This article is an Out of Character article relevant to Bravo Fleet's first 2023 Fleet Action, 'The Lost Fleet.'
The Lost Fleet FA includes a Campaign, during which members of the fleet may write stories revolving around the lore events of the Lost Fleet's arrival. As with any previous campaign, the main Mission Briefing explains the overall story, with indications of how members can write their own missions and be involved in contributing to the wider narrative. This includes ideas and suggestions of stories members can create themselves in order to participate.
The Lost Fleet will also offer an alternative, however: Mission Briefings. These are unique story concepts developed by the Intelligence Office which identify specific scenarios and locations, and outline what mission objectives need to be accomplished. They also, if applicable, include wiki articles giving more detail on relevant locations or individuals. In most cases, they don't specify how the mission should be accomplished, or what the outcome needs to be - even if the mission needs to be successful or not - but often include some suggestions or considerations.
The advantages of Mission Briefings are as follow:
- They get a lot of the initial work done for you. Rather than starting with the generic prompt of ‘break a Romulan Star Navy blockade on a former member world’ (to draw an example from Sundered Wings), you get more information like what the world is and what the stakes are. There’s still plenty of room for you to add detail of your own, but you know where you stand from the beginning.
- They help the Intel Office convey tone and setting details of the FA’s scenario. Different missions will approach different story threads or factors in the scenario. By taking on a mission briefing, you’re helping the FA tell a specific, consistent story.
- Mission briefings are usually about key, important events in the scenario. In Character, these are the big ones – the ones that turn tides or uncover new information. Many members can say their mission is hugely important to the FA. Those taking on a mission briefing have the Intel Office’s say-so that their story matters.
This will also make it easier for the Intel Office to monitor story progression and incorporate it into any reports or releases that occur across the FA's three phases.
Members participating in the Lost Fleet campaign have five options:
- Key Missions. These are as described above, and are intended to have the scope to keep a writer busy across the FA’s six weeks. They’ll include wiki pages for setting material if needed. Take these on if you want to be a part of the briefing system, but still have the freedom to flesh out details and direction. These will be the most numerous and typical of what the IO offers.
- Special Assignments. These are ideal for writers expecting to write between 1 and 6 Stories over the 6-week FA. They’re like normal briefings, but the concept – while In Character important to the ongoing effort – is much briefer in scope. Take these on if you want to be involved and have your story make an impact, even if you can’t dedicate that much time or words.
- Critical Operations. These are like the above, but focus on events, locations, or mysteries where more of the detail and more of the outcome is determined by the Intel Office. While they are often IC critical, about uncovering important information or achieving important things, they come with additional briefing material (only handed over once the mission has been assigned to you) that the Intel Office expects and requires members to follow. They might sound cool, but they’re a major commitment with much less freedom. Only sign up for these if you want to write within a tight set of parameters.
- Unlike Key Missions or Special Assignments, which will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, the IO reserves the right to deny members a Critical Operation. This will usually be on the basis of the member having a history of not completing FA storylines in the past (I have the data).
- Priority Tasks. These are a little different - generic, repeatable story prompts that multiple members can choose to write independently. Unlike the short prompts in the main BFMS briefing, these give more guidance and better flesh out what missions in the FA storyline might look like. They include no wiki pages and members have to develop their own key locations, but they give a helping hand to members looking to get involved.
- Your own concept. Just like in the past, you can create your own story idea based off the briefing and develop it freely.
Soon after Mission Briefings are released, the Intel Office will make an online form available where members can apply for their chosen mission. Once a mission has been chosen on this form, it will be removed from the selection pool and you should consider it yours to develop and plan for ahead of the FA beginning on May 6th!
- Members without a Command should not apply for a mission, as they cannot yet participate directly in the FA. They should consult their TF Staff for guidance if they want to be involved. Likewise, members who have not earned more than 20 Service Ribbons should consider their choice heavily and perhaps try writing their own idea or a Special Assignment before they pick a Key Mission.
- The Deneb Sector is the main setting for this storyline. All elements in the article can be used in writing, though individual wiki pages will specify if a location relates to a specific mission. If so, that location should be used appropriately - multiple ships could move through the same nebula, for instance, and characters could talk about a world that has fallen to the Dominion, but don’t change circumstances or set an adventure on a location belonging to someone else’s mission without consulting that member.
- Any storyline can utilise the Dominion, Breen, or a mixture of the two as an enemy. Some missions will specify one enemy, but that does not preclude cooperation between the two.
- Task Group 514 is the local Starfleet force defending the Deneb Sector. They’re the go-to for ships your ship might rescue, reinforcements who might arrive in the nick of time, ships who report a sighting that needs responding to, that sort of thing. They are not there to provide ships to follow yours into battle - all Intelligence Office policies on how to utilise additional ships in your writing remain in-place in this Fleet Action.
- The Third Order are the Cardassian Union ships here to assist in fighting the Dominion. They can be used like Task Group 514, providing extra firepower, protecting worlds, and so forth. They can be utilised in your storylines freely.
- The Changeling Conspiracy that has infiltrated Starfleet in 2401, as per the events of ST: Picard season 3, is involved in the Lost Fleet. Their full role is a mystery, but they have infiltrated many Starfleet ships and seek to use the Lost Fleet to weaken the Fourth Fleet. Feel free to include Changeling infiltrators and saboteurs as part of your storyline.
- Likewise, there may be Founders aboard the Lost Fleet itself displaced from the Dominion War. Their goals are much simpler: total victory over Starfleet. It’s feasible they might be infiltrating their enemy, too.
- This storyline is not about the Kzinti, or the Ferengi, or any of the local mercenaries or other trouble-makers whose existence is a recurring threat to locals. But there’s no reason they can’t be used as a complication - or assistance! - in any of your stories.