Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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This is how we do it

Posted on Wed Mar 6th, 2019 @ 10:22pm by Captain Jelane 'Firefly' Shiqwue & Brigadier General Francis 'Judge' Sobel
Edited on on Tue Jun 4th, 2019 @ 1:31am

Mission: The Drumhead (Empok Nor Premier)
Location: Empok Nor
Timeline: MD001 1800 hrs

At Emilio’s nod, Brigadier Francis N.M.I. Sobel stood, straightened the hem of his scarlet (dress; working) tunic and moved to the lectern. The Brigade’s briefing room was full and he let his eyes travel over the assembled beings.

“Thank you all for joining us today and welcome on behalf of the Federation Marine Corp. Specifically, the 251st Marine Expeditionary Brigade of the 81st Marines. I was asked by Captain Hood to give you an overview of why we’re here and how we function when called upon.”

He paused then, looking over the assembly. There were station command personnel, ambassadors, attaché’s, and assorted flunkies filling his hall and he resisted the urge to frown.

Instead he smiled. "I came up through FMC Aviation, flying space fighters. My call sign is Judge, the 251st is my Jury."

There was some laughter at that and he continued.

“Why we’re here is simple. The Federation Council and Star Fleet Command ordered our deployment. They, along with our Cardassian hosts deemed our presence worthwhile. Beyond that, you’ll have to ask the Council. I’m a simple marine: we go where we’re told and do the job required. Our Air Wing provides long distance patrolling and search-rescue functioning as well as aiding a hand during disaster relief when called upon.”

“Our ground forces also aid in humanitarian and disaster relief, but they’re primary function, why we’re here, is to offer the Federation a quick response force if a planet or moon needs combat troops put on it for any reason.”

He let that sit in and continued to make eye contact as he spoke. “That’s an unheard of concept to most. A full on invasion hasn’t happened in several years, but we train for it. We can mobilize and launch within 48 hours. For a full on planetary invasion, a number of Brigades would be brought to bear, usually a Division at least to affect several beachheads and ensure a rapid, overwhelming force to quickly accomplish the Federation’s goals.”

There were a few murmurs at this but he continued before someone decided to ask questions. “I’ll use the invasion of Stirrus III as an example. The Yusite’s are a technically advanced race, now in process for Federation Membership. Five years ago however, they were a small Confederation of four systems, which decided to annex the Stirrus system. We took it back.”

As he said this, lights dimmed and a 3D render of a star system projected downwards over the table and he continued. “Five starships entered under the command of the USS Shenandoah, engaging the Yusite’s ships, gaining system space superiority in 24 hours.”

“The Yusites had mined the system, and turned the planetary defense net to their own uses. Once the space over Sirrius was cleared, two Starships moved to the pole regions while the Division’s attack squadrons moved in, sweeping the atmosphere.”

The 3D render rotated and lighted dots appeared, shifting and notations appeared below the render. “The Yusites had gained control of 15 population centers and landed approximately 140,000 occupation troops including heavy weapons. Those weapons were engaged primarily by the Fleet, who also began dousing the atmosphere with Thread.”

Images changed and a point heavy monofilament string appeared, its image twisting. “Thread, combined with jamming cut their communications and reduced their beam weapons capability by at least half. The 66th and 81st Divisions assembled to form the 21st Marine Expeditionary Unit and deployed.

Designated Rhapsody, primary focus fell on six population centers. Ten hours prior to M-Minute, Pathfinder teams went in to survey and mark landing zones. Recon teams went in to scout, distract, divert and hinder the enemy. Last minute data collected and collated by Intelligence was sent to Divisional planning by H-Hour.. ”

Markers appeared and he continued, “At M-Minute, the MEU’s air-space element engaged ground targets while the drop ships arrived and deployed.”

A video link popped open and a small fleet of Anaconda class Runnabouts appeared, each towing two glistening orbs. As they reached atmosphere, the orbs dropped from their tractor beams and began descending in an alternating patter into the planet’s atmosphere.

“We chose these areas as being convenient to our primary targets. Each Landing Zone is an area approximately two meters in diameter.” As Sobel spoke, the video flickered to show the PEARLS dropping through atmosphere. Soon phaser fire could be see raising from the surface. “Focusing on the 81st’s drop, the LZ’s were hot, with five of the PEARLs taking damage and casualties. Primary targets fell within the first 10 hours and secondary targets within 24. At this point, we had taken prisoner or dealt with approximately a third of their combatants.”

The video display changed to show a bird’s eye view of suited troopers arcing into the air on packs as M93 armored fighting vehicles crashed through hastily constructed barricades. Body armored marines poured through the cracks, engaging targets and the video cut off.

“Thirty hours in, we’d completely reclaimed four population centers, including the capital. At that point, operations stalled. Skirmishes and consolidation continued for the next nine days, with one determined push by the Yusites to knock out the beachhead. That battle raged for two days and casualties were high on both sides.” Sobel said, his voice becoming noticeably flatter.

Another vid popped open, showing PEARL’s with fighting positions around them filled with phaser fire, smoke and bodies. “The Yusite’s

may be a small Confederation, but they are first rate soldiers. There were approximately 5000 casualties on both sides.”

He paused, letting that sink in then continued, “But, after fifteen days, defense forces from the Vrusk and Sho’tel arrived, numbering approximately 100,000 and began landing operations. As they moved in, the Marines began their withdrawal.”

He let the images stand for a moment, then the lights came back up and the 3D render disappeared. “And that was Operation Rhapsody. In all, we were able to seize and hold a beachhead for two weeks, taking 200 KIA and 1500 WIA. The Yusite’s losses were 3500 KIA, 5000 WIA with the remainder captured.”

Sobel swept his gaze over the room once more, and then said. “That’s a major operation, of course. Most of the time, the Brigade is training, preparing for when we’re needed next.”

Glancing around the room, he asked “Any questions?”

There were always some questions and statements, of course. For the next half hour Sobel answered them or deferred specific questions to one of his staff. By the end, everyone seemed satisfied, though he sensed not everyone was happy the Brigade was here.

That was to be expected.

Captain Jelane or Firefly to her friends leaned up against the wall in the back of the lecture hall as her new General spoke. In typical Bajoran fashion she wore a permanent smirk. As Sobel spoke she realized that something was different. She had seen windbag Generals come and go. But when it came to Judge she did her homework.

As Sobel finished speaking Firefly simply nodded in his direction and murmured "He'll do..."

Afterwards, there was a small reception, allowing his staff to socialize with their guests. Hopefully, everyone would come to know each other a bit better and be able to work together in the future.

A Joint Post By

Brigadier General Francis Sobel
Commanding Officer, 258th Starfleet Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Empok Nor

Captain Jelane 'Firefly' Shiqwue
Commander Air Group, 2738th Marine Fighter Squadron
Empok Nor


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