Operation Bright Star
|Deep Space 17|
Operation Bright Star refers to the Federation fleet action from stardates 238709.11 to 238709.19 that encompassed the recapture of Deep Space 17 from Vaadwaur forces. Previously, the Second Battle of Eratis concluded in 238706.16 with a resounding defeat for the Federation, resulting in the Vaadwaur Occupation of DS17. Because the Ithassa Taskforce was not able to assault the station directly, DS17 was in enemy hands for three months before Starfleet could assemble and deploy a force of sufficient strength to recapture the station. After an intense battle, the station was liberated from enemy forces on stardatae 238709.19.
The following ships took part in the final action:
Phase One: Minefield Clearing
- USS Independence-A
- USS Coridan
- USS Toliman
- USS Innes
Phase Two: Enemy Vessel Interdiction
- USS Ronin
- USS Kumari
Phase Three: Station Assault
Note: This is currently a work in progress so the information presented here may be incomplete.
A Diplomatic Opening
Fleet Captain Mar attempted to negotiate with the Vaadwaur, but was met with only silence. She ordered the attack to begin. The Independence-A was the very tip of the spear- she escorted ships clearing mines and engaged enemy fighters, taking early losses. Her Marines encountered delays reaching the objective- the Marines from the Ronin were first "on the ground".
The Vaadwaur attempted to use their tractor beam to pull ships into their minefield. It was a tactic met with limited success; due to some unknown factors, the tractor beam ceased functioning early in the piece, although it made sporatic attempts to grab smaller ships and yank them about.
To be continued...
Ship's Log: Stardate 238709.19. Fleet-Captain Idril Mar, reporting.
My ship, USS Achilles, and the transport convoy carrying the Vaadwaur who had captured Deep Space 17 and survived Operation Bright Star, are in orbit over the M-Class planet that they have chosen as their new home. Devinon V is much like the reports of pre-bombardment Vaadwaur Prime that I have read and the descriptions I have heard, so in retrospect the choice doesn't surprise me.
I've written a mixed report to Starfleet Command concerning the outcome of the operation to retake the station. I was pleased to report that the station was retaken with relatively little damage, certainly nothing comparing even with the bomb damage done by the Grendellai. However, it came with a cost. The Innes was damaged badly. The repair teams are not sure at this point if it would be more reasonable to repair her or to simply scrap her and build a replacement; having skimmed the reports, I would probably advocate for the latter. The USS Callahan, a scrappy little fighter and veteran of a number of wars, was lost, but the majority of her crew was saved. The Mestral was destroyed after a phase torpedo slipped past the phalanx system and detonated in or near her warp core. Unfortunately, because of the speed with which the core went critical and lost containment, nearly 95% of her crew was lost. Almost all the ships of the taskforce received some other damage, ranging from structural buckling on USS Independence-A to burnouts in various systems aboard Kumari; thankfully, it will all be reparable, given enough time with the facilities at DS17, before they return to their regular fleet deployments. USS Ellet was the only ship to get away with little to no damage. Her captain has credited this outcome to his helmsman and some inventive maneuvers and recommended her for a commendation, a recommendation that I will happily be passing among to Admiral Rocar. I will also be asking that the Ellet stay on as the Ithassa Fleet's replacement for the Callahan. All in all, we lost a little bit over two thousand irreplaceable sentients.
The casualties were higher among the fleet than among the Vaadwaur and this has not gone over well, especially with the Marines. The orders to minimize Vaadwaur deaths by using stun and deliberately attempting to disable, rather than destroy, their vessels came down from Command and, while I saw then and still see the need for them, they didn't feel quite right to me either. I sympathize with those who lost friends and in some cases family but that is the structure of the service: into the Valley of Death.
The Corp of Engineers will be, with the help of the Vaadwaur themselves, setting up a settlement in the southern hemisphere of the planet. There are about 700 survivors. The new settlement, yet to be named, will have a medical facility, a power station, a large eating facility and numerous single-family dwellings when finished. I'm considering a request for a defense shield as well. A number of Vaadwaur children of very young age were left on Deep Space 17 with a small Vaadwaur medical team and closely supervised by Starfleet medical and security. I hope that they will be able to rejoin their people by the end of the year.
I've decided, considering the latent resentment over the retaking of the station, that the Marines will have a fleet Security team attached to their command that will handle any regular interaction with the Vaadwaur. I'm making sure that the members of this team were not involved in the operation to minimize any bad blood. I hope this will help. There will be a company of Marines, headed by newly promoted Captain Mark White. I've come to trust Capt. White a lot over the course of this tough period and I believe that trust is well founded. There will also be a wing of Hammerheads, detached from Kumari's fighter arm. I hope Marari's fear that the Vaadwaur will be attacked is untrue, but there is an old adage: hope for the best, plan for the worst. Might as well put enough there to slow the `worst' down enough that we can come riding to the rescue. The Marine base and airstrip will be a short distance from the new settlement, but not so close that they will come into casual contact.
It is my honest hope that the Vaadwaur will find this a peaceful and fulfilling home and that, with our help, they can become productive members of the galactic community.