Fleet Asset Management I: Sector Alpha
Created by Mark Nguyen
Hello, and welcome to the first of our series of "You're the Admiral!" threads here on the Flare forums.
In the spirit of the old “What Starship Would You Send?” threads on r.a.s.t., I've come up with this series of partially-guided hypothetical discussion. In this, you will assume the role of a Rear-Admiral in the TNG-era Starfleet, given authority over a sector of space with orders to demonstrate and enforce Federation policy as best you can. To do this, you'll be asked to first assemble, and then utilize a fleet according to circumstances.
Wanna play? ☺
For Sector Alpha, assume that:
The Really Big Nebula is really big, relatively harmless, but a nifty place to hide stuff.
The aliens on the other side of the border are known, but have kept out of contact with other races for several decades (assume a parallel with the Romulans in the first season of TNG).
Tekanan III is recovering from an invasion by the mystery aliens that devastated its population (which used to number in the billions). The aliens left long before the Federation explored this part of space. Tekanan III is the only planet which has petitioned for Federation membership.
There is a rudimentary trade network between the three planets. All three planets have agreed to allow a Federation presence in the area to improve trade. The Federation sees trade potential in this area and wants to establish relations to that effect.
The class-L planet has not been explored by any of the planets.
- Tekanan III
- Population: 340 million
- Alignment: Federation (non-member)
- Government: Democratic
- Technology: 23rd-century equivalent
- Defense: Approx 30 sublight fighters (runabout equivalent) - No orbital defenses or shields
- Notes: Plentiful raw materials, large industrial base
- Population: 5.2 billion
- Alignment: Federation (non-member)
- Government: Monarchy
- Technology: 24th century equivalent
- Defense: 3 warships (Miranda-class equivalent) - large commercial fleet - minimum orbital defenses
- Notes: Few natural resources, relies on commerce
- Kestu IX
- Population: 780 million
- Alignment: Neutral (undecided)
- Government: Totalitarian
- Technology: 23rd century equivalent
- Defense: 10 warships (Nebula-class equivalent) - 20 warp-capable fighters (shuttlecraft equivalent) - heavy orbital defenses
- Notes: Poor natural resources, poor relations with neighbors
Given the information above, define what the priorities of a Starfleet presence should be. Keep in mind the unknown military capabilities of the aliens beyond the border, and the political nature of the three planets involved. Also, note any deficiencies in the information provided and what should be done to fill in the gaps.
Based on your answer to (A), choose a location to place a space-based Starbase to operate from. Assume that the Starbase will be able to defend itself from most threats, and will carry with it a very visible Federation presence regardless of where it is placed. It can be placed in orbit of a planet, in orbit of a star, or in the middle of space. Think Starbase 375.
Assume Starfleet will allocate you no more than TEN Federation starships to accomplish their goals given the priorities you’ve outlined. Define what classes, or types, of ships should be assigned to your fleet. Assume that:
There can be no more than ONE Galaxy/Sovereign/Ambassador class ship in your fleet. If you include one, justify its presence.
Your fleet will include at least TWO non-combat type ships (science, transport, etc.). Justify their presence and/or use.
Of the remainder, explain their primary and secondary missions.
OBJECTIVELY CRITIQUE one of the other answers to question one. Point out what you believe are the strengths and/or weaknesses in how the answer differs from yours. You may critique another answer which has already been critiqued.
Assume the fleet composition from your first answer represents your recommendation to Starfleet for what you need to accomplish the mission in Sector Alpha. Starfleet accepts your recommendation and provides you your (permanent) force - however, at the last minute the TWO LARGEST or BEST EQUIPPED ships in that fleet are suddenly reassigned elsewhere for independent duty. All your other ships arrive as assigned, but Starfleet cannot assign you another ship for the foreseeable future. Explain which ships would no longer be in your fleet, and how you would redeploy your remaining assets to best accomplish your goals. Note any possible diplomatic deviations from what you originally planned. Your fleet will remain unchanged from this point forward.
What follows are three possible scenarios for events in Sector Alpha. For each scenario, describe what the nearest (or most relevant) starship to that event should be, what that ship should do in response, and how your fleet status could or should change as a result. Describe also any diplomatic efforts your staff should be making. NOTE: Assume that events from one scenario will not directly affect the others.
Pirate attacks on shipping increase sharply throughout the sector with the increased commercial traffic. The technology they use has not changed (assume they use relatively small ships like the Maquis), there’s just a lot more of them. The Lysarans want to hunt down and end this threat, but do not have the resources to do so.
Half of the warships at Kestu IX are suddenly called away from whatever they were doing, and appear to be massing at the border directly “north” of the planet along with non-combatant support ships. The Kestu government has not issued a statement concerning these maneuvers; they’ve been known to sortie up to three of their larger ships at a time for maneuvers or patrols, but never five in a single force. This has caused the other planets to become rather nervous. Tekanan III has closed its direct trade route to Kestu until the resolution of this crisis. Lysara has not, but is moving two of its warships to the border to investigate.
An alien probe was detected going into the Really Big Nebula. Before contact was lost, it was determined that the probe’s warp signature matched records of the alien warships from across the border that attacked Tekanan III. Possible weapons signatures of this race are also detected from the probe. These findings are confirmed independently by the planets, resulting in increased patrols around the sector by their forces. Tekanan III is actively asking for a response from Starfleet.
Create another scenario like the ones presented in part (C). Any reasonable military, political or scientific scenario is acceptable. However, DO NOT ANSWER the scenario yourself. Rather, it will be answered by the others as part of Question Three.
Given the answers in Part (D) of the previous question, answer any two of the situations presented.
In rapid succession, two events occur: first is the collapse of the monarchy on Lysara, with the Monarch being assassinated without a clear heir. Economic and social unrest erupt planetwide. Then, one week later, the Kestu Fleet mentioned previously take up positions in orbit of the planet and commence beaming troops and personnel to one country on Lysara, which has announced that it has sought their help to guard their borders from the other countries. As this happens, two other countries on that planet ask for the smae thing, and two more ask for Federation assistance.
Detail what your fleet movement would have been when you first heard of the assassination, and how that deployment may change once the Kestu fleet showed up.
What would your recommendations be to Starfleet in the report you will send to them? What investigations, if any, would you perform first? If you feel the need to ask for help, what form of help would you request?
If the events in this question were reversed - that is, the Kestu fleet arrived in orbit first, and then the Lysaran monarch was assassinated, how would your answer in part (i) change?
With the events on the other two planets, the Tekanans are even more nervous and have stepped up their program to rapidly build warp-capable warships of their own. They have asked for Starfleet assistance - assume that they can build anything up to, say, something equivalent to an Excelsior-class ship, and will have five ships of any kind ready within the next year. What would you recommend the Tekanans do with their fleet, and how would you redeploy your fleet to match, avoid, or complement this new force?
The diplomatic situation crumbles on Lysara, resulting in a declaration of war on the planet between a group of countries unaligned since the assassination, on the alliance of countries that are backed by the Kestu. This war is being fought mostly on the ground, but is spilling into local space in the binary system, through the use of mostly sublight ships. Starfleet has ordered you to offer aid to the countries that have asked for it, not to the countries that are fighting, and to stay out of the conflict. However, they have assigned a combat starship and two more transports to your fleet (you decide what classes). The following situations arise; what would your response be?
What kinds of ships would your additional three be, and how would they be deployed?
In the opening salvoes of the war, the Lysaran fleet (controlled by the unaligned countries) and the orbiting Kestu fleet mutually annihilate each other in a huge battle. Unfortunately, it also happens to take out one of your patrol ships in the area (you decide which one) and the Tekanan transport it was escorting. Immediately following, the Kestu accuse you of helping the Lysarans and their inferior fleet.
The war on Lysara is causing a refugee crisis on the planet, as people flee the fighting — not only to the countries the Federation is helping, but transports full of refugees head towards the Tekanan system. However, the already-stretched Tekanans don’t want to give the Kestu an excuse to blow up their shiny new fleet, and refuse. As such, the refugee ships start making cycles to the Class-L world across the border. No response from those aliens is observed, though it is a clear violation of their territory.
The conflict climaxes with the detonation of several antimatter devices on Kestu IX, wiping out the three largest cities on the planet — and the totalitarian regime with it. Investigations reveal that the weapons used had Federation signatures. The new Kestu government, democratic, thanks the Federation for their help and ceases its involvement in the Lysaran war, effectively ending the conflict on both planets. However, both planets are effectively in ruins, and none of the fighting sides on Lysara are happy with the Federation.
Assume that the alien probe incursion mentioned in part two actually occurred. Your fleet got ahold of it, but it was mostly forgotten during the war. Now, it has been recovered and analyzed at your Starbase. It’s not a military probe — rather, it was a distress buoy. The aliens, called the Saalit, were a resources-heavy empire that was beset upon by a biological plague during their occupation of Tekanan III. After they withdrew from the sector decades ago as a result of the plague, their empire collapsed into anarchy. Years later, a democratic regime appeared but lacked the technology to send more than automated probes asking for help before they all died. The probe was recovered long after the Saalit were supposed to have perished.
Describe who should be told of this information, and in what order.
Assume that the Saalit territory encompasses at least 20 sectors. Given your remaining resources, what kind of exploration program would you recommend to Starfleet?
The final action occurs as Tekanan III is accepted into the Federation as a full member. Per usual policy, the Tekanan military will be absorbed into Starfleet, and their infrastructure will be upgraded to Federation par. Also, a ground-based Starbase facility (assimilating the orbital shipyards and facilities) will be constructed. This will be matched by an influx of trade into the sector beyond what you had husbanded, not to mention several powers besides the Federation which would use your sector as a base for their operations.
A consortium of Federation-friendly countries on Lysara has offered to buy your space-based Starbase and tow it to a neutral area of space (if it’s not already in one), and have already purchased the Tekanan fleet you recommended in the previous question. They would like to use the base as a commercial hub and a base for exploration, much like you did. Would you advise Starfleet to sell the base, and why?
It’s time to move on. Starfleet has decided to send you on to Sector Beta, and to replace you with a fresh Admiral to continue your work. As your last duty in this sector, you are to brief the new guy about what you’ve done. Read over your responses to all the previous questions. Define what Starfleet’s priorities should be in this sector, and your recommendations to your replacement as to what he should concentrate on. Also recommend a reasonable set of additional ships to complement your remaining fleet to that end.
Choose one of the starships in your fleet. It will be used to take you to Sector Beta, and will be incorporated into your fleet there.