Scylla and Charybdis Spinoff
A quick preface to this story. During the STO Academy's 8th Anniversary celebrations on Feb 24 James and I each held a Fly with Fortitude event. During my session I took a team through the Scylla and Charybdis mission on elite mode. It was more annoying than hard; however that final battle was a lot of fun. So much fun that I decided to write a very quick story about it. The plot is slightly different so I wouldn't have to fit it perfectly within the mission's story, but the battle is very close to what actually happened (with a little embellishment). I'd like to thank the following for joining me on the mission.

Janus [email protected] of the RRW Alidar
James [email protected] of the USS Retribution
[email protected] of the USS King Washington



Read this in Google Drive


Fleet Admiral’s log. The Tzenkethi have gone on the offensive across the Alpha Quadrant. To what end we don’t know, but they are directly attacking worlds. Starfleet Command has directed the Fortitude to reroute to the Latroci system where the Tzenkethi are on approach to an uninhabited world. We are to rendezvous with an Alliance fleet that has already gathered around the planet.

The closest STOA ships are the U.S.S. Retribution, U.S.S. King Washington, and R.R.W. Alidar. We have contacted them and asked that they change course to meet us immediately. We’ll need all the help we can get as we setup this blockade to defend the planet.


Fortitude’s long range sensors detected two waves of the Tzenkethi fleet on approach. The Alliance fleet, made up of Starfleet, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Republic vessels, took up a formation between the planet and the Tzenekethi’s projected path. A total of 23 vessels were the only protection this uninhabted world had. The crews of each ship checked their systems and prepared for the looming battle.

It was only a matter of time before the hail came across the comms. “This is Fleet Admiral Attilio Varrak. The Tzenekthi fleet are 30 seconds away. All ships prepare for battle.”

“Alidar to Fortitude, this is Captain Janus. I have an idea sir.”

“Go ahead.”

“What if we use the Alidar’s deflector to generate gravitational wells to pull the Tzenekethi ships together. It’ll be like shooting fish in a barrel. They won’t have much room to maneuver.”

Attilio turned to his first office who gave him a quick glance and a nod. That’s all he needed to know that his old friend agreed with the plan. “Proceed. Signal the fleet of the plan. Make sure three ships stay back to protect the planet from protomatter torpedos. The Tzenkethi have been using them at other planets.”

Streaks of light appeared in the skies around the planet as the Tzenkethi entered the system. Sensors indicated nearly 40 enemy vessels on approach. The U.S.S. Retribution and Fortitude took point. Being the larger and sturdier vessels they were able to act as a distraction while the Alidar’s crew enacted their Captain’s plan.

The two fleets engaged each other and it was only a matter of time before the Tzenkethi ships were pulled into a tight ball due to the gravitational wells. Some stragglers engaged in skirmishes with a few Alliance ships while the rest of the fleet surrounded the Tzenkethi and fired upon them. The tiny blockade of three ships protected the planet from incoming protomatter torpedos. So far the strategy was working well.

Commander May, the Fortitude’s operations officer, watched his screen and alerted Attilio to what was happening in the battle. “The Forester’s shields are dropping.”

“Order them to disengage,” Attilio commanded.

“They’re increasing speed. Torpedo incoming. Sir they’re not going to make it.”

“Fire phasers at the torpedo! On screen!”

The screen switched to that of the U.S.S. Forester. It’s nacelles were venting plasma as it limped away at full impulse. A torpedo was aiming right for the warp core as the Fortitude’s phasers fired at it, with each shot slightly missing due to the torpedo’s speed. It impacted with the Forester and the ship exploded in a ball of fire.

Some of the bridge crew looked away from the blinding light. The view screen switched back to that of the battle. A few Tzenkethi ships were destroyed but somehow they were holding together. A couple of the Alliance ships that were in skirmishes had been destroyed, the rest were able to keep those few Tzenkethi ships distracted.

Attilio accessed the console on his chair to review the battle. Something just didn’t add up. The Tzenkethi ships should be dropping quickly but rather it was the reverse. The Alliance was losing ships faster than their enemy. Then he saw what was happening.

“Attilio to the fleet, disengage! The Tzenkethi ships are pooling their energy and strengthening each other’s shields. We need to divide them and pick them off. All vessels reverse polarity on your tractor beams and push the Tzenkethi apart once the gravitational well dissipates.”

As the fleet followed the orders Attilio continued to review the battlefield and formulate a new strategy. They had already lost five ships and barely made a dent in the Tzenkethi fleet. If the second wave arrived before they cleared the battlefield there would be no hope of victory.

“Hail the King Washington and Aldair.” Captains Janus and Fludicus appeared side by side on the view screen. “I need both of you to work together. Janus, take the Aldair and push a Tzenkethi vessel to the outskirts of the battle. Fludicus, you’ll join with the Washington and destroy that ship together. With no friendlies nearby their shields should be weaker. Keep it up as long as you can.”

Both Captains acknowledged the orders and executed the plan. Next he hailed the Retribution. “Admiral Bryce, how’s your ship?”

“Needs a paint job but holding together.”

“Good. We’re going to provide a distraction and take as much fire from the Tzenkethi as possible. I’m signaling the rest of the fleet to target the weaker ships.”


In unison Fortitude and Retribution danced through space, firing their weapons at the enemy’s ships to draw their fire. Commander May announced that a couple more Alliance ships fell but that the new strategy was working and Tzenkethi ships were falling much faster.

The Alidar was doing a good job of picking out weaker targets and using a combination of gravity wells and tractor beams to get them away from the rest of the fleet. Then the King Washington swooped in. With their combined firepower the Tzenkethi ship was destroyed quickly. It was a long process but no one said war was over quickly.

“Bryce to Attilio. There’s a battleship with low shields. We can probably take it out if we target it together. Transmitting details.”

Attilio looked down at his console. “Received. Target that vessel.”

The beams from their weapons lit up the battleship. One shot after another weakened it’s shields until the only target was the hull. The battleship split in two as a chain of explosions destroyed it. The bridges of the nearby ships rocked from the explosion.

There was a newfound sense of accomplishment across the Alliance fleet. Finally they had the upper hand. Attilio hailed Bryce again. “The Tzenkethi fleet has thinned out. Let’s target more of these battleships. Pick out the target and transmit it to my tactical officer.”


The fleet converged and took out the majority of remaining battleships. The biggest threat was the two dreadnoughts that had been allowed to run free this entire battle. They were the ships which fired the protomatter torpedos at the planet while simultaneously targeting Alliance ships. There was no way to defeat them while the rest of the fleet would transfer shield energy to defend them. Now that the fleet had thinned and the dreadnoughts were isolated, it was time to finish this battle.

“All ships this is the Fleet Admiral. Continue engaging the remaining ships. The Retribution, Alidar, and King Washington will join the Fortitude in taking out these dreadnoughts.”

The first dreadnought stopped targeting the planet and set its sights on to the four ships that were bombarding it. The Retribution tried to take as many of the hits as possible in order to protect the other three. Still, it could only do so much. The King Washington’s shields began to drop.

Attilio stood from his chair and watch the view screen. “Bridge to Engineering. Quickly transfer shield strength to the Washington. Let’s keep that ship in the battle.” The orders were acknowledged and a beam of energy momentarily connected the two ships. “Status?”

Commander May checked his console. “Their shields are back up to 80%. Ours have been depleted to 50%. Transfering emergency power to compensate.”

Suddenly an opening in the dreadnought’s shields gave way to the torpedos and beams from the four attacking ships. Each hit was slowly eating away at the hull until finally a critical system was struck.

As the dreadnought exploded the four STOA ships approached the second dreadnought and opened fire. This one had remained far enough away from the battle that it barely saw any damage. It continued to fire protomatter torpedos at the planet while attacking the incoming targets. Clearly this ship’s Captain was determined to complete the mission.

A hail came over the Fortitude’s comms. “Fludicius here. Target the dreadnought’s fore shields.”

Attilio nodded towards his tactical officer to confirm the orders. “Agreed. If we can break through those shields we should be able to destroy this ship quickly. The second wave is getting closer and we need to end this battle now.”

They converged around the fore shields. The combined firepower of the vessels made quick work of the second dreadnought which exploded in a blaze of fire. The planet was safe for now. Space was calm once again, but the second wave was on approach with an unexpected surprise. The Tzenkethi had a battlestation.

“Commander, what’s the status of our fleet,” Attilio asked.

May checked his console. “Admiral, we’re down to ten ships. A few are badly damaged but functional. Starfleet has acknowledged that no reinforcements are coming. They’ve been diverted to Bajor. I don’t know if —”.

Attilio interrupted. “Thank you Commander. Hail the fleet.” He waited until the channel was open “Attilio to all ships. I have just been informed that there are no reinforcements incoming. We are all that stands between the Tzenkethi and this world. Our strategy will be the same as before. Take this time to make emergency repairs and prepare for the second wave. Good luck.”

Time felt like it was moving slow and fast at the same time. Attilio wondered if Q was playing with time just to make the battle more interesting. He forced himself to put the thought out of his mind and focus on the upcoming battle.

The fleet warped in. At the very center was a large Tzenkethi battlestation. It was surrounded by all kinds of ships, each one power weapons and opening fire on the small Alliance fleet.

Some of the smaller escorts went it close to the the battlestation and hugged the hull as they chased after Tzenkethi ships, while also hitting the battlestation with their cannons. Attilio knew they could only keep that up for so long before they were picked off.

He ordered the Fortitude in to attract the fire of the enemy vessels, but there were more this time. Both the Fortitude and Retribution did their best to protect the Alliance but it wasn’t enough. There ships began falling faster. They were overwhelmed in minutes.

“Attilio to all ships, retreat! I repeat, all ships retreat! STOA will cover your escape!” The remaining ships acknowledged the orders and escaped as quickly as possible. The four STOA ships were all that stayed behind. “Janus, Fludicus, Bryce it’s your turn. Get out! Fortitude can protect you long enough to escape. We’ll be right behind you.”

The Alidar and King Washington made their way out of the system as the Retribution and Fortitude took heavy fire now that they were the only targets. “Bryce get the Retribution out of here. That was an order! We’ll cover you.”

Bryce appeared on the view screen. “With all due respect Admiral, the fleet needs its flagship. Retribution can take the hits. Get your crew out of here, and if I survive you can report me for disobeying an order.”

The Fleet Admiral realized there was no convincing him. “Once I’m clear from the battle you join me. We’ll warp out together. Helm plot a course out of the system. Bryce you better be right behind me.”

The one thing Attilio hated was leaving a ship behind. It didn’t feel right but there was no choice. The fleet failed in its mission. His Vulcan training kicked in despite trying to fight it.

The helm officer reported in. “Admiral we’ve reached the coordinates. No enemy ships on pursuit. Retribution is still engaging them.”

Attilio shook his head. “Bryce we’re clear. Get your ship out of their!”

“Understood Admiral. Joining you now.”

The Retribution broke off from the Tzenkethi ships and headed for Fortitude’s location. Only a few of the Tzenkethi pursued them but with all power to the engines both ships were able to escape the battle. As the two ships warped out they could see the Tzenkethi ships bombarding the planet.


Fleet Admiral’s log supplemental. We failed in our mission. Thankfully the world was uninhabited but who knows what kind of life would have sprung from that planet over thousands of years. These are the times my Human and Vulcan sides fight with each other. Vulcan logic dictates there was nothing more we could do. Human emotion forces sorry and regret to the fore of my mind.

Initial reports show that Bajor among other worlds were saved, but a new enemy emerged from its surface. The Hur’q have arrived. The Alliance’s attention must now shift, as must my own.

Hmmmm... What if I work on a sequel...???
That was a good account of  your battle. I wish my ship would have been within hailing range to assist you. Maybe next time. Excellent work Admiral.
(02-28-2018, 12:58 PM)MichaelGill Wrote: That was a good account of  your battle. I wish my ship would have been within hailing range to assist you. Maybe next time. Excellent work Admiral.

You two were quite close...
Yes, but we were already engaged in battle. We would have responded if needed. We are always available to serve our Admiral and our fleet.

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