The situation in the Inconnu Expanse appears to be more grievous than it seems. A recent source inside Starfleet Command has revealed that Starfleet’s Task Force 72 has begun pulling starships out of mothballs in order to meet the new threat of the Alrakis Pact and other unknown perils pushing back against the Federation’s borders. The first recommissioned vessel is the USS Ark Royal, an Ambassador-class vessel that has spent more than a decade collecting dust.
What’s even more disconcerting than the scramble to put more ships on the frontline is that Starfleet Command is struggling to man said starships. It is this reporter’s understanding that the Ark Royal has had reshuffling among its ranks before even leaving dock. When contacted for a quote, Captain Charles F. McFadden was unavailable for comment. Admiral Zachary O’Connell, Commanding Officer of Task Force 72, stated only that he had been sent on a secret mission, but should reunite with his command assignment in the near future. These developments have put Executive Officer Esmée Haas into the command chair as the ship’s interim captain.
“I will be coordinating with Admiral O’Connell and the task force till our captain arrives,” Haas confirmed in a recent interview conducted via subspace communication.
Despite these events, Haas maintains solid confidence. “The USS Ark Royal is currently operational and ready to depart,” she boasted. “She may be an older ship, but she still represents the ideals of the Federation and has the ability to defend herself if needed.”
Bold words, but they may be put to the test should rumors prove true that the Ark Royal and her crew are set to investigate the recent destruction of Deep Space 7. If there is any justice in this insane universe, then we can only hope that Starfleet Command will send their best and brightest to fill other much-needed roles in the tenacious if dusty starship. For it’s more than possible that the crew could run afoul of the mysterious Ravagers, or whatever the TF 72 leadership is pretending destroyed DS7 this week. There is simply no telling what they may face out in the forbidden dark of the Inconnu Expanse.
Any resourceful officer or intrepid cadet who wants to delve into the very heart of the Alpha Quadrant’s latest intrigue should request an assignment transfer to the USS Ark Royal today.