Task Force 72 - Breen and Tzenkethi Briefing
T’Vrell stepped to the podium, eyes sweeping the room, and once more fought down the urge to take on the character she had played in front of others since her religious conversion as a teenager, to behave as Vulcans would judge her best for and as others would expect from the sight of her ears and eyebrows. But that was not who she was, and Starfleet had chosen her - not the Surakian she could act the part of; her - as the Fourth Fleet’s Intelligence chief. As the one to follow Pinna, who had served more than a decade and a half, into the role when the Rish had returned to her homeworld to meet family obligations. Old wounds healed slowly, even for a Vulcan, but she would not let them keep her from showing those who relied on her for the information they would need to survive who she was.
When she smiled, it was genuine, true. Real. Pride, in herself and the place she had earned, in the officers who sat before her, in the woman near the middle of the room whose ring matched her own, and a quiet relief were reflected in that smile. A smile to honor and remember her ancestors, whose ways had been buried so long by Surak and his followers.
“Good evening,” she said. “Welcome to the briefing on the situation along the Breen and Tzenkethi borders. As an introduction… I am Rear Admiral T’Vrell of Dreadnought, Director of Intelligence for the Fourth Fleet. I very much look forward to, in the coming months and years, getting to know all of you.
“Since the murder of Thot Sar at the hands of the renegade Thanget a decade ago, the far Alpha Quadrant has been in a state of flux. The Breen have returned to their old fractious nature, while increasing raiding activity against the Tzenkethi and Ferengi and against unprotected colonies of Federation species outside our official borders. The Tzenkethi have responded to this with a significant military buildup and counterstrikes against the Thots whose space borders the Tzenkethi Coalition. Only their own internal political troubles and Starfleet’s overall disengagement have prevented a state of open war.
“For a more thorough introduction to the nature of those on this border, I have invited a guest speaker. Please offer him the same welcome you have offered me.”
T’Vrell stood aside, and a man stepped into her place. He was an older man, his white hair showing every year of his life and every light-year a long career in Starfleet had carried him. He bore himself like an officer, though his clothes were civilian - a dark suit, cut in an alien style. At his side, constantly, was a young woman in the black-and-gold dress uniform of the Lagashi Star Navy. Her skin was darker than his, her hair tied back in a neat ponytail, but she shared his bright, inquisitive blue eyes.
His face, if younger, was in every history written of the Dominion War. He had been - and was still, by those in Starfleet, called - Vice Admiral William Jenner, Commander, Allied Forces, Valoris Sector. He had led the resistance to the Dominion at Helike, at Hydra, at Valoris and T’ien, where Thot Thanget had initiated a planetary bombing campaign that killed half a billion Federation citizens. Formally, now, his name was Li Ling William an Jenner an Hark, and he was long since retired.
“I will not burden you with a lengthy introduction,” he said. “Especially since my leg will start to complain if I stand here too long, and I would rather not have you watch my daughter hold me vertical so I can finish.
“The Breen have rebuild their fleets, returned to their old confederate structure, and now present one of the most significant threats to the Federation’s interests, and to all sentient life, on the far frontier. They are such a threat because of the single philosophical imperative that drives the entirety of their foreign policy - all humanoid life is wild and dangerous, and the only proper response to it is to break and control it. They structure their military, their economy, their production base, every element of their society around this imperative. Their fleets are optimized for hard raids rather than conquest, tearing through the defenses of a colony or a pre-warp world and capturing everyone who will fit in their holds to be returned to Breen space for psychological deconstruction and enslavement. Rather than more efficient automated industry, the Breen use fragile, demoralized, inefficient slave labor, because efficiency is a lower priority to them than breaking the humanoids they are able to capture. They are very good at this - those who have been taken by the Breen, even after being rescued and given the best help the Federation can offer, only very rarely return to the people they were before their capture.
“If you operate near Breen space, prepare to see horrors. Prepare to see families broken by their raids, camps full of people who barely remember what free life was. Colonies whose food supplies have been obliterated, not to gain any tactical advantage, but simply for the sake of cruelty, to deny the hated humanoids hope and joy. The edges of Breen space are one of the places where Starfleet is most needed, but if it is where you are assigned, be ready to become intimately familiar with your own nightmares.”
Jenner stepped aside as he finished, and T’Vrell took the podium once more. “Raiding activity by the Breen is up seventy percent over five years ago, and their conflict with the Tzenkethi has increased their need for laborers to build their ships. Thot Ren, whose space shares borders with both the Federation and the Tzenkethi, has been the spearhead of the new raids, though Thot Zan in Thanget’s old territory has also stepped up attacks on the Betazoid and Lagashi colonies near Valoris. Before we move on to the Tzenkethi, Admiral Jenner and I will take questions.”
-Tia, Bravo Fleet Loremaster
Rear Admiral T'Vrell, Chief of Intelligence, Fourth Fleet
Commander Eden Seraphina Enigma, Commanding Officer, The Reliquary
Commander Erika Marie Tatsu, Chief of Staff to Admiral T'Vrell