Message In A Bottle
Gods of War
Timeline: OOC: This is set shortly before the Minerva diverts to Golyat.
4 days have passed....
Stone remained on the bridge. He looks around at the bridge crew. Their all into their 10 or 12 hour shift.
He's tried to make himself available if anyone wants to talk to him.
He walks around the bridge, giving a good word or a pat on the back to hopefully life their spirits.
Then he returned to the command chair and sat. He looked over at the communications officer. "Start broadcasting the coded message, on a secure channel, to the Minerva...let them know we're here."
"Aye sir." The comms officer replied.
"Captain," Rau's ops officer called suddenly. "We're receiving a transmission from the USS Fauci."
Cecilia frowned, thinking. That was one of a group that had been due to meet the convoy, wasn't it? She wasn't entirely sure, but she knew it wasn't part of the group now. That was a hospital ship, and they were painfully low on that particular number after the war. "Open a channel."
"USS Fauci," Rau announced. "This is Captain Rau of the USS Minerva. We have received your transmission. What's your status?"
"Captain Rau, this is Lieutenant Jesse Stone, in command of the Fauci. We have 175 minors aboard, dependents of the crews of the Roanoke, the Ajax and the Polk. There are also 2 freighters in the group. And 15 fighters from the Ajax. Some injuries aboard from the starships. The starships, once they transported their people, returned to engage Jem Hadar cruisers that were pursuiting us. We haven't heard from them in 5 days."
Here she had thought that the days of dramatic losses to the Dominion were over...but, as expected, the Dominion and the Founders were liars. Turning her head, she looked at her tactical officer. "Make sure Starfleet Command is aware of those three ships," she said before raising her voice to be heard over the comms again. "Lieutenant Stone, we will make command aware and will divert from the convoy to meet you and escort you to the rest of the ships here."
"Acknowledged, captain. A lot of people are happy to hear friendly voices again." Stone looked around the bridge, and saw smiling faces instead of the stotic faces they've been showing.
Rau looked at her helm officer, who replied to the wordless question, "About seven hours, sir."
"Lieutenant Stone, we will meet you in seven hours. Please inform us if you catch even a whiff of the Dominion returning to your area."
"Understood captain. We'll keep a watch on for them, but if they were coming, I think they would have been here by now."
Just shy of seven hours later, the USS Minerva glided into formation alongside the hospital ship and the freighters. As thought, there was no sign of the Dominion riding down the mountain on them. All the same, the Minerva launched her fighters to keep a perimeter around the group as they made the trip back to the convoy. The time back was longer than the time out, but they made it there.
Once the Minerva arrived, things happened quickly. The Fauci was coupled with the existing hospital ship, the freighters joined with the other frieghters, and the 15 fighters that were assigned to him, were reassigned to the Minerva's flight group.
Stone was relieved of command, transported to the Minerva, where he met the captain, who he gave his orders to, met the rest of the senior staff, and was reassigned.