As part of a new series in the Poll of the Week, we’re bringing you into the centre chair, but this time, of an entire sector. When presented with a situation, how would you react? What would you do?
The Eta and Theta sectors have been busy lately. As tensions rise between the three Romulan factions, Starfleet Command has informed you it would prefer you to minimise the resources and ships in your region. While the diplomatic summit held by the USS u Cơ, and one of the ambassadors, has successfully resolved the ongoing low-level issues onboard Ferinoat IV, there are many other issues facing you.
Evidence of a growing pirate issue as well as an unknown—likely hostile—power of a kind you can no longer afford to dispatch the majority of your fleet out on single-ship missions. Although Command can spare one ship-of-the-line and five Dakota-classes for escorts, you know that will not be enough to solve all of the problems at once.
Calling a meeting of all of the ship commanding officers, as well as the stations throughout the sector, you come to the following conclusions:
- There are thirty colonies scattered throughout the Enrothian region, many with no defences of any kind.
- The Cardassians have claimed several systems on the galactic southern edge of the region, but are too busy setting up Kerok Nor—a Nor-class starbase. Intelligence suggests they are more interested in maintaining peace with the Federation than causing trouble.
- Pirate attacks on shipping are up 450% compared to a standard year ago.
- While no one has heard of any aggressors like those who attacked the Gardner system, there are outposts and ships which have gone silent in the galactic northwest of the region.
- Your ships, the Ambassador-class USS Æthelflæd, the Akira-class USS Penda, the Nebula class USS Æthelwulf, the Steamrunner-class USS u Cơ, the Dakota-class USS Kh’shia, the Ambassador-class USS Harald Hardrada urgently all need time in a drydock for minor refits or repairs. The USS Harald Hardrada is the most damaged, with the USS Au Cơ least damaged.
- Svann points out if you delay maintenance cycles too long, critical repair time will grow exponentially, where you will have very few combat-capable ships.
In the meeting, you decide you can rotate a ship into drydock while leaving the other five on patrol routes designed to keep almost every colony within a day at high warp. Three of the reinforcing Dakota-classes will start convoys throughout space, while the ship of the line — the Sovereign-class USS Ngô Quyền — will investigate the pirates tasked with locating and destroying any of their bases. The other two Dakota-class ships can examine the “silent zone”.
At this moment, Command would rather you did not start any initiatives with your Cardassian counterpart, Gul Kerit, who has risen through the ranks due to her shrewdness and focus on strategy. For her part, she has limited her involvement to courtesy calls back and forth as both of you worked out a memorandum of understanding for zones of control.
The next day, however, you are told you are no longer getting any of the Dakota-classes and must transfer one of your existing ships out of the sector to receive the USS Ngô Quyền. Command needs the ships elsewhere to deal with rising troubles in the Romulan Badlands, and has decided your sector cannot exceed a certain quota of ships in the near future.
What do you do? How do you protect all of the colonies and secure shipping?