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Star Trek: Destiny S1 Ep01 "Barbarians at the Gate"

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As speculation and discussion grew  a Starfleet officer  made her way to the front of the Hall and took a stand behind a podium. A larger group of Crewmen, about eight of them split inot two groups stood at ease near both of the entrances to the hall.

"Excuse me." The officer said her voice amplified, "could i have your attention please?" She was probably in her late twenties or early thirties about 157cm (5'2") and 59kg (130lbs), light brown hair, brown eyes and an infectious smile. "I'm Lieutenant Elisabeth Prescott. And I'm the personnel officer for the USS Destiny. As you by now have discovered all of you gathered here have been assigned as crew replacements on on Destiny. Some of you have been her for a few days and have probably heard a half dozen different stories and some of you have just arrived and I am sure will hear those same stories. None of those stories are accurate. Now I know you all want explanations but I'm not the one to give them to you not right now. What my colleges and I are here to do is get all of you  signed in and aboard the ship in as quick and orderly as possible. Once aboard the ship I am sure the Captain or your individual Department heads will fill you in on why you are way out here on the edge of the galaxy." All through this little speech she smiled and put forth a calm collected vibe, it was hard to be annoyed with her even though many had a right to be.

"Now if you look at your PADDs you were issued they should now be displaying a blinking Alpha Numeric if you would each go the the crewman who is displaying your groups number we can get this done as quick and painless as possible." Prescott smiled even mor as the crewmen spread out along the walls and held up large easily read placards. The occupants began shuffling around and moving into new groups.

Spoiler

 None of the player characters PADDs are displaying the flashing digit although most of the other ensigns apparently do have the flashing number. Aside from the PCs V'Lar, Garner, and Tiv all do not.

Prescott   LtElisabethPrescott.jpg

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Anjala just nodded at J'sira. She had her own ideas about what might be going on, but it was really all just speculation at this point. It felt kind of hush hush to her though, with the orders so vague as to barely even be orders. If Starfleet wanted to keep the details of a mission under wraps, this wouldn't be a bad way to do it. The crew thing was definitely peculiar. She wondered if original crew was being discharged en masse as well...maybe flushing out a mole or something...or if this was to replace losses. J'sira was right to say that the ship didn't look like it had suffered losses...but space was a big and weird place. Maybe it had encountered something dangerous to life but not to the spaceframe itself.

The mental chatter around Anjala was thick enough that she couldn't get a good read on Prescott, which was a bit of a shame. A lot of nervous, excited, confused people all bombarding her with the same feelings and questions did kind of drown nuance out. Even so, she checked her PADD...and didn't see any indication of where to go.

She leaned over towards J'sira and showed her PADD. "Hey, is this broken?" she whispered. "I'm not getting a number here."

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A man in the gold of security entered the gallery amid the shuffling and hub-bub, his steps somehow brisk yet relaxed at the same time. He was tall, over 190cm and likely over 100kg, well build and solid, but not bulky, somewhere in his late thirties. He had several days growth of beard, his brown hair either artfully mussed, or naturally so, giving him a more rugged rather than professional air. At his collar was an insignia for an enlisted crew member, though actual rank was difficult to make out at this distance.

He exchanged a few quiet words with Prescott, looming over the petite Lieutenant, and from the smiles they shared, knew each other. She pointed at the PADD in his hand tucked by a hip, and he shrugged with rueful apology, then took Prescott's place behind the podium.

"I reckon things are 'bout to get exciting for you all, but can I get y'all's attention for a moment?" he call out, his voice holding an amiable rural twang. "I'm Master Chief Jack Cutter, and I need several of y'all to gather 'round." Without referring to the PADD he held, he began naming names, his grey-blue eyes sharp and considering, but not unfriendly.

"Lieutenant Anjala Batim. Ensign Antonash Droganescu. Ensign Patrick Garner. Ensign Michael Jensen. Lieutenant J'Sira. Lieutenant Junior Grade Miriam Sepgupta. Ensign Bada Tiv. Ensign T'Set. Ensign V'Lar." He made a sound that was neither positive nor negative. "Lotta Vulcans among you. Fun. You lucky lot are with me." He flashed a half-grin at them. "We're off to speak with the Cap'n."

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Miriam's shoulders straightened a little as she heard her name called by the senior NCO. Brushing her right hand across her tunic to square away the lines of her uniform as she spared a glance at the group, her professional face slipping into place.  "Time for the river to get moving, Mister Jensen"  she said quietly, turning and moving off to  meet with Master Chief Cutter.

"Master Chief," she greeted him, closing from her position a few paces away, "I'm Doctor Sepguta."

She looked upward to meet his gaze as she came to a halt a step away and announced, "Reporting for 'duty."  

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J'Sira listened ti Lt. Prescott and looked at her PADD, nothing the lack of a blinking alphanumeric. Then came Anjala's question, which caused her to shake her head.

"I do not believe it to be broken. More likely a clerical error, if it is not intentional. I am sure Lt. Prescott can sort it out for us." she explained. 

As she prepared to approach Lt. Prescott as the Master Chief came in and spoke with her. When the he addressed the hall, J'Sira paused and listened.

"It would appear that there was no error." she said to Anjala while still keeping her eyes on the Chief.

"Shall we?" she asked Anajala, nodding toward Chief Cutter.

J'Sira reached down and collected her toolkit that she had set beside her while reading her orders and then processed toward the Chief.

"Lieutenant J'Sira reporting as directed." she said simply.

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A little crestfallen, Anjala followed J'sira over and gave the Master Chief a little wave.

"Hey, Lieutenant Batim here but you already know that because you memorized the first pages of our files and know what we look like, hi," she said by way of introducing herself.

Talk to the captain, eh? Well there was no chance she was in trouble yet. If it had just been the Lieutenants it could have just been the captain wanting to meet the higher ranking officers personally. New Orleans class ships didn't have such a huge crew that a captain couldn't get to know most of the officers. But some of the ensigns were coming too, so...maybe the captain had a good memory? But then...not ALL the ensigns were coming so...

Well, it'd be good to meet the captain anyway, she reasoned. Maybe she could leave it at that.

As a wise man once said, 'aye, and if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon.'

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No number on her pad, which was curious, a quick glance up showed the majority of the room already making their way to their assigned divisions, barring a few exceptions. Idly bidding a fellow Ensign from her class farewell, she made note of those remaining unmoving that she could see. Jensen himself and the Lieutenants from earlier, the Betazoid in particular looking confused at her PADD. So she was unlikely to be the only one with an aberrant assignment.

As the Chief addresses the crowd, she nods to herself. That would explain it, though she could not guess why they were being singled out so early. Still, she better get on with it.

Moving through the room, she comes to a stop in front of the Chief, inclining her head respectfully.

"Master Chief. Ensign T'Set, reporting as requested." Moving over to the rest of the gaggle of officers, she offers them a nod in turn.  "It is pleasant to see you all again so soon, Lieutenants, Doctor."

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On 11/4/2018 at 5:28 PM, Lt Anjala Batim said:

"Hey, Lieutenant Batim here but you already know that because you memorized the first pages of our files and know what we look like, hi," she said by way of introducing herself.

"Even us enlisted can read a data padd and keep a few names rattling around in our skulls," Cutter said with good humor in response to Batim's comment.

After Jensen, three more Ensigns stepped up almost in lockstep and named themselves as Ensigns Garner, Tiv, and Droganescu. Finally the last officer the captain had sent him after came forward.

“V'Lar,” was the single word she spoke

Batim could sense some of that humor fading when all the called officers gathered round him. Does the academy think this is a cadet cruise? "Right then, folks. Let's go see the Cap'n."

With practiced ease Cutter tapped his combadge “Cutter to Destiny, ten to beam over.”

“Standby chief.” came the Destiny's transporter operators voice over the comm. “First pass now”

The hum of a transporter beam filled the air around the gathered officers and six of them disappeared, leaving Cutter, Dr. Sepguta, Lt Batim, and Ensign Jensen standing alone. But only for a moment for as they looked around to see which of them had been transported the beam came again and they too vanished only to reappear some five seconds later in a ships transporter room their fellow officers waiting for them in front of the pads.

 

“Captain knows your on the way Chief” said the handsome sandy blond haired and goatee'd technician at the transporter control who was busy giving all the young ladies the once over.

Cutter gave the tech a look, “Thank you Tennyson” Then stepped past the waiting officers. “If y'all will follow me, please.”

Out in to the ships corridor he led the still a little bewildered officers, the corridor was almost empty. Except for themselves they only passed three other crew members on the way to the turbo lifts, the ships was much newer and modern than the ships most of them had been on in the past, definitely state of the art. They crowded into the turbolift and Cuter ordered it to the bridge.

 

Spoiler

Bridge Layout

DestinyBridge.jpg

 

Destiny's Bridge Layout

  • 1. Helm

  • 2. Operations

  • 3. First Officer

  • 4. Commanding Officer

  • 5. CMO/Cns/Visitor

  • 6, 11. Science SubStations

  • 7, 8. Engineering SubStations

  • 9. Engineering I

  • 10. Tactical

  • 12. Science I

  • 13. Main Systems Display, Life Support, Environmental Control, Auxiliary access. (VS Station)

  • 14. Turbolift

  • 15. Ready Room Access

  • 16. Main Viewscreen

  • 17. Conference Room Access

Stepping out onto a ships bridge for the first time is an experience and each person processes it in their own way. Looking out on the the smooth lines and the compact stations which were unmanned while the ship was docked gave each of the new officers a sense of 'this is my new home'. The one crewman on the bridge at the moment, a male human in Ops yellow with 4th year Cadet pips on his collor, looked up as the group came onto the deck. “Captains in the conference room, chief, with Dr. Taol, said to send you and your charges right in.”

“Thank you Cadet.” Cutter grunted and cut across the bridge to the Conference door on the right at the front. The Cadet watches as the group passes by his eyes lingering on the ensigns whom he recognizes. Tiv gives him a half wave as she passes.

Spoiler

The ensigns will recognize the Cadet as one of the Cadets in the Normal Class that was going through the Academy at the same time as them. This must have been his cadet cruise and means that there were probably a few more Cadets they knew on this ship as well. His name Is James Roberts.

At the conference room Door Cutter keys the com panel.”Cutter reporting sir.”

“Bring them in Chief.” Came the reply

After everyone filed in they found themselves lined up facing a medium height Rigellian woman and A tall Kelpian male in medical Teal.

“I am Commander Raymer, Captain of the Destiny, Welcome aboard this is my Chief medical officer Dr. Taol. Please everyone be seated I know you all have a lot of questions and I have some explaining to do.“

Cutter stepped to the door thinking his job finished but halter when the captain addressed him.

“Chief I'd like you to stay please.”

After everyone was seated the captain stood and paced across the front of the room.

“I am sure all of you have noticed the unusual circumstance of your being assigned to Destiny. Two months ago I was the chief science officer and third in command. The ship was doing a survey in the Rainbow Nebula when the chance to observe a local phenomena arose. The nebula is home to an unusual number of trinary and quadenary star systems. One such system Named Baldur has a habitable planet Baldur 4 that was entering a special orbit that perfectly aligned the three stars for a spectacular sunrise where all three suns rise simultaneously and are visible form the planets surface. This occurs for 3 days every 67 years. And we were in the vicinity so Captain Nederland decided that we could conduct some planetary surveys and witness the event..

Baldur 4 had only had a cursory survey some eighty years ago. An M class planet with no large predators numerous fauna and flora mostly temperate and what for all intents and purposes is an idyllic setting. We scheduled seven  days for surveying and the event would fall in the middle of the survey. By rotating over the three days everyone would be able to experience the event from the planets surface.

Everything was fine until the event then we were subjected to a disaster.” She pauses then gesture to the Kelpian doctor. “I'll let Dr. Taol explain the next part. Doctor.”

Taol Looked at the captain and then at the officers seated. It like he was almost looking for an escape route. Abruptly he stood.

“Before transporting to the planets surface we did an extensive test of the atmosphere and found nothing that would cause any ill effects aside from some pollen's which could have set off Allergic reactions in some crew members. We completely missed identifying a potentially dangerous spore amid those pollens. Under all but the most extreme circumstances this pollen spore was and would be harmless However the circumstances I elude too were present during the event. Gravity waves created by the three suns created a subspace harmonic which caused the spores to alter it's chemical makeup turning it into a deadly toxin. The spores would cause Hallucinations and a hyper aggressiveness among the native fauna. It had the same effect on Humanoids and one even more dangerous. The spore after it's mutation would attach itself to the neural pathways in the brain causing a crystallization of those pathways basically those affected had their brains begin to turn to crystal a mutation which would have killed everyone. While we did have some fatalities we discovered the cause quickly and moved to stop the infection.thus preventing a greater number of deaths. However we were unable to revers the effects of the brain crystallization.”

Captain Raymer stepped up again. “The entire crew was exposed but only about half were affected by the mutation, including the entire command staff and all of the ships officers. I am apparently immune to the spore so was unaffected and Dr Taol reacted quickly to the emergency and managed to forestall numerous deaths. We manufactured stasis pods for those to seriously damaged by the spores and are sending them to Starfleet Medical in hopes of finding a way to reverse the mutation. Dr Taol will be traveling with them.

Which leads me to you. I had assumed that Starfleet command would have the Destiny return to the Federation to receive crew replacements and new officers. Starfleet being under some degree of pressure with threats from the Borg, the Klingon Civil War and several other areas deemed it unnecessary for Destiny to return for replacements, they didn't have any ships they could send to take her place here. So I have been confirmed as the destiny's captain and You are the officers Starfleet has sent to replace those we lost to the spores.”

Spoiler

the captain pauses incase anyone wnats to comment or question.

 

 

 

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Anjala's eyes widened as the captain recounted the story, reacting as much to the emotions roiling from her as to the words.

"That's...quite a story, Captain," she said quietly. "I'm impressed that you're continuing on with all that. I guess we're probably a bit greener than you were hoping for." She nodded. "We won't let you down though."

With a glance at her fellow officers, she added, "May I ask what the Destiny's mission profile is? You were surveying the nebula before, is this exploration? Recon?"

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J'Sira listened closely, a bit interested by not only the unusual planet the Captain described, but also the spores and their unique mutation. Crippling the so many in one go was simultaneously disheartening and intriguing. 

"Understood, Captain." J'Sira said with a nod.

"Am I correct in assuming that you have summoned the nine of us because we will comprise the new senior staff of the ship, and will be receiving our formal appointments presently?" she asked, seeking formal clarification.

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Micheal listened the entire time, his stomach twisted in knots as nausea set in, while Garner stared daggers at him from time to time.  He didn't speak or motion to ask any questions, at least, not yet.  He knew that Senior Officers often looked to see which if the new comers and younger officers were prepared to step up to the plate and voice their thoughts and be inquisitive, but that just wasn't him.  He could waste words on things that would be revealed in time or were nothing more than space fillers promising things that carried no credibility with them, yet.

One thing was for sure, he didn't understand older people.  They sure loved the sound of their own voice.

Quietly enough he simply paid attention and listened, while Garner made slight facial expressions at him indicated that his time in the galaxy was limited.

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Raymer smiles "Starfleet doesn't always give us the option to choose what we would like Lt Batim and yes, Lt J'Sira that is why you are all here.

I reviewed the records as soon as Starfleet made they're decision on how we were to proceed. While Starfleet likes to place experienced officers in any position it is not unknown for brand new officers or even those with less experience to be placed according to accomplishment and potential.  Of the officers coming aboard you here in this office are either the ranking officers or in the case of the ensigns those with the highest accomplisments on record.

Lt J'Sira I'm giving you the engine room, your record is exemplary and I am sure you will meet all expectations.

Dr. Sepguta, Starfleet sent us a list of available doctors when they ordered Dr Taol to accompany the casualties back to Starfleet medical. Dr. Taol requested you and I concurred You will be our new chief medical officer until Dr Taol returns.

Mr. Garner, I know your preferred assignment was engineering and operations but your background and your academy record show a talent in the sciences. I am going to give you the position of science officer. We have a lot of focused specialist on board but I want an officer on the bridge with a broader understanding who can handle different situations.

Mr. Jensen, your skill as a pilot has garnered you the position of lead flight controller. Our mission profile will call for us to navigate the Rainbow Nebula quite often so we have to handle helm operations a bit differently at times, Ensign V'lar, your record also shows exceptional skill as a pilot. Due to the nature of navigating in the nebula we have to double up on Helm duties when at warp in there, you will act as Mr Jensen's Assistant Helmsman as well as be in charge of the ships small craft.

Lt. Batim, you I am afraid are going to be one very busy officer. For the moment I am putting you in over all Administrative charge of ship operations. Ensign T'Set will serve as Ops manager performing the routine bridge duties while she undergoes the administrative training.  You will also oversee Security and Tactical, Ensign Dragonescu will serve as your Security Deputy and Ensign Tiv as Tactical.

Our First Officer has been delayed and could take up to a month to arrive, in the meantime Lt. Batim you will be serving as acting first officer as well your other duties. I know it's piling on a lot but that's why I am giving you these Ensigns and I'll help as much as possible. Once Cmdr. Shonn arrives we'll reshuffle things into a more normal setting.

Mr Cutter here is the ships ranking enlisted man and has been in starfleet a very long time. He is here to see that things continue to run ship shape, as they say, on Destiny. I expect all of you to seek out and heed his advice when necessary.

Now back to your original question Lieutenant, The Destiny's mission out here is actually one that would normally go to a larger ship like a galaxy class. But Starfleet couldn't spare anyof those right now so we are out here performing the sorts of exploratory and first contact missions as a ship like the Enterprise would be doing. This is the frontier in every sense of the word ladies and gentlemen. Deep Space 3-9 is the furthest instillation that the federation has beyond this starbase is literally unexplored space.

It is out job to explore it."

She looks at each and everyone of them. "Any questions?"

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Miriam’s sat poised; left leg crossed over right with hands clasped and resting on her thighs, her back straight as a Tellarite’s sense of diplomacy while the captain explained the situation. In the long trip to Asgard station and the Destiny she, along with Anjala and J’Sira, had spent time theorizing on what waited each of them  at the end of the voyage. Much as J’Sira thought she’d be going to an engineering job, never considering the plum assignment she’d just been given, Miriam’s own assignment was far beyond anything she’d ever considered possible. Miriam knew her skill sets, her value as a surgeon. But the possibility of taking over as an entire medical department just wasn’t something that crossed her mind at this stage of her career. Taking a deep breath as the captain continued to announce the assignments, Miriam realized she’d need to push harder to adjust her concept of herself to adapt to the new role she’s been given.

Once she’d demonstrated her aptitude for surgery, her instructors - later her mentors - had been happy to push her to explore her capabilities. She’d spent huge chunks of time in holodeck suites in the small-small hours of the night, when no one wanted to trek the simulated deserts of Vulcan or play with Orion slave boys and girls. In those simulated environments she’d conducted surgical procedures on every intelligent species known to the Alpha and later the Beta Quadrants. She could repair a Vulcan’s nictitating membrane with an ultrasonic scalpel, perform an emergency cesarean on a Deltan using Tellarite obsidian tools, or repair a Horta’s acidic glands damaged by Hortimer’s Syndrome. She’d even tested herself against the McCoy Surgical Challenge involving reconnecting and stimulating neural pathways to rejoin a brain to it’s body.

She’d been a surgeon, and for 6 years the desire to be a good one had driven her to test her absolute limits both mentally and physically by performing some of the most delicate work ever conceived until she realized there might be more. Unbidden the words of her mentor on in Starfleet Medical Crisis Response came back to her. ‘You’re good cutter, Miriam,’ the Bolian doctor had said to her with a smile on her blue face, ‘and I love to watch you work. Just don’t forget that body belongs to someone. Surgeons are also doctors.’

At the time Miriam didn’t understand what her friend was trying to say. It was only later ministering to her in an emergency shelter on another world, as she coughed up pale blue blood, that Miriam understood. A good surgeon saved lives, but it was just a set of skills among many. A doctor might not be a surgeon, but a surgeon had to be a doctor. And in the right place at the right time a doctor could save many more lives. The memory of her epiphany was still fresh, the lesson one she still struggled with, but it looked like the galaxy was going to help her by putting her in a place where they needed a doctor as well as a surgeon. Maybe it was only temporary, until Taol returned, but still. These people were her charges and she would be their doctor.

As the captain called for questions she realized she felt more comfortable than she had in weeks.

“No questions Captain but I’ll coordinate with Dr. Taol after the brief as he prepares to depart, “she responded, the light accent of her people giving an almost musical sound to her words. “I’ll start the medical status review and have a preliminary report to Lt. Batim by the morning.”

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J'Sira sat and listened to the Captain, her exterior utterly passive and serene Captain Raymer set about appointing the gathered officers to their new position. She was a little surprised by some (though anybody would be hard pressed to tell it), failing to see the logic in some of the appointments, but also acknowledging that she did not have the benefit of reviewing each of their personnel files like the Captain had done. Still, though she anticipated her appointment as soon as she deduced that they were to be the new senior staff, she found herself somewhat surprised to hear it, for some reason she was not quite sure of.

For a moment, J'Sira stopped evaluating the appointments as she had been doing and considered her new situation. She was now a Chief Engineer aboard a starship, and not some aging Miranda or Oberth-class, but a top of the line ship, a New Orleans-class... The USS Destiny. It was nearly a dream come true, as there were only a handful of other ships that she would possibly consider a superior posting to this one. And to achieve such a position at the rank of Lieutenant? Well, that only spoke to her exemplary skill, personnel reviews and service record. Her parents, especially her mother, would be most proud of her.

Not only that, but their mission would the most fundamental and prized mission in Starfleet; Exploration and First Contact. They would be pushing the limits of explored space, extending the map and filling it in. If the star system that the Captain had described was any indication, then who knew what strange new world, intriguing and breathtaking phenomena and new species and cultures lay before them. This was Starfleet purpose and the reason why she joined.

J'Sira permitted herself a faint smile.

"Only one, Sir. When do you wish to be underway?" she asked to gauge how much time she had to inspect and familiarize herself with the vital systems of the ship, especially propulsion, and her enlisted engineering staff.

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"I like your enthusiasm, Lieutenant,"  Raymer said, "We still have to get all the new crew aboard and settled and we'll take advantage of being at starbase to resupply so I think I'll give you a little time to get settled. If there are no more questions, I'll ask Mr Cutter to see that all of you get to the right place and let all of you get settled in.

Lt Batim if you would stay for a moment, everyone else dismissed."

Dr Taol steps up to Dr Sepguta. "I have a few things to get from my office, your office now, if you would like I can show way.

Every one files out of the office leaving the Captain and Anjala alone.

"May I call you Anjala?" Raymer sits next to the Betazoid

"Yes ma'am, of course" Anjala replied feeling the captains reserve and her worry.

"I am sorry for having blindsided you and piling on the pressure so unexpectedly.But regulations require me to have an executive officer. I know it is not something you were expecting but I think we'll get along well and it is only an acting position. I wasn't expecting to be made captain either and was somewhat surprised that I was confirmed to retain command. I'm a scientist at heart and never actually expected to have a command of my own, at least not one like this, oh Maybe a small science ship..."

Anjala can tell from picking up the surface thoughts that Raymer has doubts about her ability to lead.

"...but we are Starfleet officers so we do. I chose you for a few reasons. Starfleet for what ever the reasons for choosing such a young group of officers at least gave me top notch officers. But I picked you for two very good reasons, first is your tactical ability, there are a lot of unknowns out here and I am by nature inquisitive, I wanted someone who is grounded and whose thinking is along the lines of security and tactics. I don't want my curiosity to how is it the humans say 'Kill the cat'. The second reason is because your Betaziod and have telepathic abilities. I won't ask you to pry into peoples minds or reveal secrets of the crew But i do think having you as my xo will help me be more diplomatic in any encounters we have out there. As you probably already guessed I am not the most diplomatic person and will need all the help I can get.

So I assume you have questions? Concerns?"

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Anjala opened her mouth to respond, then had to rethink. It was hard enough trying to talk intelligibly through her own mixed feelings. Being aware of the Captain's was making it even trickier. The obvious answers took on new meanings in light of the fears she sensed bubbling under the Rigellian's skull. Being selected for this was heady at first...a massive opportunity to show what she could do...and of course a terrifying potential to make mistakes that could affect hundreds of people's lives. If she was honest with herself, it was a responsibility she probably wasn't ready for, but it was something she very much wanted to grow into.

What was sobering was that feeling that the Captain might have chosen her, perhaps without really thinking about it in those terms, to essentially be a check on her. As Raymer herself had said, she didn't want her curiosity to lead her to make dangerous decisions.

Ah yes. Of course. Dangerous decisions like the one that led to a third the crew dying or being seriously injured. Dangerous decisions that she hoped Anjala would warn her about.

Lt Batim nodded finally and said, "Yes, sorry...it takes a second to adjust. I was looking forward to pushing myself, but this was a bit more than I'd bargained for." She smiles. She and Raymer weren't so far apart...both of them grappling with having far more responsibility than they'd expected dropped in their laps.

"That said, I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe in myself...or in the other officers of Starfleet. Everything I've heard so far tells me this is a crew that worked together under the worst of circumstances, and pulled through. That's the kind of crew I want to serve with. That's the kind of captain, I'd like to serve under."

"We'll have to work out the logistics of it all, but I know we can make it work. So! I'll get started with the Master Chief, I'm sure he can help me out with all the information I'll need to get caught up. I'm sure I'll have specific questions as I go, but right now I'm thinking I'd rather hit the ground with my feet moving than pester you with things I can probably find out for myself. Is there anything in particular you'd like me to prioritize?"

"Good I think we are on the same page. The Chief is a good man you can rely on him As for getting started we don't have any hting pressing. As soon as We get the crew aboard and settled we will see about restocking. So for now just get settled and My door is always open."

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"Lead Flight Controller," V'Lar said quietly as they exited the Captain's brief.  "Congratulations."

"Hmm?"  Jensen looked at her, then it popped into his head what she had said to him and shook it slightly to clear away his multiple thoughts and focus on the moment.  "Oh, uh, yeah... thanks."

With an actual duty section to report to, or in this case, lead, he went to meet with his team.  Surely there weren't only two people aboard all of The Destiny who could fly her.  They walked together, taking in a few sights of the ship as they headed to their berthing.  "You didn't seem to say much in there," V'LAr said finally, realizing Micheal wasn't one for conversation.  "I suppose being he youngest member of Starfleet, you don't really need to learn a whole lot more?"

"Youngest?  Oh, yeah, right, eh, I'm not really all that special, honestly.  Ensign T'Set is eighteen, she's a vulcan too, like you."  He shrugged, blowing off the prospect that being the youngest member of Starfleet was all that big of a deal.  "We were in classes together, she accomplished no less than I did."

"Very humble of you."  She offered him a polite nod.  "So, as lead, what is our first order of business?"

Jensen froze in his tracks.  It just suddenly dawned on him that he was actually in charge of a department.  "Uh, well... I'll be honest V'Lar, I'm not really the leadership type.  W-what I mean is, well, we just went through the same four years, or we're going to be working with people who have experience.  I don't want to be the guy looking over everyone's shoulder, micromanaging things.  We know our job, by virtue of us being in that brief, we're already damn good at it too.  So, let's 'by the book' it.  Run our typical diags, use a lot of big words to explain simple things, familiarize ourselves with the ship's capabilities, and meet our team and make sure we have all our fingers and toes."

She looked at him, puzzled.  "I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with that expression."

"It means make sure we have everything in order, five fingers, five toe, right where they should be."  Jensen laughed.  "It's an old Earth saying.  My dad had hundreds of them, I picked up a few."

"Very well," V'Lar smiled, understanding the premise of the comment now.  "I thought perhaps we should familiarize ourselves with Engineering as well."

"Agreed, let's see what this baby has under the hood.  Good call."  He saw once again that V'lar, who was fluent in Earth's languages did not seem to speak Jensen.  "Sorry, more expressions... I'll explain later.  Let's take a look after we get our berthing straight, hopefully we can dodge Lieutenant J'Sira."

Puzzled once more, V'LAr looked at Jensen expecting an explination.

"She's very wordy.  If we get spotted I've no doubt she'll attempt to explain how the whole of Engineering works and we don't have another four years to take it all in.  She actually made darts unfun.  How does one even do that?!  It's darts!"  He looked completely shocked.

"It's a vulcan thing."  V'Lar said deadpan as they continued down the p-way.

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There were times where T'Set was glad of her Vulcan upbringing, times when it allowed her to maintain composure and keep forging ahead despite setbacks. This was one of those times, if for the opposite reasons. Were it not for that training, she had a feeling that she was quite sure that she would have been grinning like a loon, her heart was already racing in excitement. Being segued into Operations Manger right out of the Academy, and on a New Orleans of all things. Well, she doubted that there could have been a better outcome. Not without some other extreme factors playing into it. As it was, she maintained her facade. Such overt displays would have been crude, especially in light of the disaster that had precipitated their rapid ascension to their new rolls.

As the meeting wound down and they were all dismissed, she could barely restrain her impatience. What she wanted was to rush t her room, dump her stuff, and then run back to familiarise herself with her station and post, but she forced herself to proceed at a calm stride, mentally reprimanding herself. 'Patience, T'Set. All else will follow.' She would take her time, set herself up. Familiarise herself with the corridors outside her quarters. Determine the quickest routes to Engineering, the Labs, the Bridge and Canteen, among others, and once she had a grasp on that, she could proceed to Ops and familiarise herself with there as well.

 

Spoiler

Wanted at least a brief post today, as I can't garuntee if I'll be able to at all over the next 24 hours, but now my laptops running out of batteries, so I'll have to return and potentially edit later.

 

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V'lar and Jensen stood at the back of the turbo lift as it made it's way down and aft to the engineering deck neither spoke. They were not alone. A Specialist from the science division was in the car with them, he was alien and neither of them could identify his species. He was short and very odd looking. he studied the two of them intently but also never spoke. The trip was proving uncomfortable at least for Jensen. The lift came to a halt about the thrid of the way to their destination the little alien nodded to them and left the lift again without a word.

Spoiler

yes i know it's the wrong unifom but it's what i got Keenser_in_uniform.jpg

"Curious." said V'Lar

Jensen glanced at her then swallowed "uh I was thinking that, you know if you don't have any requirements like super hot room temperatures or weird lighting or... you  know, from Vulcan,  you might want to room together?" he asked awkwardly

V'Lar turned her head and regarded him with her pale gray eyes. "I come from a very inhospitable region of Vulcan, a world known for it's inhospitable regions. Why would I wish to recreate that here." She returned to looking at the closed door.

Jensen did the same.

A moment later the Lift halted again and announced their arrival, the door swished open and Jensen stepped out V'Lar followed. "However since we are going to be working together It would be convenient I suppose. I concur." She said as she passed him in the hall and walked toward engineering.

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When she emerged from the Ready Room, Lt Batim looked around until she found Chief Cutter.

"All right, Chief," she said with a nod, "Lets get started. I have several metric tons of things I have to look at, but you're the one with feet on the ground here. What's the elephant in the room on this ship?"

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"Call me Jack, ma'am," Jack replied easily to the new XO and his new department head. He didn't seem to have a problem with working under someone younger than he was, who look near young enough to be his daughter. But Anjala could sense he had expected the new officers for the Destiny to be a little more seasoned than they were. "Or Cutter if t'other's too informal like. Th'elephant's gonna be the same as it's on any other ship. Old crew learnin' to deal with the new officers and how they like things and t'other way 'round."

Jack gave the new officers of the Destiny directions to the officer quarters on decks three and four, mentioning he had had the rooms of the incapacitated officers cleared out and ready for new occupancy and told them to pick any not already assigned and to log it with the ship's computer. He also gave each of them a datapad collected from the Cap'n's desk with their respective security clearances and codes as he told them where they could find the departments they now headed and their offices.

He wasn't surprised when some of his charges left to explore the ship. They were young and this would be their home for the next few years - barring some other cataclysmic circumstance - and besides, he wasn't their babysitter. If they couldn't get settled with a whole lot of hand-holding, it was better to learn that now while they were docked instead of out yonder.

Jack nodded at Jensen and V'lar with their heads together as they entered a turbolift. "Might be some rough edges to sand down," he admitted. "With only the Cap'n and a jump-upped ensign, we've had enlisted here runnin' most things on a skeleton crew. It was rough, but we handled it. We all knew we'd be gettin' new officers of course."

He snorted with wry amusement. "Just not how new, y'know? I expect there'll be some challenges as the crew tries to suss out their officers, see if they have what it takes. They haven't seen y'alls academic records and such, and truth, they ain't gonna care much. They just wanna know if y'all can do the job. I'd suggest you let it run some instead of trying to stop it dead. It'll happen anyway and you'll see if the department heads can handle the authority over crew generally older and more experienced than they are. I can give ya a few names though, ma'am, crewmen and specialists that may push harder or longer than they should, so an eye can be kept on 'em."

Jack gave a wall a solid thump. "It's a good ship. Still new, but it has its quirks that just won't go away. I'll get ya a list." Anjala could the pride Cutter had for the ship, and a lingering trace of something else. Not quite resentment, not quite regret or guilt. A survivor's pain and a survivor's resoluteness. "Resupply is goin' fine. Will need finalization on what pod the Destiny will be slingin' though. Handy that, if you ain't familiar with the New Orleans class."

He turned assessing stormy grey-blue on Anjala, clearly curious about her next answer without exposing what he wanted that answer to be. "Now, what you like t'know 'bout the ship, specific like, instead of askin' me what I think you should know?"

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J'Sira dropped her bag off at her quarters on Deck 4 and quickly found Main Engineering on Deck 11, where she paused at the threshold and took it all in. Main engineering on the Destiny was massive, much larger than that of the older, Ambassador-class USS Exeter that she had been stationed on, and this was state of the art, being one of the newest designs of ships. She walked in and let her hand glide along the engineering display table, almost as if she were not sure she were in a dream or not.

J'Sira's entry did not go unnoticed though, her height and new face drawing some attention from the personnel on duty, prompting J'Sira tap her combadge.

"Lieutenant J'Sira to all on-duty Engineering personnel." she said, pausing a moment, allowing the ship time to work and make all the communication connections.

"Good afternoon. I am Lieutenant J'Sira. and am honored to say that I have the privilege of serving as your new Chief Engineer. I would like to say that given the unforeseen tragedy that befell this ship, and with the temporary personnel shortages you had to deal with, you all have handled the situation and conducted yourselves in line with the highest standards of Starfleet personnel, and together we will continue that tradition of resolve and professionalism you have all set forth as we will strive to make this the finest engine room in the fleet. Thank you." she said to her department (and over the course of the day, J'Sira would repeat her introduction and address to each shift in Engineering as they came on duty.)

Once she had finished, J'Sira tapped her badge again.

"Lieutenant J'Sira to all Engineering department Ensigns and on-duty Chiefs. Please report to main Main Engineering." she ordered, passing the time by looking through their personnel files to familiarize herself with their names and faces.

 As each one arrived, J'Sira greeted them and once assembled she got down to business, just in time for Jensen and V'Lar to walk in on the small, impromptu meeting. Noting their arrival, J'Sira held up a single finger as she looked at them in the common, 'just a moment' gesture, causing Jensen to silently curse at having been caught by the Lieutenant as she addressed the chiefs.

"You are my Chiefs. You know this ship and its systems better than anybody else and I will be relying on you while I bring myself up to speed on it. If any you ever have any questions, concerns or suggestions, you are always free to approach me. I will always appreciate and value your experience and input." she said, addressing them as a group, looking from one to the next, making eye contact before moving on.

"Now, on to more technical business. It is my understanding that the gravity waves caused by the three suns during the Baldur 4 incident created a subspace harmonic that affected the planet. Since this ship was in orbit at the time, that subspace harmonic could have had a negative impact on our systems, especially the alignment of the warp core, warp nacelles, and main deflector. Considering the amount of time we will be spending in nebulae, those systems need to be at optimal performance. So we will take advantage of the time we have while docked to perform a full diagnostic on all vital systems, prioritizing those three. If time does not permit, then we will perform lower level diagnostics on the other systems once we are underway." J'Sira explained as she handed out system assignments to the Chiefs.

"I know this is a lot of work in a relatively short time, but the Captain and crew of this ship are relying on us for the safety and safe operation of this ship and we will not let her, or them, down." she explained, her tone initially sympathetic, but shifting to one of resolve. 

"I will begin the diagnostic on the warm core, You all have your assignments. I would like updates every two hours." she said, dismissing them.

J'Sira then collected her toolkit and approached Jensen and V'Lar.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

"We, uh, were just wanting to see what she had 'under the hood', so to speak, Lieutenant." Jensen replied.

J'Sira raised an eyebrow slightly at the used of the old Earth colloquialism, once which she was familiar with from her time in the Engineering program at Starfleet Academy. She turned and gestured toward the warp core, taking several steps to lead the pair of Ensigns into the room.

"The the warp core is the standards matter/anti-matter reaction assembly utilizing deuterium and anti-deuterium reacting in a dilithium crystal matrix which is capable of generating in excess of 12.75 billion gigawatts, which when combined with the Brahms Mk 2 nacelles, is capable of generating over 1,500 Cochranes, allowing for a cruising speed of Warp 6 with a maximum sustainable speed of Warp 9.2, while in emergency situations the nacelles are capable of achieving Warp 9.6 for up to 12 hours.

For sub-warp propulsion, the ship is outfitted with dual, standard magnetohydrodynamic gas-fusion thrusters in a quad configuration, with each thruster quad capable of producing 5.5 million newtons of exhaust, thereby allowing the ship to achieve sub-light speed of 0.5c. And like the Ambassador, Galaxy and Nebula classes before it, the New Orleans class utilizes a Space-Time Driver Coil to operate effectively at Impulse. The Driver Coil produces a non-propulsive symmetrical subspace field powered by the exhaust plasma from the Impulse Engines. The field helps the ship to accelerate, decelerate, and maneuver by effectively lowering it's apparent mass." she explained as she let the Ensigns soak it all in.

"At the moment, though we are in the process of several major diagnostics so random crew wandering through Engineering is neither advisable nor desirable." she said as she paused in consideration.

"If you wish to remain here," J'Sira said as she looked Jensen over, "...and are apparently so efficient that you have already met and familiarized yourself with the staff in your department that you have time to come down here just to 'look around'," she added, "...then you can assist me in checking the alignment on the matter/anti-matter injectors on the warp core." she said as she pointed to a panel.

"The tricorders are in there."

J'Sira waited, figuring that she would receive one of three likely responses, all of which would tell her some about their character. Jensen and V'Lar might feel cornered and grudgingly help, likely in a passive aggressive manner so common to emotional beings, at least on Jensen's part. Alternately, they might happily and willingly help, which though most desirable, J'Sira considered the least likely. Finally, and most likely in her calculation, they would suddenly remember they had something else that demanded their attention.

Either way, it would be interesting to see how they responded.

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3 hours ago, Lieutenant J'Sira said:

"At the moment, though we are in the process of several major diagnostics so random crew wandering through Engineering is neither advisable nor desirable." she said as she paused in consideration. 

"Though Ensign..." J'Sira said as she looked Jensen over, "If you are so efficient that you have already met and familiarized yourself with the staff in your department and have time to come down here just to 'look around', then perhaps you would like to assist me in checking the alignment on the matter/anti-matter injectors on the warp core?" she asked, raising an eyebrow as a hint of an amused grin tugged at the corners of her mouth.

Jensen reached for and handed J'Sira a tricorder, implying that she could calibrate the warp core herself.  "We are not wandering and everything you told me about the Warp Core is not helpful.  I already know that, I memorized that on my down here, along with several other of your core systems.  While I'm sure the tech manual you reviewed a few moments ago and thought necessary to regurgitate back to me might impress others, I assure you Lieutenant, I forgot more by the time I was ten then most will ever know."  His tone implied that he was including her among that 'most' category, but left it unsaid.

"What I came down here for were the things I couldn't get from a tech manual.  System limitations, quirks or flaws inherent with that particular model... things that my staff and I are going to need to take into consideration when we plot a course light years from here and hit target the size of a blueberry and navigate our way through frontier space and nebulae.  I was under the impression that the best way to get said information is from the professional experts, namely you and your staff.  However, since our presence here isn't 'desirable' we'll leave you and yours to it and just make due with the specs we have, I've my own job to do, I've not the time to do yours as well.  Good luck with your diagnostics and calibrations."

Jensen turned and walked away, shaking his head.  He spun about addressing V'Lar.  "I'll get the staff meeting going, meet in fifteen, I need to compile all this into a brief."  He held up his PADD and wobbled it from side to side.  He nodded, "Lieutenant."

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V'Lar looked on her shock only showing by the widening of her eyes and the raising of an eyebrow as Jensen forcefully reacted to Lt. J'Sira's admonition. J'Sira for her part was equally stunned as the young ensign rude and insubordinate  made to exit her engine room. She began to open her mouth to call the junior officer to task when the other Ensign, the Vulcan from Xir'Tan, Spoke "Humans don't you find them so very unpredictable. Like and Neetav Eggplant, you don't know if the  fruit will be the sweet red or the bitter green until you crack the shell."

"Hey kid, Hold the Lift will ya?"

Jensen paused the lift as an older crewman came out of the engineering section and hurried toward the turbo lift.. He wasn't just older, Jensen noted when the crewman stepped into the lift, he was old. Huffing a bit to catch his breath the crewman grinned at Jensen. "Thanks kid deck 2." The turbo lift immediately began accelerating. "The gall of some people. That lieutenant brand new on a ship, coming on board thinking they know all the things that no one else knows, that no body could possibly be able to do anything right before they arrived. No matter that we been out here for a long time seen things they can only imagine. Big heads, big egos. And Vulcan's they are the worst. Stronger, smarter, all logic in your face all the time. Talking down to you like you are an insignificant person, even when you have been doing the job for longer than they have been alive much less in starfleet."

Jensen listen as the old man talked noting that he never looked at Jensen just stared at the door.

"Funny thing is, an officer like that may be come to be despised and hated by the very people she's over, but they do belong to her and those crew, they take that stuff seriously. Computer pause lift then go to sleep."

"Yes, Chief Harkness." The computer replied as the car came to a halt between decks. Jensen shot a quick glance at the mans collar to see that his insignia was that of a Petty Officer 1st not that of a chief. The man, Harkness turned bodily and faced Jensen. "How old are you kid, twelve? They are letting them in younger and younger. Well since you don't seem to remember what you were taught about rank and respect Let me put the fear of god into you. Because I remember it i just don't care. You and that lieutenant are replacing good people some of whom died, people, officers and crew, who had been with the ship since before it left spacedock. As far as I am concerned neither of you know shit but that lieutenant is my lieutenant and if you ever speak to her or any  other officer while you still wear that uniform, I will come anf find you and i will put you over my knee and tan your butt until it is as red as your shirt. Do I make myself clear Ensign?

Computer resume."

"Yes Chief Harkness"

Spoiler

Horace Harkness

HumanMale5_Gold.jpg

 

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Jensen, still fuming on thunderous heartbeats of frustration, clenched his fists.  "She is a manipulative-"

"Does any part of me look like I give a single damn about hearing anything but 'yes, Chief', boy?"  He still didn't look at Jensen, his eyes stayed locked on the turbo lift door.

"Petty Officer, I-," he was still going for the win, futile though it may have been, but when Harkness turned and shot him a glare that could have melted Andoria Prime, the cocky Ensign leaned back a bit, like shirking away from a nightmare made flesh.  He swallowed hard.  "Y-yes, Chief.  Cr-crystal clear, Chief."

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After the ensigns had left nad J'Sira had seen that everything was underway in the engine room she too picked a station and began running her own diagnostics while on part of her brain was still deciding how to proceed with the ensign Jensen incident. After a few moments she noticed an older crewman standing nearby observing her. She recalled him from her perusal of the records, Horace Harkness, formerly a Chief Petty Officer but now holding the lesser rank of Petty Officer 1st, She had made a mental note investigate that.

"Can I help you, petty officer?" she asked

"Yes ma'am, I was wondering if I could have a few minutes of your time,  In private?"

After a moment J'Sira nodded and motioned him into her office. "What is if you Need Petty Officer?"

"Well Lieutenant, I was at my station when those two ensigns came in and heard how that young man spoke to you ma'am. I'm not sure how you were planning on handling it but wanted to let you know that seeing as you were busy I went and had a little talk with him. I think the boy was a little overwhelmed and maybe a bit scared and his remarks while completely out of line were more a self defense reaction to a situation he has not fully come to comprehend. Anyway I had a talk told him that his actions were completely unacceptable in an  Starfleet officer and that he could very well find himself beached for it. I do believe that he will not make that same mistake again. But I wanted to let you know that should you decide to take any further action that I was present and witnessed the entire thing.

I would also like to add that as one of your senior non coms in engineering that everything is ship shape and ready to go. We saw her through the trouble and Destiny saw us home. Anyway that's all I wanted to say ma'am.

I'll get back to my duties now." Harkness had spoken while standing at a regulation parade rest and continued awaiting dismissal.

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"I value the experience and opinion of all of my officers. If you feel the matter is settled, then that is good enough for me." J'Sira said with a nod.

"Additionally, then purpose of the diagnostics is to ensure the safety and functionality of the ship under my watch, and was not meant as any sort of critique of the engineering staff or their abilities. With the reduced crew after the Baldur 4 incident, and with the immediate focus thereafter being on the preservation of life and construction of the stasis pods, as well as getting back to Asgard Station, I found it improbable that all of the appropriate diagnostics had been run. But, if your and the other chief's judgement is that the Destiny is 'Shipshape and Bristol fashion', then once again, that is good enough for me. I am not only further impressed, but I will also check with the XO about the possibility of shore leave on the station."

J'Sira walked over to Petty Officer Harkness and offered him a handshake.

"And finally, I would like to say thank you. I appreciate what you did and it only further cements my opinion that I am serving with some of the finest Starfleet has to offer." she said sincerely.

"I may look mostly Vulcan, but I do have a heart." she said with a small, warm smile and them mused, "an eight chambered one, in fact."

"If there is nothing else, then you are dismissed."

"Oh, and in the future, Ma'am or Sir is fine." she added.

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He turned assessing stormy grey-blue on Anjala, clearly curious about her next answer without exposing what he wanted that answer to be. "Now, what you like t'know 'bout the ship, specific like, instead of askin' me what I think you should know?"

Anjala nodded then looked around and said, "The kind of thing this crew's been through, I'm seeing my role as being damage control and mitigation first, optimization and efficiency second. For me that means a lot of time reading dossiers and logs and manuals. It also means keeping myself available and visible so everyone gets used to me. It's probably going to be a little while before I know what the important questions to ask are. But..."

She paused, then glanced at the Chief again.

"How's morale, Jack? The ship must have been a pressure cooker."

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Dismissed by the Captain, Miriam fell in behind the doctor she would be replacing as he exited the conference room and walked onto the bridge. Rather than following the curve of the layout counter-clockwise to the turbo lift, he walked directly to the center of the bridge and motioned his relief to take a seat in the first of the set of three chairs mounted there. The middle was the captain's chair of course while the seat to the captain's right would be used by the first officer now Lt. Batim. The third, in Miriam's experience, could be used for visiting dignitaries or specialists observing bridge operations.

"That's my seat," Taol announced quietly as the others made their way from the brief to the turbo lift, passing on the other side of railing separating the chairs from all bridge stations except the ops and conn positions. "Or rather it was was my seat," he added with emphasis on the word 'was'.

Miriam said nothing and watched the older man as he looked over her head watching the others depart. Miriam heard the turbo lift doors open and close then open again as the next lift came to ferry the last of the officers off the bridge. The captain and Anjala, or rather the captain and the XO, were still in the conference discussing whatever command officers needed to talk about but everyone else had filed off the bridge leaving only Miriam, Dr. Taol and the operations cadet who was still on watch. When the turbo lift doors closed a second time taking the last of the new arrivals away, Taol turned his attention to her.

"If you pull that screen up I already have the medical authorizations ready to be transferred to you," he said still keeping his voice low. "Then we can talk about whatever you want to talk about."

Pulling the console from its stowed position next to the chair Miriam saw it was already locked with Taol's authorization. "I'll need ...", she began but he was already ahead of her and reached over the console to tap in his code. It was such a strange thing to be intimidated by and yet she had to admit she was a little intimidated. He was so familiar with the console he could enter his codes upside down without even pausing.  

With the console unlocked she saw he'd prepared the transfer of authorizations for everything from the medical tissue and drug replication systems, to the chemical stores that contained biomimetic gels as well as Trianoline and access to all medical and counseling records.  

"What kind of relationship do you maintain with ship's counselor?" Miriam asked, biting her lower lip as she began to accept the authorizations Taol had prepared for her. Counselors were an interesting situations for medical personnel in that they were nominally assigned to the medical department but did not report to the Chief Medical Officer. It was one of the things on her mental turnover list she wanted to check off hopefully by Taol telling her how great the counselor was. 

"In the past" he responded dryly, "our relationship was professionally courteous. Now its just professional." 

Not understanding, Miriam looked up from the console to see the stone mask that had slipped over his face as he continued to look over her head with that slightly unfocused look that told her whatever he was he was seeing was for his eyes alone. Intellect and imagination were powerful combinations but definitely a two edged sword in that it could work against the possessor as easily as for if a person allowed it. This was something Miriam knew well from her own experiences. The captain had said the command staff had been affected by the spores and that group would have included the ship's counselor. So he or she was in medical stasis with the rest of the command staff, Miriam put together mentally. Which meant there'd been no ship's counselor to assist the crew with dealing with what had happened and the loss the crew had experienced. 

"I'm sorry," Miriam temporized as she finished up the transfer of authority. She wanted to tell him it would be okay. Starfleet Medical would do everything in their power to treat the victims and restore them to health but he must know that already. And had probably already assessed the likelihood any of those people that had been his friends and coworkers would recover let alone return to duty. Despite not yet having seen the medical records Miriam honestly felt no one could have foreseen what had happened to the crew. No predictive model, none she was aware of, could have ascertained the effect on the spores caused by the reinforcement of the subspace harmonics though she was less certain it was impossible to predict the subsequent effect those spores would then have on the crew. He might very well have spent his waking moments since the tragedy second guessing every tick of the clock it took to realize there was a problem then to take decisive action. Medical stasis would not have been the immediate response to the situation the Captain described so and the neurological crystallization wouldn't have been immediately evident. 

"Finished," she announced and pushed the console back into the standby position alongside the chair. "If you have time I'd like to be introduced to your medical staff. Other than that I'm open to advice." 

"Or anything you might want to talk about," she added.

"Introductions I can do," the older doctor responded a little gruffly, ignoring the implied offer of someone to talk with.

Rising from the chair Miriam followed, hands clasped behind her back, as he led the way to turbo lift while describing his, shortly to be her, medical team. 

"You have a three member team," he explained as they entered the turbo lift. "2 nurses and a med tech. Computer: Sickbay."

The closing of the turbo lift doors ended the conversation on the bridge leaving the operations cadet alone with the low level beeps and chimes of the consoles to keep him company. 
 

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"Most are hopeful ma'am. They're the ones still breathin' after all. Survivors feel guilt, sure, but there's relief too," Jack replied laconically. Anjala could feel Jack's familiarity with being a survivor. "The ones that lost good friends or mates, they're hurting yet, but with others sufferin' the same, they'll put up a good front."

The tall man sighed, fine lines at the corners of his eyes deepening. "It's cadet Roberts I'm worried 'bout, and you should too, ma'am. We had several on their cadet cruise and lost every one save Roberts to the damnable spores. Add to that th'arrival of several high-scorin' ensigns - some jumped to department heads even - who were cadets the last time he saw 'em... He feels like he failed his cadet cruise, through no fault of his own, yet it was his baptism by fire too, somethin' he feels the new ensigns haven't endured."

Jack leaned back on a smoothly curving bulkhead, arms crossed. "Depression and resentment is a brewin' in 'im and that's a sure thing, ma'am. Don't think he''ll break, but seems to me he''ll be more likely to take risks, to push beyond his abilities to prove himself the equals of those he still see as peers. Or to deny or run away from the hurt he's still feelin'. Somethin' else to keep an eye on, ma'am."

He grinned wryly. "No rest for the officers on this ship, not for the time being."

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Anjala nodded, returning the smile. "If I wanted rest, I'd be back on Earth. Roberts, huh? All right. Lets see what we can do to keep him busy and out of trouble. Thanks for the orientation. Now I've got  bunch of work to get started on so I'd better get started."

She gave Jack something that was halfway between a salute and a good-bye wave, then headed for her new office. She wanted to meet the department heads, but they'd probably be too busy to yank into a conference room, so she'd probably have to go where they were. Then there was a lot of reading schedules and rosters and stock levels and logs to get herself up to speed.

That office was probably going to be her home for awhile now...

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The Destiny was a hive of activity as the new crew were taken aboard and they found their places and their stations. Supplies and fuel were being taken on as well but it all paused when the Maraval went under power and left the station. All eyes both old and new, for by now all of the new crew had heard what had happened, watched in silence as the Maraval majesticly sailed throught he huge station doors out into the void beyond, carrying the fallen.

On the bridge Captain Raymer frowned as the doors closed cutting off the view of the Maraval. She should be bringing them home, Destiny should be carrying her fallen not someone else.

“Captain?” Ensign Parks, one of the new arrivals spoke softly causing Raymer to look away from the screen at the young... officer. “Yes?”

“I have Captain Zhao on comms he wishes to speak with you.”

Raymer glances at the screen and the now fully closed Dock doors. “Send it to my ready room.”

 

Destiny's captain sat down at her desk and straightened her uniform, then answered the comms. “Capt, Zhao, how can I be of service.”

Zhao Gui was a handsome human male of Asian descent with a very nice smile and easy going manner. He was displaying that smile now. “Purely a social call captain. I wanted to extend my condolences again and invite you and your new officers to dinner this evening.”

“I see, I was hoping you might have an assignment for us. I wish to get underway as soon as we finish resupply. We are eager to get back to work.” Said Raymer a little too stiffly.

Zhao's smile fell a bit before returning. “About that. I was thinking Since Destiny is assigned here at DS3-9, I am cc'd on crew assignments. I know you got a very inexperienced set of replacement officers and well under the circumstances I was thinking that the Destiny could spend a little time locally while you work up the new crew. Alaska will be coming in in a couple of weeks perhaps we can exchange a few of your inexperienced officers for some of those on Alaska. Captain Hagen has a few that are up for promotion plus your new first officer, Commander Shann should be here by then as well.”

Raymer had a lot of emotions running through her head and she was glad LT Batim was not present. “As you wish Captain, is there anything else?”

“No captain, nothing else for now.”

"Then we shall see you this evening, Raymer out."

Spoiler

Ok the next scene will take place in the station. it will consist of the main PC's only  and the captain. Sorry cutter you ar one break at least at first. All of you are notified that you are required for the dinner on the station it is NOT formal so regular uniforms are fine. If you wish to post a getting ready or talking to each other go ahead if there are no posts today I will start the dinner tomorrow. as usual any questions ask away

 

 

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Miriam sat on the edge of her desk in the CMO's office and looked over the medical staff of the USS Destiny sitting in the chairs she had brought in for them. She'd briefly thought about sitting down herself behind the big desk dominating the room but on the spur of the moment had chosen not to. That would suggest a power dynamic she absolutely did not want to start with. If they were going to be a team, and they had to be a good one for the sake of the crew, she would need to set the right tone. She'd  even spent the last 20 minutes or so trying to organize her thoughts into a speech like the one her team leader on her last assignment had give to her team on their first day but again decided against it. She'd learned a great deal from that supervisor but hadn't forgotten the best of what she learned came when the Bolian woman had foregone formality and simply talked to her. Miriam hadn't always liked the things she'd been told but had come to respect the other woman's honesty.

"Ladies," she began softly, "Doctor Taol's temporary reassignment was logged 24 minutes ago in his medical log. I don't know when he's going to be back but until he is back I want to be sure the one thing he does not have to worry about is whether this crew is being taken care of. I'm not him but over time you're going to get to know me and know I'm here for the same reason he was here; caring for this crew." 

"It must be pretty amazing though," interrupted the Bajoran petty officer serving as her medtech, her tone more than a little aggressive. "I mean those pips look pretty new and you're taking over as Chief Medical Officer? Good luck replacing Doctor Taol." 

Thin and tall even when sitting, the nearly hairless Deltan nurse Zoya immediately brought her delicate long fingered hand to her gracefully curved forehead hiding her face as soon as the Bajoran woman began to talk. It was a gesture not unlike what a human would have called a 'face palm' if she'd been human. No gesture was universal even among humanoids but it seemed as if the Deltan had seen this sort of behavior before. The other nurse, a lanky dark blonde haired Trill female named Isk, simply continued to smile while pointedly ignoring the Bajoran's commentary. 

Miriam hadn't time to review the Bajoran's records but Taol had made a point to let her know what he thought of each member of his team after he'd introduced them to Miriam. The Deltan female was practical and technically competent, had an excellent bedside manner only improved by her racial ability to suppress pain in others even if she were predictably a magnet for the attentions of the crew despite using the pheromone suppressants to alleviate the amorous effects her scent produced. Isk was a species that had been a Federation member for a long time but it was only within the last couple of years Federation scientists realized some of the race formed a symbiotic relationship with a secondary life form found on their planet. Miriam was looking forward to talking with her in-depth about the physical and psychological implications of a being 'joined' including what it was like to have the memories of other lifetimes. More importantly though Isk was an excellent neurologist, a competent scrub nurse and apparently knew more than a little about genetic manipulation despite the Federation ban on genetic augmentation research. 

That left the Bajoran, Petty Officer third class Seta Nupaye. Small but still taller than Miriam with dark brown hair and the overlapping cartilage pattern down the bridge of the nose that was a genetically dominant trait for Bajorans, who otherwise looked very similar to baseline humans. Taol had been quick to note the enlisted woman could come across as acerbic and confrontational, which Miriam took to mean that would be the case. He'd also noted she was extremely skilled when it came to installing and maintaining the medical equipment  of the Destiny. He went so far as to credit Seta for the cutting edge sickbay being up and running as quickly as it was during the shakedown cruise. He hadn't asked Miriam to cut her any slack, had actually backed away from that very quickly when Miriam pressed gently, but was obviously a believer in her abilities.

"A couple of points, yah?" Miriam responded, her accent slipping into her words. "Primus; Doctor Taol is temporarily reassigned. I have the title but when he comes back he will take over as Chief Medical Officer again. Secondus," she continued, talking over the Bajoran's response, "In regards to my pips I will reiterate what you might have missed the first time."

Enunciating each word with care, as if each syllable were the next cut in a surgical procedure, Miriam carefully articulated her point, "I am here to care for this crew. We are here for this crew. If anyone is not here for the crew please let me know. I will find a place for you. It will be meaningful work but it won't be in sickbay."

"Yah? Are we clear ladies?" Miriam asked pointedly looking at Seta.

"Yes sir," Seta answered. The expression on her face was one of someone who'd just bitten into something less tasty than she imagined it would be but she seemed willing to modify her behavior and that was all Miriam needed to know. Even though she was focused on Seta, she saw Isk and Zoya nodding in her peripheral vision.

"I prefer 'doctor' to rank or being called sir," Miriam corrected gently. "Its one of those things we're going to find out about each other. Like where we're from, what kind of sutures we prefer, and who did what to whom. Things like that." 

Miriam honestly felt she'd dealt with the potential problem of Seta about as well as was needed and didn't want to single her out more than she had. In private she'd let the Bajoran know the office door was always open, she was expected to speak her mind in private and that Miriam would have the conn officer deliver the Bajoran back to the station by way of a stasis tube fired out of a photon launcher if she ever pulled a stunt like this in public. 

Miriam took a moment to smile and decided it was time to move it along. "So. We give the care the patient needs. We do it right the first time. If every one follows those guidelines I don't think we're going to have any issues."

For the next few minutes Miriam explained what she needed from each of them in order for her to prepare the medical readiness report to submit to the executive officer in the morning. Then she listened to each concern they were willing to express about the report, or more generally what the crew needed from the medical department. Unsurprisingly they felt the medical department was understaffed and wanted Miriam to pursue the activation of the emergency medical holographic  system at a minimum. Miriam in turn agreed  to discuss the matter with the captain and made a note to find out exactly what an 'emergency medical hologram' actually was. Potentially it was related the holographic emitters she'd noticed on the ceiling and walls of sickbay though initially she thought those were for record making. 

As the meeting broke up Miriam walked around the desk to slide into her seat when she realized Zoya was still in the doorway. "Something else?" Miriam asked, her head cocked while mentally realizing - again - just how much taller the Deltan female was to her own diminutive 157.5 centimeters.

"Were you planning on re-certifying my oath of celibacy, Lieutenant, er, doctor," inquired the woman in a voice that would have seemed suggestive in another species but was probably her equivalent of 'hi mom, I'm doing fine'. 

"I'll get on that as soon as you re-certify mine." Miriam joked glibly. Seeing the smooth headed woman stare back at her blankly Miriam knew the jest didn't translate. Sighing, she flicked her finger on the computer screen built into her desk and moved from file after file of the crew for a few seconds before elaborating. "I know you have one. Every first year cadet takes the required Introduction to Xeno-biology. Everyone knows Deltan's wanting to serve in Starfleet have one on file. I know there's a real danger involved in sexual relations but ...I just think its a bit disingenuous to require an oath from a Deltan but not one from a Bolian before he swaps spit with a human. Or, I guess, not requiring a full disclosure that relations with a Trill might be described as a  ménage à trois. I'll need to ask Isk about that  one though." 

"So, no," Miriam summarized looking up from her desk into Zoya's dark eyes, "I don't need to see your oath of celibacy."

"You are going to be fun," Zoya replied, a mischievous grin lighting up her pretty face like a dawning sunrise. Turning pertly she exited the office with just a little too much bounce to her step. It appeared to be more for the benefit of anyone looking than the unconscious body language of an extremely sensuous alien species. 

'Yah,' Miriam thought with only a tinge of sarcasm, 'this is going to work out just fine.'

Shaking her head the new chief medical officer of the USS Destiny focused back on her display and started screening the records of the crew in earnest adding tags to their records for later analysis. Expired physicals, physicals done off the ship, those with specialized medical needs like the new chief engineer, chronic medical conditions or conditions that could be a factor in specialized environments or situations. In no time at all she felt herself relaxing into the rhythm of the task and began to hum to herself..

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The Captains personal dining room aboard the Federation space station was tastefully decorated and well appointed. The officers of the Destiny were impressed. Aside from themselves and Captain Zhao, the stations second in command Commander Effron and the stations senior medical officer a Denobulan named Jiffer as well as the stations senior counselor Doctor Merket joined them.

The customary traditions of a dinner with a ranking officer were adhered to and the talk was mostly about current events in the federation. Capt. Zhao was good enough to include everyone in the conversations in cluding the younger officers. But there was still a strained edge to the event mostly from their own captain who seemed unable to relax and enjoy herself. But dinner passe and desert and brandies where served and a more informal attitude set in.

Zhao looked around at his dinner guests raised his glass “To the Captain and crew of the Destiny.” he toasted. The others echoed and drank to the toast.

“I am sure you are all eager like your captain to get out there and continue your mission. But some of you might be a little apprehensive and overwhelmed as well. It isn't often that so many junior officers are placed in the positions many of you find yourselves suddenly thrust into.” He glances at Raymer who stiffens even more in her seat but does not look at him. “The responsibilities being giving you may weigh heavy and I want you to know that my staff and myself are here to give you what aid and advice we can should you need any. I know from your records that some of you were expecting different sorts of postings, Mr Garner for instance was on an engineering track and is now the science officer on your ship, and Lt Batim you were about to receive orders to the USS Laporte as that ships security chief, and now you find yourself the tempory first officer. Quite a step.”

“I'm not sure what your point is Captain Zhao?” interrupted Raymer now looking at her superior.

Zhao looks at Raymer then the rest of the officers.

“No point really I just want to make sure that if the opportunity comes up to correct what some may see as a a mistake by Starfleet, that your officers are aware of the options which may become available to them. The Alaska will be in for resupply in two weeks and several of her officers are due promotion. I have discretionary powers here for deployment we can make corrections at that time.”

Everyone is following the conversation but obviously feeling uncomfortable with the direction it has taken.

“Am I one of those corrections, Capt. Zhao?” asks Raymer an icy edge to her voice.

Before Zhao can answer a Lt enters the dining room and approaches the table but stays back several yards. Zhao looks over and then turn back to the table. “If you will Excuse me, a moment.”

While Zhao and the lieutenant confer Raymer looks around at her crew, then Zhao returns. “Please excuse me something has come up that we have to attend to. Thank you all for coming Finish your desert and brandies and have a good night. Xo, Doctors” the Station commander, his Xo, and the two doctors depart leaving the rest of the party at the table in uncomfortable silence.

 

Spoiler

Lt Batim you have picked up several things. Zhao is afraid that if he lets the destiny go back into deep space with an untried crew and a captain who is just a jumped up science officer that the destiny will end up lost and he will get the blame. Then you over heard the conversation between zhao and the LT. Via your telepathy

the Lt<Captain we have lost contact with the Crater during a rutine communications check half way throught he communications became garbled then we lost it entirely. Scans for the ship have come up negative>

Zhao<What do we have close enough to check it out?>

The LT<None of our ships, sir, but the Maraval is still within range>

Zhao<Okay send word to the Maraval to investigate. We'll be up to the control center shortly

(Uss Crater is one of the Sagan class ships assigned to the star base)

All of you are still at the table

 

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Anjala was not fond of politics. Having grown up with parents who were diplomats, she'd been surrounded by the stuff most of her life. Political situations were all fine lines arranged in complex webs, where tugging one strand had cascading consequences that were really hard to predict. They were messy and often seemed like no-win situations.

Zhao wasn't 100% wrong in his motivation, though what he was doing was pretty garbage...essentially kicking Destiny and its new captain when they were down. He could have chosen to support and show faith in them to try to improve their odds. Instead he was essentially offering and encouraging its officers to abandon ship. Which was garbage.

So she leaned over towards Raymer and said in a quiet voice, "They lost contact with one of their science vessels, the Crater. They're going to ask the Maravel to investigate...but Destiny is a lot closer."

Tugging this strand, Lt Batim hoped to get Raymer to go after Captain Zhao and suggest the Destiny could help...and hoped those unexpected consequences were things they could deal with.

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"Speak your mind openly, get threatened with violence.  Passively beat around the bush and imply instead insinuate, everything remains awkward." Ensign Jensen mumbled under his breath.  What he wanted to say was 'It's obvious there's some drama there.  We have to serve under you, so get your house in order.  We're not stupid and it's insulting to sit us here and treat us like we don't see it', but frankly, Petty Officer First Class Chief Harkness had scared him enough to keep his mouth shut for now.  Well, shut enough that he wasn't afraid to mumble like a seventeen year old brat stuck at a dinner table with 'family' he didn't really want to be hanging out with.

He'd yet to understand how politics worked.  Honesty and truthfulness were not something people wanted to her.  They needed, no, wanted to be lied to.  But, why?

It persisted and and that happened in between the moments of silence was the XO leaning over to hisper something in the Skipper's ear.  Finally, after rolling around some of the food on his plate he raised his hand like he was in class.  "I-I'm sorry... I'm not sure the protocol here.  Do we all sit quietly in awkward silence or is conversation okay?  I-I'm really not good with people and situations like this.  Did I miss a social queue?  Are we waiting on one?"

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Raymers mind sorted the scant data rapidly as she glanced at Jensen who was muttering. "Mr. Jensen,  your one of my crew at least for now and on my ship I always expect my crew to speak their minds."

 She pushes back from the table and stands "Anjala, get back to the ship and get Destiny ready to depart immediately. I am going to go have a few words with Capt. Zhao. Those are our people on the Maraval and I will be damned if he is going to put them  in harms way."

She looks at each of her officers "I have faith in all of you, even if he doesn't" Then she turns and follows after the Space Station's captain and officers.

All eyes shift from the back of the retreating captain to Lt Batim.

 

 

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Anjala nodded then gestured at the others at the dinner.

"You heard her everyone, back to the Destiny, doubletime."

She got up and signaled the duty officer on the Destiny with her commbadge. "Lt Watts, get the pre-launch checks started on Destiny. Triage the list, we may have to leave before everything's done."

When the Lieutenant acknowledged, Anjala looked at the others. "I figure you have questions, I'll explain once we're on the Destiny. Come on."

Lt Batim then headed out. Using the transporters had occurred to her, but this wasn't exactly an 'emergency,' yet. Beaming straight off the station would raise a lot of questions and probably make Raymer's job that much harder.

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"That would be the cue," Miriam announced as she dropped the linen napkin on the plate and rose from her seat. Tapping the communication badge on her tunic she continued as she pushed her chair back to the table, "Destiny this is Sepguta. Please pass the following message to all medical staff; standby for departure brief. End message."

"I can confirm receipt of your message with nurse Isk, Doctor" responded a young male voice Miriam was already coming to recognize. "She's getting in touch with the rest of the witches now."

"Thank you, Cadet."  Miriam said smiling as she sprinted to catch Anjala then matching her longer legged pace she asked, "Is Cadet Roberts ever not on duty?"

Spoiler

Telepathy Tags: Destiny medical is ready. Destiny medical is ready. Destiny medical is ready. What if we aren't? Destiny medical is ready. Destiny medical is ready.

 

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