayce Rebel of First Officer duties.

How Did That Get There?

  • Stardate 191009

The USS Veracruz's search for whomever had been transmitting data to the Romulans had been narrowed down to two suspects. Ensign Skon and Ensign Darkfold, both power specialists stationed on the upper engineering deck, working at station 33, which contained the micro transmitter.

Security have brought both officers to the security deck, where Cmdr Jameson and LTjg Salek are attempting to discover which of the two has been assisting the Romulans, and more importantly, why.

Assessment Protocol

  • Stardate - 191010

The crew of SS Peedy Thor began with a meeting to assess the current situation. With 3 ships reporting Romulan activity the fleet needed to be ready for this unprecedented situation in the Delta Quadrant.

Operations began by setting up a secure communication network to be able to talk directly to the ships of the Fleet, this is going to be paramount as we move forward with the investigation into the recent encounters.

The Computer Operations department has been tasked with securing all LCAR's access, plugging any holes in firewalls, and securing all data ports. With a situation aboard the USS Sheppard it was evident that a breach in security needed to be looked at closely.

As Commodore Kermie Mistwallow was taking charge of the fleet due to his position as Chief of UF Starfleet Operations, Commander Draco Dimanovic was placed in temporary command of SS Peedy Thor.

With Cadet Kate Anderson on station, medical was tasked with taking stock of supplies and prepareing for major triage should the events escalate.

At approximatly 13:48 local Pinastri time, an anomly was detected in Pinastri Sector 553-B, at the same time a Civilian shuttle tried to approach the station. With quick thinking and monitoring of sensors Ensign Williams diverted the shuttle to one of teh outer colonies and suddenly discovered a Romulan warbird decloak and warp away. The reason for the decloak is still unclear, the crew began to wonder why they would appear so close and not just warp away.

Commodore Mistwallow dispatched the USS Darwin & USS Altair to pursue the warp trail, while the USS Goddard took lead on a patrol of the area.

Shortly after the pursuit the USS Darwin reported in ........ the USS Altair had been lost with all hands.

The USS Darwin was ordered to retreat back to HQ and submit a report.

The Crew was in shock, some had never understood the meaning of loss in such a large instance, friends, family and colleagues gone in the blink of an eye.

Suddenly an encrypted transmission came in partly scrambled ..... "request extraction, Uralia, *crackle* Tango Charlie Zero Zero Kilo". With some investigation and research into the Intelligence callsigns we discovered that this message came from a crewmember of the USS Maxwell, Civilian Te'ellis.

The Goddard has been ordered to intercept and recover at best possible speed under the command of Commander Draco Dimanovic.

Week Two

A Wolf Among the Sheep

  • Stardate - 191013

The USS Sheppard began comparison of it's computer core code prior to installation, post installation and post incident have. The computer code pre and post installation are exactly the same.

The computer code now has some variations that were definitely done after they left space dock. This leads the Captain to believe that they have one or more crew members who are working for the enemy.

The USS Sheppard are on route back to Pinastri now but the Captain ordered a full investigation. Code alterations of this magnitude would require very specific access privileges that very few people possess.

The crew are trying to track down what access was used but the saboteur has covered their tracks magnificently. They do not believe the computer system in the medical dept are the only areas that have been tampered with.

The Captain has only a few people that he can absolutely trust. Their newest security officer is Romulan but his whereabouts are accurately accounted for so it is unlikely he was involved but may be an excellent Subject Matter expert on Romulans.

More Cloak and Dagger

  • Stardate - 191013

At the briefing aboard the USS Neil Armstrong, The Captain gave a quick recap on the current situation - in that whilst on a routine patrol of the Astraios sector, we had come across a civilian freighter that was in need of major repairs and discovered that the freighter was commanded by the rogue Ray Dixon, who we invited to come aboard the 'Armstrong and who was subsequently taken to the Brig. We took the freighter in tow and headed back to Astraios. However, what we at first thought to be an anomaly, turned out to be Romulan Warbird, which fired on the freighter, causing it to explode. The Romulan ship then disappeared. As we were left with more questions than answers, I instructed those present to go with Capt Barbosa to the Brig to interview/interrogate Ray Dixon - to find out about the cargo he was carrying, where he was taking it and why the Romulans attacked and destroyed the freighter.

I then went to Bridge and sent an encrypted report to SS Astraios about our encounter with a Romulan Warbird.

Some time later, Capt Barbosa and fellow officers came to the Bridge where I asked for their report.

Capt Barbosa reported that Ray Dixon seemed to have been used as a pawn by Romulan agents on Treman. They had paid him to take his freighter (in which they had hidden a large quantity of explosives, without his knowledge) to SS Astraios. Once there, it was presumed that they would detonate the explosives and destroy SS Astraios. After the freighter left Treman, they must have followed it in the Romulan Warbird - keeping a safe distance. However the freighter lost power due to its poor condition and was rescued by the 'Armstrong and taken in tow. It was surmised that once the Romulans became aware that Starfleet had the freighter in tow, they thought the hidden explosives would be found and Ray Dixon might unwittingly devolve their involvement. Hence the Romulan attack and destruction of the freighter (including Ray Dixon if he was still on board). The size nature of the explosion following a single shot on the freighter, seemed to confirm the presence of a large quantity of explosives having been aboard. Perhaps the Romulans also hoped that their attack on a civilian freighter might never be connected to their planned attack on SS Astraios.

On hearing these revelations, I decided that I needed to send a supplementary encrypted report on a secured channel to SS Astraios, warning them of our suspicions of a possible Romulan attack - which had been thwarted by luck rather than anything else.

Romulan Behavioralogy

  • Stardate - 191014

USS Maxwell is currently enroute to Pinastri at high warp (9.5) to avoid capture by a large Romulan vessel, IRW D'paran, commanded by Admiral Jaavok of the Tal Shiar. We encountered the D'paran in the Gevedek System. This Romulan vessel, apparently of the 'Scimitar' class, attempted to capture the Maxwell, but we managed to outrun them after a spirited chase, during which the D'paran fired a full broadside, numbering no fewer than twenty-seven torpedoes.

Pre-encounter activities

Enroute to Pinastri, USS Maxwell detected thalaron radiation in the Gevedek system. This was a highly unusual signal, for the native inhabitants of that system, the Gevennek, though warp-capable, do not possess the technological wherewithal to produce thalarons. Despite orders to proceed to Pinastri without delay, this signal was deemed unusual enough that follow-up was determined to be important enough to the Federation to warrant a delay. So USS Maxwell diverted to the Gevedek system.

While in the Gevedek system, USS Maxwell detected high intensities of thalaron radiation from the surface of Gevedek III, a previously Class M world. Gevedek III now seems to conform most closely to Class D -- no atmosphere or life. The native species, the Gevennek, were totally gone, along with all other life on the planet. It seemed unlikely that the Gevennek would have destroyed themselves with a thalaron weapon or experiment. USS Maxwell tarried on station to conduct scans of the planet in order to understand what had happened. As a precaution, Maxwell was ordered to yellow alert, and weapons were ordered charged.

The encounter

While conducting scans, Maxwell was hailed by a Romulan shuttle, who addressed us as "IRW Tinnerix." The Tinnerix was the ship from which we retrieved the singularity drive (and warp nacelle cores) that are currently used on the Maxwell. It would seem that in long-range scans, Maxwell shows to Romulan ships as a Romulan vessel. Once in visual range, of course, the subterfuge (in this case, unintentional) fails. Indeed, the two shuttles dropped their cloaks and fired on us when they were close. We gave chase, but the two shuttles scattered and re-engaged cloaks. Chroniton scans were negative.

Having no further way to track the shuttles, Maxwell returned to Gevedek III. The secondary deflector was reconfigured to emit an antichroniton pulse, in the hope that such a pulse might disrupt, however briefly, a Romulan cloaking device. Given that the shuttles attacked us close to the planet, this seemed the logical place to look for a cloaked mother ship. At this point, Maxwell was still trying to determine the source of the thalaron radiation that had wiped out all life on the planet. The most likely culprit seemed to have been the same Romulans who attacked us.

Maxwell fired several antichroniton pulses in the vicinity of Gevedek III, aiming across the limb of the planet to maximize the volume of space touched by each pulse, and assuming that any loitering ship would be close to the surface. On the fourth shot, our pulse struck and disrupted the cloak of IRW D'paran, a large Scimitar-class Romulan warship of the Tal Shiar, Admiral Jaavok of the Tal Shiar, commanding.

IRW D'paran immediately raised shields and moved to intercept, even as Maxwell, clearly outmatched, came about and engaged warp engines at Warp 9. D'paran matched, and then exceeded, our speed. What followed was an incremental ramp-up of speeds, by both Maxwell and D'paran -- Maxwell would increase speed, and then D'paran exceed that new speed. Above Warp 9.8, D'paran's rate of speed increase greatly dropped off. During the chase, Admiral Jaavok identified himself and his ship, as well as his Tal Shiar affiliation, and demanded Maxwell's surrender. After some banter involving discussion of the durability of each ship's engines, both ships had reached Warp 9.9.

D'paran did manage to match speeds at Warp 9.9, but seemed unable to go faster. Maxwell was commanded to Warp 9.94, whereupon D'paran fired a full torpedo broadside, numbering no fewer than twenty-seven torpedoes. Needless to say, such a salvo would have utterly destroyed the Maxwell. Maxwell increased speed to Warp 9.97, but the torpedoes were still closing, albeit slowly. Maxwell increased speed to Warp 9.98, which seems to have exceeded the maximum speed of these improved Romulan munitions. It is possible that the strain on their systems of moving at maximum speed might have induced an instability in the warheads; regardless, one of the torpedoes spontaneously self-detonated.

When the first torpedo self-detonated, it spread a shockwave large enough that nearby torpedoes struck it, similarly detonating. In this way, a chain reaction of detonations and shockwaves spread throughout the torpedo salvo. IRW D'paran, following close behind at what one surmises was its maximum warp, attempted a high-rate turn to avoid the shockwaves, but was unable. The Romulan struck the shockwaves, sustaining damage, and dropped out of warp.

With the Romulan out of warp, and momentarily blinded by the torpedo shockwaves, Maxwell executed two high-speed turns -- a port-side turn, followed by a ventral-side turn. We maintained Warp 9.98 through these turns, then resumed course to Pinastri. After a few minutes at this emergency speed, Maxwell slowed to Warp 9.5 and continued on course. No lasting damage was done to Maxwell's systems, and everything seems nominal or close to it.

The extent of the damage sustained by IRW D'paran is unknown, but it does not seem to have been very substantial. Without knowing when D'paran would once again be warp-capable, it seemed inadvisable to drop out of warp to run system checks on the Maxwell. As a consequence, we are making best speed back to Pinastri.

Analysis

Old rumors of thalaron weapons in use by Romulans were once chalked up to propaganda. However, it would seem that the Tal Shiar have used these barbaric weapons of mass destruction to wipe out all life on a peaceful world. The Gevennek, a sauroid species, were at a level of technology approximately equivalent to 22nd-century Earth, and were entirely inoffensive. They were at peace with their neighbors, and did not have significant weaponry. One might speculate that the destruction of Gevedek III might have been a functional combat test of the thalaron weapons. Given what seems to be extensive Romulan activity throughout the area around Pinastri, Romulan ambitions in this region of space must be taken extremely seriously. If they aim to make aggressive moves on Pinastri, then we must be ready to evacuate the system and gather the Fleet to protect against this highly-dangerous vessel. And we must entertain the non-zero probability that the Romulans might have more than one of these things, despite how terrifying that prospect might be.

Subspace Communications

Stardate - 191009

On this date a fleet communication was sent out, it read as follows

Incoming Priority One Subspace Communication to all Commanding Officers

To: All Command Officers

From: Commodore Mistwallow, Chief of UF Starfleet Operations

Re: Fleet Alert Status

It has come to my attention that an incursion has occurred aboard the USS Sheppard. Due to this breach in fleet security all Command Officers are to rotate command codes immediately.

Due to there now being 2 instances of Romulan activity in the space of a few days the Fleet is hereby placed on Yellow Alert.

All shore leave is cancelled and the fleet should be battle ready.

Mistwallow Out

Transmission Ends

Stardate - 191013

To: Commodore Kermie Mistallow, Chief of UF Starfleet Operations

From: Rear Admiral Kinney Randt, CO, USS Veracruz

Commodore;

The Veracruz must report contact with three Romulan warbirds while out on patrol. The ships where holding position, and chose not to pursue after conflict began. I suspect they are protecting something, and this transmission contains coordinates for where we encounters the three ships.

While making repairs, we discovered someone in our engineering department was transmitting classified reports to the Romulans. While it appears they did not access prefix codes or shield modulations, I nevertheless recommend all fleet vessels and outposts remodulate shield frequencies and also alter their prefix code to prevent Romulan access.

I shall transmit further details once we have confirmed the identity of the officer, or officers, who were assisting the Romulans in this incursion.

end transmission

Mission Participants

SS Astraios

SS Peedy Thor

USS Maxwell

USS Sheppard

USS Veracruz

Cadets

Supplementals