Hampton makes his way to the bridge bloody and putting his arm in a sling
Hampton: status report captain. How many ships made it out.
Venture Captain: From what we can tell, 12 ships managed to get out, including the transport ships.
That's the good news.
The bad news is, 11 of those ships are transports. We're the only Starfleet Vessel that made it out.
*The Transporter Room.*
Chief: Let's give it a try.
*He activates the transporter and 15 people materialise in Cargo Bay 2. 3 of them collapse immediately.*
Tech: How many did we get?
Chief: 15... out of 57. The rest degraded in the buffer. Cargo Bay 2, how many survived transport?
Medic *Over comm.*: 12. There was too much cellular degradation among the rest.
Chief: Is Carter among them?
Medic *Over comm.*: Sorry Chief. Carter didn't re-materialise.
Chief: Damn it. Alright, I'll notify the Captain. Transporter 3 out.
*Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco. A Court Martial Hearing has been convened in regards to Captain Forrester's actions in taking the Excalibur into the Romulan conflict.*
Admiral Tagra: Captain David Forrester, you stand accused of taking the U.S.S. Excalibur, NCC 2536997, into an internal Romulan Affair in violation of Starfleet Regulations and the Prime Directive. You also stand accused of insubordination as a result of these actions, as well as theft of Federation Property - namely U.S.S. Excalibur. How do you plead?
Forrester: Guilty, your Honour.
Tagra: Admiral Ross, you wished to speak?
Admiral William Ross II: Yes, your honour. While Captain Forrest's actions may have been illegal, I remind the State that Captain Forrest has been a valued member of Starfleet for 10 years, serving with distinction in all that time. He's also one of the most experienced battlefield Commanders we have left, since the attack on Vulcan, as well as being the most experienced Officer in the Federation when it comes to the Iconians. I ask that the board remember that when delivering their verdict.
Tagra: Captain Forrester, you have pleaded Guilty to all charges. Is this your final decision?
Forrester: Yes, sir.
Tagra: Very well.
*The three Flag Officers of the Court Martial exchange words for a minute before turning back to Forrester.*
Captain Forrester, by the power vested in my by the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet Command, you are found Guilty on all charges.
However, in recognition of your service to Starfleet - as well as the fact, as Admiral Ross so kindly pointed out to the Board, that you are the most experienced Officer under the circumstances - the standard sentence of discharge and imprisonment is commuted.
Instead, you shall remain Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Excalibur until the end of the current crisis, at which time you shall be discharged with full honours. This is non-negotiable.
Hampton: thank you captain. Turns to the screen well. So what is the plan to deal with the iconians ships.
Admiral Ross: We don't have one.
In case you didn't notice, that one ship was able to annihilate the 3rd and 12th Fleets. Starfleets most elite officers effectively wiped out, and over 250 ships lost.
Even if we managed to bring enough force to bare on that one ship to destroy it, the Iconians would just send another. We have precious few options. One of them, which the Federation Council is considering heavily, is surrender.
Captain: You can't be serious?
Ross: Captain Reynolds, you've seen first hand what that ship can do. It destroyed an entire planet! And we know from Hobus and the Tlachina that the Iconians do have the means to destroy entire star systems!
It's one option. You're to reroute to Utopia Planetia for refit.
Ross: Hampton, you'll be brought to Earth by the U.S.S. Charleston there.