My new Toy 3 Weeks before Launch
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“One more time, Crewmen,” Vene ordered

“Ma’am, this will be the third time,” He stated in a questioning tone, wondering why the Commander wanted him to circle the ship one more time. This was supposed to be a simple transport from earth to Utopia Planitia and back.

“Yes, I know, I want to make sure we didn’t miss anything” the Commander responded. This was her first command and she wanted to make sure everything was perfect, every inch of the hull clean.

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said with a small sigh as he brought the ship around one more time.

~30 min. Later~

“Thank you, Crewmen,” Vene said as she walked out off the shuttle and into the shuttle bay of the USS Islandica.

“Your Welcome Commander and good luck,” He responded thankful he could finally head home. Ten more minutes in that shuttle with her and he was going to snap. The Commander was nice, but boy was she obsessed with her ship. Three times he brought her around the Islandica and three times she pointed out every pointless fact about the ship.

Vene walked across the shuttle bay and up tp two officers waiting to greet her. One an Admiral the other his aide.

“Commander Vene, reporting for duty,” Vene started coming to attention.

“You’re late, Commander,” The Admiral replied,

“Yes sir,” she agreed,” we ran into….traffic. On the way over” she smile knowing the Admiral knew her better than that.

“Yes, I’m sure that’s what it was,” Today was the Commanders day he was not going ruin that, “Shall we?” he asked gesturing to the lift.

Vene stepped into the lift with a smile followed by the Admiral and his Aide

“How is the crew coming along Commander,” The admiral asked as the lift began to move to the bridge

“Very well, I have an XO and a science officer already on their way. Perhaps even a counselor. I am still looking over the rest of applications for other positions,”

“Take your time Commander, you want to make sure the Islandica has the best crew she can. It’s the crew that makes the ship, the ship does not make the crew,”

The Admiral had been Venes command instructor and she had heard him say that 100 times. It was comforting to hear him say it again.

She smiled, “Yes, Sir,” the lift came to a stop and Vene stepped aside to allow the Admiral to step out first,

“Of course,” he replied before walking onto the bridge and over to the console diagonally behind the command chair, Vene Followed close behind.

“ Commander Vene you have been rewarded Command of the newly commissioned USS Islandica of Theta fleet. Computer Transfer all command codes of the U.S.S Islandica to Commander Vene. Voice authorization: Alpha-Two-Jones-Echo-Four,” the Admiral stated has he placed his hand on the console for verification.

=/\=Transfer Complete, the USS Islandica is now under command of Commander Vene,=/\= The computer responded.

Vene stepped forward to the Admiral,“I relieve you sir,”

“I stand relieved,” They both came to attention as a sign of respect before returning to a casual position,

“Well, that was fun,” Vene stated sarcastically

“If it wasn’t for ceremonies we would all just be cavemen with lasers,” he bluntly stated

Vene looked at him skeptically before moving the topics on, “Shall we go to my office and talk about my mission,” She said proudly to empathize it was hers
A Security Officer's Personal Log
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“Security Officer's personal log, stardate 241012.11:

“The time difference is killing my financial portfolio. Between subspace traffic, varied starbases, ships, colonies, and time traveling between those planets and/or artificial installations it's become difficult to recall the time and date back on Ferenginar.

“Add to that, the fact that everything I know about Ferengi financial practices I had to learn myself, and you've got yourself all the reason I need to just close my accounts and find something else to occupy my time. It's not as if my marksmanship couldn't use a little work...

“The thing is: I honestly... don't care. I've been to Ferenginar once, and that was when I was a child. Of course I'm interested in the history and accomplishments of my culture, but counting strips of Gold Pressed Latinum just doesn't seem like something that I really need to worry about. I'm a Starfleet Officer—the Federation provides everything I need, including local currency for shore leaves and vacations.

“I'm told that it's important to keep current ties with my roots, but let's be honest... I don't really have any to speak of.”


Staring out into space, over a sip of Lethian Bitters, Zev narrowed his eyes ever so slightly. Was there anything else that he wanted to add to his log? As of this point, he hadn't really said anything of substance, other than that he had financial troubles which weren't exactly problematic. Hell, according to his own log: his financial troubles were so inconsequential, he could leave them behind without a second thought.

{Does this really comprise the sum total of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences today?} he wondered, shifting his gaze toward the word-vomit on the PADD in front of him. {Is this really all I have to say about this date in history? Is my contribution to the world around me so insignificant that it can be summarized in a few sentences about a few bars of latinum on a distant world?}

“I am considering visiting Ferenginar again,” he finally admitted to the PADD, which dutifully transcribed his words milliseconds after they left his lips. “I don't know why, but I can't help but wonder... Sure, I could just go back to New Bellevue and visit my family, but... I dunno. I'm nervous, yet hopeful at the prospect of visiting that world.”

Zev's eyes narrowed again, as he glared at the nameless star on the other side of the viewport, trying to bring his thoughts into some sort of cohesive pattern. Why had Ferenginar been on his mind so much, so often lately? With a sigh, he shifted his posture, scooting his hips forward on his seat, and allowing his shoulders and head to rest on the back of his chair. This seemed like as good a time as any to think about the entirety of his life leading up to this point, without recalling too much detail. With his beverage in his right hand, his left began stroking his smooth chin...

It hadn't always been easy growing up as the adopted alien child of some well-intentioned people who were doing their part to make the universe around them a better place. His father had been a law-enforcement officer for the local constabulary, his mother was a teacher. Though the two of them never had any children of their own, they'd raised over a dozen orphans over the years from various parts of the quadrant, Zev having fallen somewhere toward the late-middle. It was an interesting environment to grow up in, and while he'd formed lifelong bonds with some of his adopted brothers and sisters, his relationships (or lack thereof) with others could be most easily described as a state of war.

Their family was always growing and changing, as could be said for the colony itself. New Bellevue, as it came to be known, was located on a semi-isolated world just off the far end of the Beta Quadrant's shipping lanes. Though they certainly weren't a rich world, once the colony was established and space port installed, it quickly became a trader's secret within the sector. In these deeper regions of space it was easier than it seemed to find oneself stranded, and forced to make a life for themselves for any number of reasons—Zev knew this, having grown up listening to those people's stories, himself being the bi-product of one such story.

Zev took a sip of his Lethian Bitters—the libation had a certain sharpness which would frequently cause the muscles in his jaw to quiver whenever it hit. This was one of his favorite things about it.

Leaning back in his chair once again, the Ferengi began to ponder what had lead him on the path of becoming a full-fledged Starfleet Officer. Considering Starfleet's reputation among those to visit the spaceport on New Bellevue, it truly was the last place he expected to build a career; funny that working in the Security division also proved to be the perfect fit...

At first it seemed like he was going to spend the entirety of his life cycle on New Bellevue. Honestly, it wans't as bad as it sounded—NB was a beautiful colony, with a spaceport that wasn't anywhere near as dangerous or crime-ridden as most in the sector. As a teen he'd taken a job at a restaurant there, and over time he positioned himself for all the off-world catering opportunities he could. Zev had always been interested in seeing the universe around him (and maybe some day, finding out where he'd come from to begin with) and visiting the next starsystem to pour some drinks and serve Hors d'oeuvres was his first taste of interstellar travel.

Over the years he made friends with ships crewmen, officers knew tipped him well and addressed him by name, and most ship's captains had several copies of his business cards somewhere in their offices—Zev came highly reccommended. Then, one day, he got his big break: after a skirmish in a disputed starsystem, Zev was offered a temporary assignment in the galley of a Federation starship!

For the first six months it was absolute hell, but as he learned to adjust to the Federation way of life he also began earning the respect of the ship's crew. His quick thinking during a crisis situation lead the Captain to recommend him for enlistment in Starfleet as a Non-Comm. It was a huge honor, and though he'd never seriously considered the idea of enlisting in the Federation's military and exploratory arm, he figured that the dual-citizenship this would award him would be benefit enough to go through with it. He was already working for the Federation anyway, right?

Zev chuckled, standing from his chair to stretch. “Man... if only I'd known what I was getting myself into,” he muttered to himself.

His PADD beeped.

“No, computer. Delete that last line.”

[Man, if only I had known what I was getting myself into.] disappeared from the PADD's display. “End dictation,” Zev added. After thinking about the first twenty years of his life for the past few moments while drinking had eradicated any interest in continuing with the personal log that he'd been working on.
Are you scared of the dark?
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In the darkness of the marketplace, three men raced through the streets, as quickly as they could, trying to escape from their pursuer. They had tried to kill the pursuer before he could attack them. But they had badly misjudged his skills.

They reached the now empty marketplace of the planet, and looked around. The square was lit up by electric lamps, allowing them to see. Looking around, they checked their weapons, looking for some sign of the one who chased them.

One of them stepped forward, and looked at the others. "Did we lose him?" He asked. His question was answered as the lights flickered and died out. Looking around in the pure black night, one of them lit up a flare. As soon as he did, the others tried to grab it, in a panic, and threw it away. As it landed, they saw a man standing where it had landed. He stepped on the flare, extinguishing it.

"You're not afraid of the dark, are you?" The deep voice boomed. As the three men raised their weapons, the man had disappeared, at least from their point of view. They fired at where the man had been, sending energy blasts through the empty market stalls. But they merely hit the walls of the buildings and died out. As the three men looked around, they tried to see their target.

Before they could react, their target was racing past them, and as two of the men looked at the third, he was grasping his neck, with blood seeping out.

"What the hell?" One of the men gasped as their friend fell to the floor, the blood still seeping out.

"You're a Starfleet Officer! You can't kill!" The second man called out to the attacker.

"That's where you're wrong." Came the deep voiced reply, as the second man fell to the ground, a curved dagger embedded in the back of his head. The last man dropped his weapon and held his hands up.

"I surrender! I surrender!" He called out. As the moon came out from behind a cloud, the attacker could be seen clearly. He wasn't dressed in a Starfleet Uniform, but the man knew he was a Starfleet Officer. "Who are you?" He asked.

"I'm a messenger from the darkest pits of hell, and unless you cooperate, you'll be going there." The attacker said. "You know what I want."

"Sp...spaceport thirteen, there's a cargo shuttle, with the girl inside." The man said. The attacker nodded, before pulling out a phaser and shooting him. He watched as the man fell to the ground, stunned, and shook his head.

"Damned fools." He said, as a Starfleet Captain approached him.

"The team just went down. We'll know within a few minutes." The Captain, Captain William Anderson, said.

"I doubt he was lying. This was way too convincing." Lieutenant Mark Whistler said, with a smile as he deactivated his night vision implants. "Computer, End Program." He added. The market disappeared to show an empty holodeck grid, and only the last attacker. "The other two?"

"In the brig, fuming at being caught out. Nice trick, by the way." William said, as security officers grabbed the stunned man, dragging him away, as the two men left the holodeck of the USS Nimitz.

Mark had been assigned to help find a kidnapped daughter of a high ranking ambassador by pirates, and he had found them and set up a very complex trap for them. And it had worked. The three men had been arrested, and the weakest one had been subjected to Mark's interrogation. It was different, some might say cruel, but it was always effective.

"Comes from growing up where I did. Only difference is back on Turalek, it wasn't a holodeck." Mark said. William nodded, as the two men reached the turbolift. As they did, another officer reached them.

"Captain, Lieutenant, we found the girl. The team are beaming her up now." The officer said.

"Good. Let's get back to Earth." William said. "Mark, I received news, by the way. Your new assignment has been listed. USS Islandica, Diligent Class. They decided to put you as the Intel Chief, given your work here. I did ask to keep you, but Starfleet feels they need you there." William explained, as the turbolift took the men to the briefing room.

"We knew it was coming, Cap." Mark said. "But if you need me, all you have to do is call."

"I'll remember that." William promised, with a smile. Mark returned the smile. Whilst he was going to a new ship, he had known William for years, and trusted him. Now he would have a new CO, one he would need to get to know, and either trust, or hammer into shape.

Mark was curious as to which it would be...
A new arrival Captain's Quarters Days Before Launch
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Admiral Lewis Connelly sighed as he looked at the next PADD on his desk. Since he had been given the job of assigning officers to ships, he had found that there were a few officers which always caused a problem. Most of the people on his desk were easy to place. This next one, however, he knew wouldn't be. He had been told where to place the man.

"Mark Whistler. Murderer, killer, and now a Starfleet Officer. What did she do to deserve this?" Lewis asked.

"Poor woman" He asked. He sighed.

He used his computer to open a channel to the USS Islandica, and waited for a reply.

*****USS Islandica*****

Lt. JG Vujanic, the Operations Officer on duty, sat in the center seat of the bridge, since all of the senior officers were currently busy elsewhere, and the ship was still docked. He was, in effect, in command, but only of the bridge, and since there were no responsibilities at the moment, there was nothing for him to do but ensure there was a presence on the bridge.

"Sir, we're receiving a hail from Starfleet Command. Admiral Lewis Connelly wishes to speak with the Captain." Another operations officer stated.

"Vujanic to Vene, you have a communication from Starfleet Command, Admiral Connelly's office." He stated, opening a channel using his comm. badge.

Commander Vene was in her quarters delaying what was going to be another day of engineering and personnel reports. She wanted more than anything to skip all of this and launch already,

=/\= I'll take it in quarters,=/\= she responded.

Moving from her couch to the desk Vene started speaking to herself "One hour, that's all I want one hour to finish this book,"

Taking a seat behind her personal desk, which was covered with 3 boxes she had yet to unpack, the Commander opened the channel,

As the screen came to life she recognized the Admiral on the other end and she smiled, "Admiral Connelly, What can I do for you today?"

Lewis looked at her. "You can tell me what you know, if anything, about Mark Whistler." He replied.

"Yes yes," Vene started looking around her desk for a Padd before quickly giving up, "I think I have his service record somewhere, I was considering him for tactical. Maybe Intel."

She paused to think for a moment, "Human, umm...I think I remember something about him growing up on an anarchy planet...or was that the other guy. Well, I remember the name at least," she ended with a smile,

Lewis frowned at her. "You seem to like the man, considering how many lives he's taken. As best as we can tell, he has a personal kill count of over four hundred, in hand to hand combat alone. It could be more with collateral damage, we don't have any records from Turalek, and we've had a task force there for years. That's more than any Klingon, or anyone, that we know of. And you were considering him for your ship?" He asked, incredulous. He knew of one or two people who felt the same way, but he did not. He had argued against Whistler being in Starfleet.

"Admiral, I would be happy to have him on my ship. I am not sure how much you have looked at my current crew roster, But I am not building the most standard crew and Mr. Whistler is anything but Standard" she smiled a casual smile before going straight-faced, "On top of that I don't know what we are going to find in the expanse. His skills may come in handy out there," Vene highly believe in giving everyone a chance. If she remembered correctly almost all of his kills were in defence. Which made her feel a little better.

"Well, you've got your wish. He's been assigned to you as your new Intel Chief. His role has been defined as protection, of the ship, of the service, of the innocent, and to provide intelligence between us and you, if there is much in the man." Lewis said. "It's a broad job description, but as you said, you don't know what you're going to be facing in the expanse. When it comes to ship security, your Sec/Tac is in charge. In anything that Starfleet can't be seen in having a hand in, he's got the job. How you use him, well, that's up to you." Lewis said.

"One more down, 16ish more to go, I think" she smiled referring to the number of officers she had yet to assign, "And understood, Admiral, I will make sure he is...used responsibly,"

"Very well. I'll make sure that is noted. Connelly out." Lewis said, before closing the channel. It was at the same time that Vujanic, on the bridge, had raised an eyebrow when a shuttle had been approaching at a very high speed.

"Vujanic to Vene. We have a shuttle approaching, with a Lieutenant Mark Whistler aboard." Vujanic said. "Knowing you as well as I do, can I assume you were successful in your endeavor to have him assigned here?"

"Well that was fast," she said to herself,

=/\= Yes, But the admirals took the leap for me. I didn't even have to ask for him,=/\= she responded happy she didn't have to do the paper work,

Vujanic nodded. "It seems that, for once, they were thinking like you. Either that, or they felt it would be a punishment. Shall I escort him to meet you?" Vujanic offered.

"Unnecessary, Just inform him once aboard and settled in to report to my office," Vene responded

"Yes ma'am." Vujanic replied, before closing the channel. He then began to follow the order, and hoped that the Commander's instinct for this man would prove right.


Commander Vene
Commanding Officer
Lt. Mark Whistler
Intel Chief.
Playing NPCs: Admiral Lewis Connelly & Vujanic
Coming aboard Commander Vene's Quarters Several Days before launch
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As Mark's shuttle landed, he looked at the landing bay through the cockpit of his shuttle and stood up. As he picked up his bag, he checked his curved daggers, which were in his belt, as well as his outfit. He wasn't wearing an uniform and wouldn't wear one unless ordered. He preferred to be comfortable in his like of work. Instead, he was wearing a black t-shirt and black trousers, which were tight enough to allow him full movement. He knew he would be, however.

As he stepped onto the ship, he looked around, and, having received the message from the bridge about reporting in when he was settled, he exited the shuttle bay. "Computer, locate Commander Vene." He said, his deep voice carrying across the shuttle bay, causing a couple of officers to turn and look for the source of the deep voice.

"Commander Vene is in her quarters," The Computer replied. Mark ordered the computer to lead him there, and as he reached the room, he pressed the button, alerting her to his presence.

"Really," Commander Vene said out loud, "Two more pages, two more. I should have shut down the lifts," she said as she set down the book and walk to the door,

"Ah, Lt. Whistler," she said with a smile as the door opened, "Please come in and excuse the mess. I haven't unpacked yet," She was hoping this was Lt. Whistler, he was the person she was expecting and well, he surely fit the description.

Vene turned and moved to her desk,"Please have a seat," She gestured at the chair on the other side of the desk, "Can I get you anything, a drink? Snack?"

Mark ignored the mess and shook his head. "No, thank you." He said. He was already impressed; the Commander was smiling, and not upset or angry to see him. It was a better start than he was expected. "I was told to report aboard as your Chief Intelligence Officer. Permission to speak freely?" He asked.

"When in private Lt. I feel everyone should always have the right to speak freely. As long as it doesn't ruin my mood. Which at the moment is good. So let it out,"

Mark nodded. "I know I'm not the ideal officer, but I've had my job role defined in a very broad sense. I generally don't wear a uniform unless I have to, as it tends to restrict movement, and it's not very comfortable. I don't know what size an office I'm being given, but I'd like to make some changes. Specifically, I need a small area for an interrogation room, a brig, and a small holodeck. Nothing fancy, just enough for training. I take my job very seriously." He explained.

Vene smile vanished she hated when she had to be a real CO, "You will be wearing an uniform while on this ship. While on assignments that is another story. There is one holodeck on this ship so you will have to make do as everyone else does. You will not be doing anything on this ship to anyone without my express permission. Plausible deniability is something I don't believe in. If you need to use the brig without others knowing, I will ensure you the brig will be secure and site to site transporters may be used," she said bluntly and stern, "Let me make something very clear right now, Lt. This is my ship and I want you here to do your job. You provide a service I may need, but that does not make you special. Do I make myself clear?"

Mark smiled and let out a chuckle. "You know, I wasn't sure how I'd fit in around here." He said. "I apologize, I always say the same thing on any ship I'm on. It's sort of a way to gauge who I'm serving under. You would be surprised how many people actually say yes, just to placate me." Mark said. "If you don't believe in plausible deniability, then I will keep you informed on everything. My methods...well, I usually have a don't ask, don't tell method, unless you feel you have to know. Most people don't." He said.

Vene looked at him for a moment. Not sure what to make of the man now that she had met him, "Lt. I want you to do your job. What that job is will vary greatly and I know that," she spoke in a softer tone now,"Your methods are your art work and if you wish to keep your art private, very well,"

She took a breath and put back on a smile, "Now let's move to a lighter note. Have you had a chance to look up on the Erebus expanse?"

Mark nodded. "Looked up what information Starfleet has, most of which is out of date and from external sources. The problem we're facing at the moment is because the information is out of date, we don't really have anything reliable. I've taken down a few...unsavory characters that claim that the expanse is used as a black market area, and the sort of scum I grew up fighting on Turalek. That was, I believe, why they assigned me to your ship. I know you're an El-Aurian, so in all your travels, have you ever been on planets with no law? With the scum able to do anything they want to?" He asked.

"Not long after my 100th birthday, I started a little merchant business. I used it as an excuse to interact with new races," Her eyes moved to the corners as she tried to remember the details,"I did that for oh 60 years or so, something like that. At any rate during that time I came across my fair share of unsavory people and locations. But Complete lawlessness no, honor and code systems yes. To the untrained they can appear similar but there are not. And in all honesty those planets that followed a personal honor and code system had the best trade and as long as you were respectful you didn't die," she grinned, "But to get to, what I think is the point of your question, I have interacted with shady people at shady places but have found most places have some form of law, even if it's not official,"

"Then you're lucky. Going into the expanse, everything you may know about civilization, everything you know about may as well count for nothing. I first took a life when I was five years old. On Turalek, there was only one law: survival. The government had collapsed years ago, and there was nothing but gangs who ruled themselves, and cared nothing about rules or law. Kids were killed or would kill. That's also why I'm here. Because there will be some hard choices to make. There will come a time when you will be faced with a choice you don't want to make. If anyone can do it, you can, but if you find the choice too difficult...then I can take that action if I must. That isn't a challenge for command or anything, but it is an offer. I'm going to hell for the lives I've taken, and if I can help keep this crew's moral compass's intact, then I will do what I must. I am, after all, a murderer, as Admiral Connelly and others believe." He said.

"My adoptive father, Scourge, he said everyone has their own code to live by, Mine is family. I will protect those within my family, including this crew, no matter what." He added.

Vene knew his record, she had read all of it, along with the Starfleet psyche reports on the man. She knew what she was getting into having him aboard, "I put in this job to make all of those choices, and with respect you are here as a tool to ensure my decisions are followed out. A murderer, to my people, is a person who kills for no other reason than to kill. If that is you, then you are relieved and get off my ship. Otherwise, welcome aboard and I suggest you begin gathering data on the Breen. I would say the expanse too, but I know there is not much to gather,"

Mark nodded. "I'll begin right away. I've already gathered all of the information Starfleet has, but I have, shall we say, contacts who are getting more information for me. I've also gathered information on suspected Orion Syndicate cells and other terrorist groups that might pass this way. Just because we've not been here, doesn't mean others haven't." He said. "And thank you, Commander. Not many people take that view of me. Most see me as a cold-blooded killer, but I've never taken a life I didn't have to." He said.

"Your Welcome. Now, After our shakedown cruise I plan on having a full meeting with the senior staff about all potential issues in the expanse. So you have some time to pull your information together," She really did not like talking about him killing people and chose to ignore his comments. On her mind now was the mission at hand. She knew his past and didn't need to be reminded of it.

Mark nodded. "I'll have as full a briefing as I can ready for you. I'm expecting a courier within the next twenty-four hours who will have as much data as we can get from other species. I've made some deals to get the information because I hate going anywhere blind." He said. "I'd like to recommend that we stock as much as we can for trade purposes, such as Romulan Ale, Gold Latinum, anything we can get our hands on. Trading will be a very valuable commodity in the Expanse." He suggested.

"I already plan on it, Hopefully, our science officer can help me with that," she said with a smile, "Any questions you have for me?"

"None so far. If I do, you'll be the first to know. I would like to suggest that you get items like biomimetic gel, not enough for trade, but enough to give the appearance of it. We can make a synthetic version which can't be used for weapons, but if we want to make an impact, we'll need as much value as we can. If you like, I might also be able to...acquire a cloaking device. Hiding will be another valuable skill." He said.

"We are going in for first contact and scientific surveys. Dealing with shady people may be required for that but that is our primary mission. Cloaking can comprise our credibility, on top of being illegal,"

Mark nodded. "Fair enough." He said. He would have liked one, but then, as Vene said, it would compromise their credibility. "Have you got any questions you'd like to ask of me?" He asked.

"I think I know all I need to," She stated standing up and moving to the door, "Unless there is anything else, I would love to finish this book today,"

"Of course ma'am. I'll see you at the briefing." Mark said, with a nod, before turning and leaving the Commander to her book. He had a feeling he would do okay on this ship, but now the next question was would the rest of the crew accept him? Only time would tell.

Commander Vene
Commanding Officer
USS Islandica


Lt. Mark Whistler
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Islandica

One Small step for an Enlisted man... Armory-Ready Room A few Days before launch.
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=/\= Armory

"Zev!" Lieutenant St James called.

You would think that he would have jumped, banging his head against the torpedo casing under which he'd been working, but that was not the case.

Zev was a Ferengi, you see. Everyone knew he was a Ferengi, just as they knew he wasn't your typical Ferengi. That must've been why they forgot that he could still hear like a Ferengi. For instance, Lieutenant James St James--he had just received a call from the Bridge. The excitement in his voice when answering the call indicated that he thought this was it! He was being called to the Bridge to be named the Chief of Security for his 'expert' handling of the Security and Tactical department’s installation. He really hadn't done much, but anyone reading his reports would think he had.

Because he wasn't an impolite eavesdropper, Zev chose not to hear what the Bridge had called to tell him, but the change in St James' tone told the Ferengi all he needed to know.

"Sir?" Zev replied, poking his head from beneath the torpedo casing.

James glanced around, as if making sure that no one was watching him as he crossed the bay with quick steps and kneeled in close to whisper what he had to say next. Zev felt no need to mention that he could have whispered whatever it was he had to say from where he'd been standing before he rushed over. Zev would have heard it, clear as a bell. "The Captain wants to see you in her Ready Room! What did you do!?"

Lieutenant St James' shock and fear were contagious, as the Ferengi's entire body tensed. "NOTHING!" Zev hissed, surreptitiously, now glancing around to make sure no one would overhear them. "Yeah, I've hit the bars and forgotten the details of the evening a couple times in the not-so-distant past, but beyond that... Everything to do with the department went through you."

"Well, yeah," James replied, almost as if it would be foolish to think otherwise.

It was.

This kid was as green as the metaphorical grass on the metaphorical other side, but insisted that everything with enough room left on the page for his stamp of approval was reviewed by him personally, and summarily stamped.

Zev wasn't the senior-most NCO on Dry Dock's side of the Sec/Tac Setup, but he'd proven invaluable to the easily flustered Terran. After months working together, James St James wouldn't put his stamp of approval on anything before a nod approval from the resident Ferengi.

"You should probably get up there."

"Yeah," Zev replied, pushing himself from beneath the torpedo and coming to his feet. "I guess so..."

=/\= Ready Room

Zev was proud of the work he did. So proud, in fact, that as his duties took their toll on his overall appearance throughout the day, he wore those stains, tears, burns and holes like badges of honor. If his uniform was clean and pressed at the end of the day, he obviously hadn't worked hard enough.

As a Petty Officer--senior though he may be--assigned to a Starbase, it was rare that he had to interact with anyone ranked above Lieutenant JG at best, and there was an Ensign-to-Chief-Petty-Officer buffer between Zev and the nearest Lieutenant. In the event that Lieutenant So-and-so had to interact with 'Crewman' Zev face-to-face, the last thing on their mind was his appearance.

So, upon being granted permission, the 5'5" Ferengi stepped cautiously into the Captain's Ready Room, looking anything other than ready to report for duty. His sleeves were rolled up, and jacket completely unzipped. A tool belt hung 'round his waist, and a thigh-holster for his favorite phaser clung to his... well, thigh. Despite the state of his garments--various coolants, lubricants, and unknown phenomena had stained his uniform over the course of the day--his posture was impeccable.

Clearing his throat before coming to full attention, he didn't even glance at the person he was addressing before announcing himself: "Petty Officer, First Class Zev, reporting as ordered, sir," just as he'd been trained.

Commander Vene looked the crewmen up and down taking note of every stain and rip on his uniform. She knew at that moment she had made the right choice. This man knew how to work and that is what she wanted.

"At ease, Always at ease. Unless there is an admiral around. Then well, Attention it is," she said with a smile, "Please have seat Petty officer and you have permission to speak freely while you are here, " Vene stated

"Thank you, sir... ma'am... Command--err--Captain," Zev stammered as he took the offered seat. Though he wanted nothing more than to say something along the lines of "I'd prefer to stand," due to the fact that it was a more actionable stance should an unexpected threat or crisis arrive, his people skills told him that sitting would be the best choice in this instance.

"I called you up here Mr..." she paused and looked down at her padd as if needed to remember his name, "Mr. Zev, Because your name keeps appearing on almost ever the reports I am getting from Sec/Tac Setup. From the access logs it looks like you have been in almost every tactical system of this ship in the last week," she paused for dramatic effect, "Do you care to explain to me why that is?"

Vene wasn't sure how good her acting was, but she wanted to have a little fun with the man before giving him the good news. Or what she thought would be good news, he could always reject the offer.

"Certainly," Zev replied, nodding casually as his mind raced. How was he supposed to explain that his direct superior was fresh out of the Academy, and had fouled things up on more than one occasion, on any given day, while at the same time not sounding like non-commissioned know-it-all? Word on the street was that Lieutenant St James was selected as manager of the installation project because he was being vetted for the top spot on the newly-minted Islandica's Security & Tactical roster.

After having spent the majority of that time helping James out with the day-to-day of an actual posting, Zev had proven himself invaluable to the young officer. If his personal history were any indication, this meant that once he got his promotion, Lt St James would call up his old Academy Basket Weaving Team (or whatever) and give them all the best spots that they were qualified for. Zev, of course, would be along for the ride, with a nebulous title that kept him on St James' hip in case the Lieutenant had any questions.

{I really should have just gone for a full commission...} his subconscious interrupted as he carefully crafted his response.

"There were a number of 'hiccups' that occurred during the installation and integration of some systems with the newer technologies employed upon your ship," Zev began. The problems were that Lieutenant St James ordered a diagnostic during a targeting systems check, or left a hatch open during launch sequencing test.

"... Not to mention the many hands involved in the installation of said systems and technologies." This was also true. Zev, for instance, was assigned to the Starbase. He didn't know where St James came from, but it wasn't any of his business as St James was his superior officer. Point is: one disorganized person in a position of authority over a large group of diverse personnel had proven... challenging.

"I happened to be working some Gamma Shift rotations, and one of my responsibilities is to go over the day's logs, which also may require verification of certain notes and action-items from the day before." A simple "I work graveyard, and was cleaning up after the day and evening shifts" would have sufficed, but it would also have been a lie. Zev had been working extra hours to ensure that everything was completed on schedule.

"So, I guess what you're seeing is that I was just logging in to make minor adjustments, verify readings, that sort of thing. Nothing nefarious, I assure you," Zev concluded, offering his best, most genuine, snaggle-fanged grin. His heart was in the right place, but his smile was known to frighten canines and children under the age of three (who'd never seen a Ferengi, Klingon, Gorn, etc...)

Commander Vene smiled. This was a smart kid and she knew it. "Lt. Commander Jones, who I believe is...," she looked down at her padd for she really didn't remember the name this time,"Lt. St James superior officer, has informed me otherwise. I have been told that you have been working extra shifts to cover the Lieutenants ass. In fact, the logs state that you have clocked more over time than anyone on your team."

The commander did wonder why this young enlisted officer would do this. Everything would fall on the Lieutenant if anything went bad. There was no motive besides maybe loyalty that Vene could think of.

{Busted} Zev thought, tensing slightly.

"Now Normally I wouldn't have cared that much. You are not under my command and once we leave dry dock I very well may never see you again. But I have yet to assign a Chief Security and Tactical officer on this ship which made me dig a little deeper," She took a sip of the tea on her desk,

"It turns out that you are pretty good at taking care of the greenhorns placed above you. It is a talent, which we have noticed," she smiled, "Which is why I want to offer you a position aboard my ship. We in command may not always show it," boy was that an understatement, "But we know it is the enlisted personnel that hold this fleet together. Which is why I want to offer you the opportunity to be my Chief of security and tactical Officer," she paused to give him a moment to take that said in.

"Now, if you don't feel up to the job I do have other candidates. They may not be nearly as devoted to the job as you, but they are....acceptable and skilled. Now there is no need to say yes or no right now. If you want to take some time to think about this you are more than welcome to, just say so, " She took a sip of her tea and waited.

"Oh," he sighed, visibly relieved. "Well, it would make my father proud, mother worry, and the Lieutenant disappointed, but I guess I could give it a shot until you fire me or find someone better." He knew the grand majority of what his duties would entail, but this would be a significant upgrade to his security clearance. "I guess the transfer paperwork would be handled on your end, and it should be easy enough to move my stuff as we're currently moored here..." Zev tilted his head as he considered what else would need to be taken care of. While the Starbase CO and CSec would be notified of the transfer once Vene send the forms through, he figured that he should talk with them personally. "It's a bit unusual, though not unheard of," he added, referring to a Petty Officer leading a department while still thinking aloud.

"It is a bit unusual and I have already submitted the paperwork," she said with a smile. If he would have said no that would have been another hour of paperwork to cancel the other paperwork, so she was relieved he said yes, "And as of about," she paused and looked at the clock, "27 min. ago you have been working out of uniform, Chief Petty Officer Zev," she said with a smile standing and coming around the desk with his new Pip in her hand,

Zev stood and came to attention doing his best to contain his excitement, which was tinged with a bit of anxiety at this new chapter in his life. There was going to be quite a bit to celebrate at karaoke tonight! As of this moment--well, 27 minutes ago, apparently--he was one of the few enlisted men who'd become a Senior Officer aboard a Starship. Even more unique: he wasn't filling in for someone who'd been seriously injured if not killed, but selected from a pool of officers. Not Petty officers, officer-officers. The sobering realization that Lieutenant St James would be crushed was what allowed him to keep a straight face--otherwise, his nightmare-inducing grin would have been a permanent fixture for hours to come.

"Along with the position of CSTO you will also be the highest ranking Enlisted officer aboard. As I am sure you are aware that makes you the Chief of Boat. A position I hope you don't take on too lightly," She removed him Petty officer Pip and replaced it with the CPO one.

The Ferengi's jaw dropped for a moment, but he quickly recovered. Chief of the Boat was a huge responsibility, and though he wasn't the spring chicken he had been when he'd joined Starfleet 7 years ago, most Chiefs had served 15 - 20 years before earning that position.

"I don't think that's possible," he replied. "Thank you, Captain, I'm honored... I honestly don't know what to say." This was true; he really didn't.

"You have Earned it Chief Petty Officer Zev," she said with a grin like no other, this was the best part of the job, for sure, "You don't need to say anything, but I would like you to think about who you want under you. As Chief, you have the honor of filling your department if you so wish and if you can get approval of current COs. Any positions you don't personally fill Command will,"

"Unless you have any questions for me. You are dismissed and are to report to your station at 0800 tomorrow. Untill then enjoy. And if you do shots, take one for me," She winked
Untimely Arrival Shuttlebay About to launch
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Engines thrummed as the shuttle began to slow, coming in to dock in the Shuttlebay. Theodore Mott looked down at his watch, and tried to keep his composure. He had arrived on the ship late. Very late, in fact, as the ship seemed to be going through final checks before departure. He looked down at his antique watch. The watch's time was wrong of course, it had been invented before the need for UFP solar years, but the ticking helped to keep him calm.

"Excellent flying..." Theodore looked for a name tag on his shuttle pilot, but couldn't immediately see one. "...pilot. Are we safe for departure?"

The pilot shut down the craft, and stood up. "Yes sir. Welcome to the USS Islandica."

Theodore gave him a sharp nod, then grabbed his luggage, a small bag of clothes and personal effects, and the large wheeled case of his tuba. Stepping off the shuttle, he was at first surprised to see no welcoming party, but then remembered that he hadn't managed to give an arrival time, due to the nature of his delays. He let out an awkward little cough, then proceeded to walk to his quarters. As he walked into the ship proper, he adjusted his stance to what he called his 'command walking.' Looking like he knew exactly what he was doing, where he was going, and would arrive at exactly the proper time. The reality, of course, was that he was already lost, very late, and hadn't even learned half the systems on this ship. After walking around lost for a couple minutes, he realized that there was nobody else around.

"Computer, direct me to the Executive Officer's quarters." Theodore said aloud in the empty hallway. If he had learned anything during his many years of service in Starfleet, it was that there was always a computer terminal system around somewhere. Sure enough, a terminal on the wall changed to show a deck map of the ship, with his quarters highlighted. After studying the map for a moment, he switched the terminal back to default, and walked to the turbo lift. He still ran into nobody on the walk to his quarters, which was beginning to become very disconcerting. Had he actually arrived before everyone else? Had he been given the wrong assignment? Was he in fact on the wrong ship? He stepped into his room, and set down his luggage, propping his tuba case up against a wall. He headed almost immediately to his personal terminal, and checked his status aboard the ship. 'Executive Officer, Theodore Mott' showed on the terminal, so he was definitely in the right place. He leaned back in his chair, and relaxed.

Theodore's relaxation was broken about two seconds later by his terminal beeping. He groaned and looked at the display, which had an urgent message alert. He wasn't sure what to expect from the alert, but it would probably explain why nobody was around. He opened the message, and read the contents.

"Commissioning Ceremony of the USS Islandica will be taking place at 1700 Hours in cargo bay one. Attendance is mandatory for all crew members of the USS Islandica. Dress Uniforms are to be worn. Crew members should arrive no later than 1650 hours. Seating for Senior staff members will be in front. All other crew members are to stand by rank due to lack of space.

All on-duty officers will be relieved by Drydock personnel at 1630 hours. "

Theodore looked at the message for a moment, never imagining that such a simple and standard mission could instill so much dread in him. He looked down at the clock at the corner of the terminal. The time on board the ship was 1725. Theodore jumped out of his seat, and dashed to his mirror. As he feared, he looked haggard, with bags under his eyes and his dress uniform wrinkled from long hours in shuttle transit. He quickly splashed some water on his face and smoothed out the wrinkles in his uniform the best he could, then took a moment to compose himself before rushing out his door, assuming his 'Command Emergency' posture.
Saying Goodbye to the old girl. USS Curie A few days ago
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Engineering was quiet. The usual hustle and bustle of the engineering department was now muted as they waited for the official engineering team from Utopia Planitia to come and finish the remaining shut down. In preparation, the reactor had been shut down, all reactions were stopped and the pulsing heart of the ship sat unnaturally quiet.

Jacob Thortin was leaning against a column in the reactor area. In his hand he held a plastic bottle filled with a clear liquid as he stared at the heart of the Curie. It had been a long three years since he was transferred here. And while the Curie's mission was not exactly simple, he always took heart that he could enter the engineering department and hear her warp core's pulsing heartbeat.

"It's never this quiet is it?" Came a gruff voice from behind him. "And when it is, there is something wrong with her."

Jacob didn't turn, the voice of Captain Aaron Flynn was easily recognizable to his crew.

"She never stopped. Not once." Jacob nodded as he took a sip from his bottle. "And we have to say good bye."

Flynn approached and leaned against another column staring up at the reactor as well.

"Too true." He nodded. "But there are always new horizons, new missions and new ships." He said with a slight sigh.

"Have we been assigned a new ship?" Jacob asked, finally turning to look at Flynn.

"We have in fact." Flynn nodded. "The USS Hiryuu, a newly launched Galaxy class."

"Galaxy class?" Jacob asked with a slight wince. "That's one big ship. It'll take engineering at least six months to get all the bugs out."

"You're not going." Flynn said simply. The words cut through Jacob like a knife and he paused slightly before speaking once more.

"I..I'm not?" He asked. "Why not?"

"You've been transferred to the USS Islandica as their Chief Engineering Officer. Effective immediately." Flynn informed him, removing a PADD from his pocket.

"USS Islandica?" Jacob blinked before taking the PADD from Flynn. "Diligent class? That's a...small ship."

"Fresh out of Utopia Planitia Mars I'm told." Flynn nodded. "But at least you won't need six months."

Jacob sighed softly, blacking the PADD and sliding it into his pocket for later reading. "Is there no way to stay with this crew sir?" He asked looking back up.

"Son, you're a great engineer. Starfleet needs more of you manning the reactors of their ships. It would be greedy of me to keep you to myself."

Jacob said nothing. Flynn was paying him a compliment and reassuring him of the transfer, but Jacob felt he had more to learn with the crew. The Captain was an engineer himself and often came down to engineering to assist.

"Well," Jacob said finally. "I should get ready for the transfer."

Flynn nodded, saying nothing.

Jacob stood to his full height and capped the bottle before moving to leave engineer. He paused as he reached Flynn and turned towards him.

"Sir. It was an honor to have served with you." He said.

Flynn smiled and nodded, holding out a hand.

"The honor was mine son."
Reporting for duty Ready room 2 Days Before Launch
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Joseph nodded to the shuttle pilot who had flown him aboard finally saying his first words "thank you", before stepping out onto the ship. Seeing one of the ships security officers present he formally asked "permission to come aboard sir?" And waited for the granted permission before stepping onto the ships deck.

Once he was aboard and out of the shuttle bay he asked the computer to lead him to his quarters.

Walking briskly he followed the directions and quickly got himself settled in. His few personal belongings were set up and he set his personal security code in the door before leaving.

In the corridor he asked the computer to locate the captain for him. "The Captain is in her ready room."

Joseph decided to pull up a map on the wall panel near him to look up where to go, even talking to computers made him feel awkward. At least reporting for duty should be quick and professional.

He approached the captain's door and paged for entry.

The door chimed, but Vene ignored it for the moment.

"When It gets here It better be alive!" she almost screamed at the comm, "Or Makr'Char will be the next person I call and i hear he just started Skinning his contracts," Vene then ended the Comm. She loved interacting with Klingons, they were almost as fun as the Ferengi.

As she reached to take a sip of water, in an attempt to make her feel better after yelling, Vene remembered the door had rung.

"Enter," she called out wondering how much whoever was on the other side heard,

Unsure of exactly how much the captain had been told about his "training" at Starfleet Joseph decided to not let on that he had heard; but filed that sentence away for later examination.

He entered the captain's ready room and stopped just inside the door coming to rigid attention. "2Lt Jospeh Myomoto reporting for duty!" He was somewhat relaxed, for him, since he knew this wouldn't be long and he could repeat this with other superiors and get to work.

While waiting for the response he took in what he could of the room without moving his eyes trying to get a feel for his captain without actually speaking with her too much.

"At ease, Marine," she ordered, "I am so tired of saying that. Please have a seat," Vene gestured to the chair across from her,

"Can I get you a drink? or snack?" she asked turning to the replicator.

Joseph politely responded "Just a cold green tea please," and half marched to the chair. Remembering the at ease order he tried to look at ease in his chair, and he was fairly sure he failed.

"It is an honor to be assigned to your ship ma'am. I look forward to serving to the best of my abilities." He again tried to sound relaxed but it still came out clipped, and formal. Sighing inwardly he mentally apologized to the admiral.

As Vene handed him his glass of tea, she smiled, "Relax, I'm not the ships Doctor, I'm not going to bite. Just tell me what you think your job is going to be here,"

"Ma'am my primary concern will be the safety and security of the ship and its crew. When we reach a new region or planet I will work with the Intel chief in gathering intel so as to compile a situation report and threat assessment for you. My overall mission, as you have been briefed ma'am, is to compile an overall threat assessment of the expense for Starfleet command... and of course any other duties you would deem to be my responsibility."

That being practically a speech for him Joseph took a moment to conceal his discomfort by taking a sip from his drink. His eyebrows raised in surprise and a surprised "mmm!" Escaped his mouth and he flushed slightly. "Sorry... it's quite good" he muttered smiling a little.

"Glad you enjoy it, the computer worked hard to make it," she joked, "So, I feel we are on the same page. You will be splitting your time between Intel and Security respectively. I will also be welcoming you into senior staff briefings. For you to complete the best report for Marine command you need to know what is going on,"

"Now have you met with CPO Zev or Lt. Whistler yet?" Vene asked

"Ah no ma'am I have not yet. I had planned on seeing the CTSO next though. I wanted to report to you first and get my position and job nailed down first." He then pulled out a data pad to hand to the captain. "As you probably know I've spent many years undercover as a mercenary bodyguard. Unfortunately, I never did learn much specifically about the expanse, but what I did get was a list of some mercenary outfits and smugglers names who are rumored to use it from time to time. They are all listed on here. And of course my cover identity is still intact should you ever have need of it."

"You didn't learn much because there is not much to learn." she stated taking a look at the Padd before handing it back, "Not much get out about the exspanse. Give these names to Lt. Whistler, have him Compare them to his names. I also want you to work with CPO Zev on our armory, I know we only have 2 days before launch but I want you two to make sure we have everything we might need,"

Vene felt odd being all business with he marine. Maybe his vibe was overriding hers but she didn't like it. Work needed to get done but she normally liked first meetings to be less work.

"Now, tell me about yourself," she asked, "Something that I won't read in your Starfleet record,"

" Ma'am?" He asked in surprise. "I... well. Hmmmm. I guess given current circumstances it would be that I am nervous about this mission." He hesitated a moment and corrected "Well not the mission itself so much as my place..." he growled in frustration, "Even that's not quite right."

"I have flown on, but never served actively on board a Starfleet ship. I really don't know how explain much beyond that ma'am, but does that count?" He finished off in what he hoped was a lighthearted tone.

"It takes a to admit that," she stated in a motherly tone, "You are more than qualified for the position you are holding on this ship. You have been a marine for 15 years. As a matter of fact when I only agreed to you being placed if you got a promotion," she smiled

"So why are you out of uniform 1st Lt.?" she asked sliding him the correct pip across her desk.

"Captain! Thank you so much for this honor! I swear I will do you proud." Joseph finally cracked a smile, in fact it was a grin.

"Actually since you mentioned uniforms I have a request... If I may. Whenever I am on the bridge or in meetings I will of course wear my duty uniform, but I was wondering if, pending my department commanders and your approval, if I may wear my tactical duty uniform. To be honest it is what I find most comfortable."

"You have earned it," Vene stated with a smile, "As for uniform, I am fine with you wearing the field jacket. Tactical Vest and holster no. Those are too much and may make guests unconformable. I myself prefer to wear the overcoat, so I am fine with the variants" she gestured to the long coat hanging next to her door.

"Thank you ma'am." He hesitated a second before continuing, "I hope I don't sound like I am negotiating but away missions... Non-political ones, doing have permission to go full tactical? Or would you rather discuss each individually?"

"The away missions are under full control of the XO. You will have to talk to Lt. Commander Mott about that," Vene wondered about her XO and how he was going to handle away mission. She felt like it was going to be good, or bad, nothing in the middle.

"Sounds like a bridge we will cross when we get to it then ma'am. If that's everything permission to be dismissed and report to the armory?"

"Granted, I will see you at the ceremony tomorrow, 1st Lt." Vene made sure to use his rank just to remind him again he was promoted.
A secret mission?
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Mark, having left the party early, shook his head as he entered his office. He had already made some minor changes to the office, so that they had a small interrogation area, his library and of course the weapons locker on his wall.

As he went to his desk, he saw an alert flashing. As he checked the alert, he sighed. Opening a channel, he saw a shadow on the screen. "I trust you have gotten aboard?" The shadow asked.

"You wouldn't have been able to reach me here if I hadn't." Mark pointed out, fighting the urge to put his head in his hands. Some people really had no clue.

"Lieutenant, you have an important mission aboard that ship. I worked hard to get you there." The shadow said.

"I doubt it. The Captain was glad to have me aboard." Mark said. "Look, I'm here, and I will complete my mission. But I'll do it in my way, my manner, and I will get the results. In the meantime, stop hassling me or someone will get suspicious about the number of secure messages I send and receive." He added, closing the channel. He sighed as he leant back in his chair.

"I hate being a spy sometimes." Mark said, as he sighed.
Ceremonies are over rated, Lets Party USS Islandica Cargo bay Day Before Launch
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Sent to call crew: One day ago:

Commissioning Ceremony of the USS Islandica will be taking place at 1700 Hours in cargo bay one. Attendance is mandatory for all crew members of the USS Islandica. Dress Uniforms are to be worn. Crew members should arrive no later than 1650 hours. Seating for Senior staff members will be in front. All other crew members are to stand by rank due to lack of space.

All on-duty officers will be relieved by Drydock personnel at 1630 hours.


1630 Hours

Commander Vene stood in the empty Cargo bay. She was getting more and more excited to meet all of her crew at once. She had been planning this event in secret for the last week. She was very much hoping the crew enjoyed it as much as she did.

As the time got closer to 1650 Commander Vene started to pace the bay

Mark stepped into the cargo bay and adjusted his dress uniform. He really didn't like the thing; it was uncomfortable. He had tried to modify it without making it obvious, but he had always failed. He wouldn't stop though. He made a note to speak with a tailor at the first chance he got.

"Commander." He greeted as he began to size the room up for potential threats. He doubted there would be any, but he was always careful.

"Lt." she gave him a nod and grin,"you look...comfortable,"

Mark raised an eyebrow. "I hate the uniforms. Not enough protection or weapons in case of an attack. Getting my weapons stowed on my person was a challenge." He commented.

"An unnecessary one as well, The likelihood of getting attacked at this event, is....well low," Vene responded.

"COMMANDER!" a very large man exclaimed. barely wrapped in dress uniform which was clearly begging for mercy, 6 feet, 10.5 inches, and damn near 300 pounds came barreling toward her like a freight train.

"HI!" he exclaimed, grabbing Vene's hand and shaking it vigorously. "Thank you SOOOOO much for this opportunity! Chief Tactical!? Wow! I'll be honest, I was hoping for the gig, but, seriously, wow!"

Mark looked at the exchange. "And yet you never can predict what will happen. I would rather be armed and not need to be, than need to be and not be armed." He explained.

"Or not so low," she replied back to Mark as she regained feeling in her hand,

James chuckled good-naturedly, as if getting a joke that he'd found hilarious. "You guys are hilarious," he commented as something or someone caught his eye. "If you'll excuse me..." he continued, oblivious, moving to another group who he promptly greeted with the same gusto.

"Well, that's something I've never been accused of being before," Mark commented.

"I am pretty sure someone has been drinking," she said with a concerned look, "I am not sure who that was but I am pretty sure it was not the Ferengi I just made Chief of security and tactical,"

Mark nodded, and brought his wrist up. He had his wrist mounted computer, which basically was a glove with a screen and keyboard on it, and boasted a scanning device, which could be used as a lockpick on electronic locks, or even a tricorder. It took him a few moments to call up what he needed.

"That would be Lt. James St. James. Not much on him, but he's in security. Remind me to do a complete work-up on all security personnel." He commented dryly.

"Sounds like a plan," Vene responded moving over to her seat

At 1640 hours the main chunk of the crew started to make its way in. Forming in small clicks, most likely by departments the crew chatted. Waiting to be called to attention.

Dr. Beh'ruken had spent a significant portion of his day with the ship's materials officer and ship's tailor in order to not just simply adjust a dress uniform to his fitting, but to more or less design a dress uniform variant for the Antican physician. Being over seven feet tall tended to have its benefits and it disadvantages. This was an excellent example of a disadvantage, having to have so many uniforms customized to work for him. Dress uniforms were already known to be incredibly irritating and uncomfortable as Beh'ruken knew from the many times that officers who were smaller and more human than him had often complained of them as well. It had taken a couple of hours to get one completed and fitted just right, but in the end, Beh'ruken had his dress uniform and could prepare for the non-sense that was to happen in the starship's Cargo bay.

Having been fitted in his dress uniform, Dr. Beh'ruken maneuvered about the starship and back onto the starbase for a quick bite to eat. Typically, Beh'ruken liked to have Klingon food as it was prepared exactly how he liked it, bloody and raw. Sometimes, he was fortunate to find something alive and kicking or squirming like fresh gagh. However, the spices and seasoning as well as some of the toxicity of some of the Klingon cuisine and beverages were rather upsetting to Beh'ruken's stomach and thus caused some issues that required some indigestion medication. He felt as though it was a better idea that he avoided Klingon food as it would have been insulting to ask a Klingon Chef to be light handed with the spices and seasonings, and also would merit looks of disgust by the Chef and any warrior who overheard such a pathetic requests.

Beh'ruken settled on eating at a small but suitable Ferengi restaurant. The food was average and the service was practically nonexistent. Beh'ruken's heightened sense of hearing had heard commotion in the back of the kitchen. Several voices, all male and rather distinctively Ferengi except for a Yaridian and an Orion. It was some sort of gambling operation, likely nothing sanctioned to be allowed to happen. However, that was not the doctor's problem. He had more pressing matters to concern himself with than tipping of Starfleet authorities on an illegal gambling operation. Finishing his bowl of tube worms and grubs, and washing it down with a Slug O cola, the Antican departed from the table, leaving a modest tip from some latinum he was carrying with him, and made his way back aboard to attend the ceremonial greeting between Captain and crew.

Arriving in time to 'blend' in with a bunch of others who were just entering the Cargo bay, Beh'ruken bowed his head down while entering the bay. He should have figured that he would forever be stuck serving aboard smaller starships like Defiants, Sabers, and Diligents. It would have been nice to blend in with the crew and not be noticed. However, when you re over seven feet tall, have white hair and the facial appearance of a canine-feline mix, there simply is no place to hide or blend in.

He towered over human, and most any species, Klingons included. The best that Beh'ruken could do was look so focused and disinterested in anyone else, that perhaps nobody would approach him or engage him in casual conversation. He looked around at the crew. They mostly all looked to be human, which was not surprising. Though he did note pointed ears of Vulcans or Romulans, some spotted Trills, and a few other species.

All his senses would be on high alert when seeing some of the crew. He was looking for any Saurians and Selay, or any other fish or aquatic like species as Beh'ruken, an Antican, was inclined to find them rather mouth watering. If there were any aboard, he would have to do his best to control himself. There were reasons why Anticans rarely attended Starfleet Academy, but Beh'ruken had been an exception. He had done it and had furthered his education by becoming a medical doctor.

Since accepting his promotion and new assignment, Zev wasn't sure where he was expected to be. This was his first day as a member of the Senior Staff, and while he'd spent plenty of time among Security Chiefs and CoB's, at times like these (ceremonies, banquets, and all that fancy stuff) he was usually either working as a guard or anything to avoid donning his dress uniform; prior to joining Starfleet, he'd always been the caterer.

Having already witnessed Lt St James' exhuberant arrival, the Chief knew that Sec/Tac would be represented--for the time being, the Lieutenant would be serving as Tactical Officer on the Bridge, which would then allow Zev to carry on with internal security and NCO-related matters.

From what he'd observed, the Islandica had a very diverse crew. He'd positioned himself outside the main entrance, overlooking the Security Officers who were verifying credentials of anyone who tried to enter the bay. "Chief, I believe they're ready for you," one of the Security officers informed him after glancing at a chronometer.

Nodding, the diminutive Ferengi adjusted his tool belt--wrapped around his dress uniform, as if he was planning to formally adjust the auto-targeting sensors. "Very good," he replied, turning smartly on his heel and entering the steadily crowding bay area.

Tuning out noise, picking-and-choosing which conversations to hear, and doing all of this without any visible concentration was a skill the Chief had worked on for the majority of his adult life. The first, and most familiar voice he picked up was that of St James, bouncing from group to group introducing himself as the Chief Tactical Officer. Shrugging slightly to himself, Zev figured it was fine--for all intents an purposes he was, for the time being. While Ferengi hearing had it's benefits, one of it's drawbacks was his eyesight--slightly below average when at a distance.

Somewhat embarrassed Joseph realized he was among the last to arrive. Inwardly berating himself he takes a second to adjust his uniform, aware that he was he only marine aboard and wanting to look his best he took the extra care.
Finally ready he walks in with a grace that seemed to belie his large frame. All senses on high alert he looked for his superior, one Lt Whistler. He quickly spots the man and has to hide a smile as he recognized the signs of hidden weapons and his obvious high alert.

"Ok... I can work with this man." He mutters to himself.
Knowing that he had been seen by the man Joseph unobtrusively walks to a section of the cargo bay where he can cover the Commanders and his bosses back and settles in waiting for the ceremony to start.

Jacob entered the cargo bay, his uniform immaculate and freshly pressed. While he was uncomfortable in situations such as this, protocol and orders meant that he would be here no matter what. He took stock of his surroundings, memorizing faces, listening to snippets of conversation and filing them away in his mind for later use.

At 1655 hours the crew started to move into position Organized by rank and position. Vene was standing with her Senior staff watching the crew pull together with a smile on her face. She had always loved the way groups of officers, of any military, moved and worked. It made her feel like there was something bigger than herself.

At 1700 the sound for attention was called and in a second the room was silent. Filled with Pride Vene stepped up to onto a small raised platform.

"At Ease, This is a Good Evening," She stated as if it was a guaranteed fact,"Let me start off by informing all of you that at no time do I want to hear Captain on deck aboard this vessel. I am Captain, yes. But more importantly I am a member of this team and I want you to view me as a fellow team members. Not as someone above you. We are a small crew but together we can do amazing things,"

Attempts to inspire the crew with thoughts of a communal system despite it conflicting with the strict structure required in a ship Jacob thought to himself as he listened.

Vene took a moment for a breath before getting to the part she had been waiting for,"No I hope I do not lose any of your trust when I inform you all that I lied to you all to get you here," She paused as a few whispered could be heard, "The Commissioning Ceremony took place a few days ago. Trust me when I tell you, you missed nothing. It was long and boring. I do not wish to make you endure that. Instead I gathered you all here for another reason,"

Vene looked back at her senior staff to see if she was getting any reactions. Before facing the crew again.

What the hell? Jacob started to frown, but pushed it away. A later date would suffice for this new development.

"As may or may not have noticed there is blue tape going around the outside of the cargo bay. Can I just ask all of you to move behind that tape," The crew looked around for a moment before a few of the older officers started to move. As the whole crew moved Commander Vene continued to talk, "We are about to take part in a mission that may take us away from home for a long time and I know not all of us are From earth but on Earth right now the holidays are in full gear. So I've chosen to have a party,"

She tapped her com badge seeing the middle of the cargo bay cleared, "Vene to Starbase command, engage party," a moment later the room filled with festive lights, tables and food. A large buffet and even live music.

Almost yelling into a mic Vene Continued speaking to the crew, "I attempted to put elements of all holidays celebrated this time of year from all home worlds of this crew. Enjoy, drink, and make friends for tomorrow our adventure begins," Vene then stepped down and in her place a Chrismas tree beamed in.

She then walked over to the area her Senior staff was gathered, "So, who likes Gagh?"

A very wise and mysterious woman from a species that she said were great listeners, had once told Dr. Beh'ruken that there was a saying: 'The best way to a man's heart it through his stomach' and though anatomically speaking, this was not sound logic, reasoning nor good observation in practice. It was, however, a fine saying and it was one that Dr. Beh'Ruken could find some agreement with as his eyes grew wide as though he had been suddenly hypnotized. He long snout link jaw came ajar and he began salivating at the moment the word Gagh had been said.

Klingon cuisine was supreme in the galaxy, or at least it was one of Beh'ruken's favorites. His food back home was also delicious. However, it was not likely that he was going to be allowed to chase after, kill and devour alive Eknara beast. In fact, the likelihood of him being allowed to track and kill anything would be highly improbably save for the holodeck. However, that hunting and tracking would be of a simulated program. Excellent for training missions, but not good for dining. Replicated meat was simply that, replicated. Before coming aboard, Beh'ruken had stocked up on some personal cargo. Of course the Federation and Starfleet would not permit him living animals to kill and consume. However, he was able to acquire some raw meat in proper cooling containers. Additionally, the Dr had brought aboard an assortment of various dried meat from various animals. Humans called it jerky and as disgusting as it was, all dead and dried, it was still appealing as a last minute meal for survival. Thus, Beh'ruken would be sure to arrange certain survival kits and medical kits be stocked with the jerky.

Closing his mouth and licking his lips, Beh'ruken proceeded to “MMMmmm Gagh” said Beh'ruken in a deep guttural voice, gruff and raspy like so many of his species. Though it was quite distinctly unique among the crew. Regardless of how diverse they may have been. Beh'ruken was not likely to see another Antican. “I hope it is still squirming with life and is well seasoned” commented the Antican as he moved around people, not afraid to sort of push the forward, backward, or aside as he made his way to a table with primarily Klingon food items.

His eyes locked onto the large bowl of Gagh, a nice seasoned reddish-brown and squirming with life. The Antican quickly grabbed a smaller but wide bowl and scooped several scoops of Gagh into his bowl. He did not bother sitting nor finding utensils to use. He did not eat so foolishly and 'civilized' like Humans and other species. Beh'ruken nose-dived his snout into the bowl and devoured then Gah, smacking his lips and moaning through the potentially vulgar eating habits of his people.

Although he knew that the commander meant well by what she had done Joseph felt his stomach drop. A presentation he could sit through and even enjoy a little. Mingling was not at all what he had in mind for the evening.
trying to make the best of it Joseph decided to play a little game. He was not a strong profile so he wanted some practice.

He chose an out of the way spot against the wall and started towards it. His path, if noticed by anyone other than those intended to notice, may have seemed erratic. He moved so that the Captain, and his 2 bosses could track him as well as move him near enough a few groups to catch a snip of conversation. He chose one group that seemed the most animated; which coincidentally St. James was a part of, and started to observe.

Vene watched the Doctor chow down the Gagh in amazement. The fact someone was able to eat live worms, because that is what Gagh was, almost made her sick. But happy at the same time because getting the Gagh had not been easy.

As everyone moved and started to enjoy the party Vene noticed her XO walk into the cargo bay. She sighed as she started walking over to him. He was late, which normally would not have bothered her but the whole crew must have noticed.

"Commander?" She stated as more of a question than greeting as she walked up to her XO.

Jacob had prepared himself a small plate of food and had already moved off towards the side of the party. He wasn't comfortable here, but knew he couldn't leave. There was still a lot of work to be done on the Islandica and this party was delaying that work.

Mark couldn't help but roll his eyes as he saw the party. He took a look around, and decided he had better things to do. He had to fill out a few reports, and also had to ensure that one of his prisoners from his last investigation was questioned. He made his way to Commander Vene. "Commander, if you'll excuse me, I'm needed for an interrogation. I need to finish this before we leave dock." He said.

And the Party Continued.
Getting things Organized Main Engineering One Day before Launch
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***Main Engineering***

The doors to main engineering swished open as Jacob stepped off the turbolift still in his dressed uniform. He only had a day to get familiarize himself with the ship's systems and most specifically the ship's warp reactor.

He stepped into the main area with its myriad of consoles as well as the working console table that dominated the center of the room. Beyond and to the left was the entrance way into the main reactor room with her mark IX Warp reactor.

Jacob slowly unbuttoned his jacket and removed it, setting it on a chair nearby as he approached a console.

"Computer. Activate console three. Authorization Thortin Alpha One Three Three Gamma." He ordered as he pulled the chair back and took a seat.

"Authorization accepted." The computer said complying with his orders. In front of him, the console powered up, displaying all system data pertaining to the Islandica. He began reading through the settings left by the Utopia Planitia engineers for both the warp reactor as well as the secondary systems that fed power to the rest of the ship.

They had done good work, ensuring that all EPS and ODN conduits were in top condition and ready for use. The problem was, that since the ship was limited to its time being powered on and off in dock, there was no way to test whether the conduits could handle the flow of power or data that would be going through them. As ship systems could experience drastic changes in the power that runs through them, there was a chance for overloads that Jacob simply did not want to have happen.

The Islandica was part of a series of newer starships that were heavily armed and equipped with large output warp reactors. The system was modeled after the Defiant with plenty of lessons learned by Miles O'Brien. He remembered the lectures that Professor O'Brien had given regarding what he had to do to make the Defiant a workable ship and the list of modifications and adjustments was vast.

Jacob began going through the list of modifications that he would need to make to the Islandica while they were in the Expanse and whatever he could prior to it. Sighing to himself he continued to go through the list of ship's systems before stopping at the ship's shielding system.

He leaned forward towards the console reading the specifications of the system as well as what it was purported to do.

"Interesting." He mused as he continued reading. The system was complicated, more than it needed to be. But then, anything that came out of Daystrom was overly complicated from the technical side. While they were effective and interesting, the systems were prone to malfunction and even errors when used.

Sighing softly to himself he closed the file and powered down the console. He had already began to organize the work he needed to do for at least the next few days. He stood up pushed the chair in before grabbing his jacket and making his way towards the turbolift. He turned and looked back at his work station for the next few years and sighed softly.

So much work to do before everything was the way he wanted it. Turning once more, he tapped to summon the turbolift and stepped in once the doors opened.

"Deck three." He said once the door shut.

The Engineer's new home USS Islandica Two day before departure
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The sounds of the transporter filled transporter room one as Jacob materialized onto the USS Islandica. As the light faded, he blinked slightly to clear his eyes before stepping off the PADD.

"Welcome to the Islandica Lieutenant Thortin." The crewman at the console said with a smile. "Commander Vene is waiting for you in her ready room."

"Ah, thank you." Jacob nodded. He was looking forward to seeing the engineering department first, but knew there was no way out of seeing the captain first.

Adjusting his bag on his shoulder, Jacob made his way out of the transporter room and towards the nearest turbolift. He had memorized the deck by deck layout of the ship. It was simply a matter of using the knowledge to get him where he needed to go.

After a few minutes, Jacob found himself on the bridge. He stepped out of the turbolift as the doors slid open and made his way out before pausing as he took in the design of the bridge. It was a new layout for Starfleet; with tactical and ops to the left and right of the Captain's seat. CONN still sat in the front and center like that of an Intrepid class.

What really caught his eye was the massive MSO display in front of the engineering station. While not unusual to have an engineering console on the bridge, the massive holographic screen provided a large tactical interface for multiple departments to display information.

"Now that's new." Jacob said aloud.

"According to one of the Drydock Engineers it is also sexy," Vene added standing in the doorway of her office with a cup of tea,

Vene had been waiting for her engineer to arrive. He was one of the last officers she had assigned and she felt was one of the most important. The Expanse was going to push the ship to its limits and she wanted to make sure had someone to put it back together when it pushed too hard.

Jacob paused and turned to his right spotting Commander Vene.

"Er, apologies captain. I didn't see you there." Jacob said a little flustered. "Lieutenant Jacob Thortin reporting for duty." He said straightening his posture.

"At ease, always at ease," She stated walking onto the empty bridge, "And no need to Apologize I walked out just after you got off the lift. How was the Ceremony for Curie? I Sadly couldn't make it,"

"It was...bittersweet." Jacob admitted. "The Curie was my home for three years and she Thad pulled through in many difficult situations. It's sad to say goodbye to something like that."

"It very much is," Vene thought back to the selling the vessel her father had given her and how she felt those many years ago, "Hopefully, we will both will feel the same way when we leave the Isandica many years from now," she smiled as ran her hand over a console before moving back to her office door, "Come into my office lets chat and see what needs to get done before launch,"

Vene walked around her desk and took a seat while gesturing for the Lt. to do the same, "So have you had a chance to look over the Islandia's status yet?"

Jacob did as she bade, taking a seat in front of her desk before nodding. "I have. As she is a new ship, there are bound to be a multitude of modifications, debugging and adjustments that will be needed." He said frankly. "I assume we won't be taking her anywhere dangerous for the next few months while we work out the kinks?"

"If by few month you mean few days, then yes," Vene attempted to joke while giving the bad news, "We will be doing a fast shakedown before we head into the expanse. I know it is not ideal," Vene had been an engineer before jumping over to command and felt the pain she just inflicted.

A few days? Alex thought to himself. "I..I see." He said finally. "Although. Captain if you would kindly explain, where are we going? My transfer orders only informed me that I was to be placed here, but not what the mission is for. Perhaps if I knew where it was we were going and what we were to encounter I could prioritize the adjustments?"

"Oh," Vene was surprised she just assumed, which she knew she should never do, that everyone knew "We will be heading into the Erebus expanse an area of uncharted space which borders Breen space. The area is known for being unstable. Spatial anomalies wreck havoc in the expanse. You may have noticed modifications to our shields and sensors. Those are to help us detect and protect us from whatever we come across. The Islandica was made just for this area of space, we are to chart it and maybe find out why it is the way it is."

"I see. And seeing as how Starfleet hasn't really been able to study the expanse until now, information regarding what to expect will be scarce." He nodded. Inwardly he was frowning, this was not the best way to test the ship. "Might I ask captain, why are we in such a rush rather than allowing for proper shakedown of a new vessel?"

Vene face straightened and she put on her command face, oh how she hated her command face, "I know it is not ideal, but you have to trust me. We have three day for a shakedown before we must enter the expanse and I need this ship ready by the end of those three days," Vene braced herself, mentally, for the objections. She knew he was not going to like this.

Jacob thought about the situation for a moment. Not ideal was an understatement. For most engineers this would be nigh impossible due to the scope of what needed to be done.

"I will endeavor to make it work Captain." Jacob nodded. "Though I might need to appropriate people from Operations to speed up the rate of the work." There was his compromise. If the captain was intent on making the rift in three days, he'd do it. He just hoped she knew what she was expecting out of him.

"You will have whatever resources you need. Do you best, that is all I can ever ask," she stated, "Now I am sure you have a lot of things to get to. So unless you have any questions for myself, dismissed,"

"Actually, I do have one question," Jacob said. "Out of all the Chief Engineers in Starfleet why did you choose me for the post?"

Vene grinned, "When I got news of this command I thought long and hard about the crew I wanted to bring aboard. I wanted to find a Senior staff which was...unique," she paused and shook her said, "Not unique in a Bad way but in a way unlike most crews. I chose those who could do the job, but were likely to get passed over for it," She paused again feeling she needed to explain better, "Our Science officer is a Romulan, CSTO Enlisted, Our doctor you will know why when you meet him. Yourself, your young for a chief engineer. I want to give you all the chance to prove it. All of you are Very qualified, but you don't fit that standard model and I hate that Model that COs look for," Vene was unsure how that made her look but she felt her heart was in the right place.

So she likes the oddballs. Jacob thought to himself. "I see." He said finally. "Thank you for the chance to prove myself captain. I won't let you down."

"I am sure you won't" She nodded.
Launch Bridge Mission Day 1 1000 hours
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Vene walked out onto the Bridge, it was time. She had been waiting for the day like a child waiting for Christmas. Each moment it got closer she got more excited. She felt that as long as the ship was in dock it could be taken away.

Vene was also starting to get tired, tired of being in one location. She had been in the Sol System getting ready for her command for almost 6 months, Her natural desire to move was starting to get the better of her.

As she walked out onto the bridge she had a grin almost nothing could remove. Scanning the room and seeing it fully staffed brought chills. Every day she had seen the bridge empty besides an engineer here or there. From this point on it would never be empty.

Taking a seat in the center chair she scanned the room one more time before calling out to all of her bridge officers, "Report, What is our status,"

****Main Engineering****

"I want double checks on the deuterium injectors and make sure that the magnetic fields are optimized for sudden jumps to warp." Jacob called out as he made his way through Main engineering with his checklist. "Amirson! Those plasma manifolds should be checked and double checked for any issue with the modifications we did." He barked towards the young engineer on the second floor.

"Yes sir!" Came the call as he scrambled to follow orders.

Jacob's head was covered in sweat and his sleeves pulled up on his forearms as he finished the preparations for launch. He'd only worked on the ship for the last two days. There was still so much to do.

When he heard the Captain's call over the comm, he sighed to himself before tapping his commbadge.

"Main Engineering to bridge, Warp reactor is working at 80% of maximum capacity. All secondary power sources are charged and impulse engines are reading optimal efficiency. I can't guarantee you shields, but we're good for launch."


Vene glanced over to her XO chair looking for some type of response, but it was empty. The Vulcan who should have been there was not on the ship yet. Not thinking much of it Venes thoughts went back to work.

=/\= If anything changes Keep us Informed and let's keep this channel open, =/\=

****Intel Office****

Mark leant back in his chair, and looked at the information on the screen in front of him. He closed the page with the information, and called up a new screen of facts and figures. "Whistler to Bridge, I've finished downloading all the information Starfleet has on the Expanse, and I've also gotten everything else we might need." He explained.


"We will be having a briefing once at warp, Lt. Lets make sure we are prepared for that," she had not expected a report from her intel officer with him not being on the bridge. But she was he happy was monitoring the situation.


In Sickbay, the Chief Medical Officer had dispatched his medical staff to prepare Sickbay, he wanted everything in a certain order and located in a specific place. If they were intelligent enough, they would learn to keep their lips sealed and work quickly, effectively, and responsibly. Beh'ruken may have not been the Commanding Officer of the starship, but he ran a tight Sickbay as though he were the CO of Sickbay. He did not accept anything but the damn best from any doctor, nurse, or medical technician beneath him.

Having taken a seat at his desk, the Chief Medical Officer began looking over the medical reports of the Islandica's crew. He wanted to ensure that everything was up to date. There were several different species aboard this starship and sometimes, that meant that some species were susceptible to certain diseases that other species brought aboard or were naturally immune to.

Opening a communications channel to the Bridge, the Chief Medical Officer checked in. "Dr. Beh'ruken to the Bridge. We are settling in down here in Sickbay. I am presently looking into medical records of several crew members" said the Antican male. "We will be here should our services be required" added Beh'ruken.

=/\= Hopefully, you are just along for the view Doctor,=/\= Vene responded


Myomoto had just finished his rounds inspecting the security teams positioned around the ship. The guards at engineering am the bridge he was particularly happy with. They were checking everyone going in and out. No matter what. No one would be where they weren't supposed to be for the launch.

After verifying that internal sensors and security over rides/lockouts were working he reported to Zev at Tactical on the bridge.

=^=Myomoto to Zev, security reports ready. All teams in position and internal security systems all read green sir. =^=


"Sweet deal," Zev replied at a whisper with a brief nod, as he pressed some superficial buttons, and glanced around the Bridge. He wasn't used to being up here. He didn't want to be up here. The person he'd selected to be up here was like a wide-eyed puppy, sniffing around their kennel, and considering his responsibilities he couldn't leave that guy to answer if and when the captain said--

"Tactical, Report," Vene asked looking at the middle-aged, at least Ferengi. Going through the checklist kinda bored Vene but it built suspense for launch, which she liked.

"Targeting systems!"--'the Puppy' barked before Zev could reply, "Check!"--right into Zev's ear.

As the 5'5" Ferengi strategically removed himself from the auditory line of fire, Lieutenant James 'The Puppy' St James continued. "Guidance and FTL torpedo navigation! Check!" What followed was a listing of all major tactical systems, with an equally enthusastic "Check."

"All Tactical and Security systems report ready, Captain," Zev stated, moving to take a position toward the Captain's left.

With Myomoto running Security, and St James at Tactical, the best place for The Chief to assess the overall situation for all Security, Tactical, and Enlisted personnel was slightly adjacent to the Captain, but out of her way, but still close enough to chime in.

Vene eyed the Lt. at tactical and then the Ferengi. This was very unconventional and Vene wasn't sure what to make of it. Did the CPO make the drunk Lt. who approached her at the Party lead tactical officer? Maybe the CPO didn't know tactical? She wasn't sure but made a mental note to find out what was going on. Maybe she would have her XO handle it when she got aboard,

"Thank you, Lt. and CPO," Vene started keeping her thoughts to herself, "Helm?"

"Confirmed that all navigation and propulsion systems are up to date." Lieutenant Alran Vas said at the CONN. His hands moved across the console as he brought up a readout for everything from thrusters to the impulse and warp drives. "Docking command is waiting for our all ready before giving us the go a head to disembark captain."

"Clear all mornings, Detach umbilical cords, Helm bring thrusters to standby," Vene ordered leaning forward,

=/\= USS Islandica to Docking Command, Requesting permission to undock,=/\=

=/\= USS Islandica you are clear for departure, God speed,=/\=

"Mr. Vas take out full thrusters, straight and steady," Vene ordered.

Arlan raised a brow at the order for full thrusters. So much for standard procedure. He thought to himself as he entered the commands.

"Thrusters on full, aye." He called out as he maneuvered the ship out of the dock.

As the Conn engaged thrusters the small diligent class ship with 125 souls aboard sailed out of Drydock. Under her own power, the small vessel was lit up proud. She was not free to take on all the adventures ahead.

"Engineering we are going to test out the impulse before heading to warp, Stand by. Mr. Vas, let's give those in drydock a show. Permission to do a flyby and show off," Vene ordered. Doing a flyby of the drydock was a tradition Vene always hoped would catch on, It never did.

=^=Bridge, Engineering. Understood. Impulse engines are ready.=^= Jacob's deep baritone voice boomed over the comm.

"With pleasure sir." Arlan said with a grin as he brought the impulse engines online and began acceleration. The small craft began to move more quickly as the impulse engines began to generate a miniature warp field to reduce the ship's mass for increased speeds. The Islandica began to create a distance between herself and the Dry Dock before he turned the ship around towards the dock itself. It glided smoothly through space, her engines eventually coming to full power as she glided by the massive structure of drydock.

"Very nice Lt. I hope we made some hearts race. Now bring us about and set course for the expanse. Let's start off nice and Easy for engineering, Warp 2. Execute," The CO ordered,

"Warp two, aye captain." Arlan nodded as he set the coordinates and prepared the ship for warp.

***Main Engineering***

Jacob stood in the reactor room, a PADD in hand as he monitored the state of the engines, especially the warp reactor. He could hear the gentle thrumming of the reactor increase in tempo as the ship prepared for its initial jump into warp. Looking down, he watched the readout as the system went through the millions of checks and confirmations before the warp field would be envelope the ship to take it into faster than light speeds.

***Main Bridge***

As Arlan tapped the execute key for the ship to enter warp, there was a slight stuttering of the lights on his console. His hand paused slightly, blinking at it.

"What the..?

***Main Engineering***

Jacob frowned as the power suddenly dimmed in Main Engineering. He could already tell what went wrong and what the cause was. Sighing to himself, he tapped his commbadge.

"Thortin to Bridge. I think we might have ruptured a few of the EPS conduits from the reactor to various systems due to the sudden influx of energy for warp travel." He scowled. "I'll have a team repairing it immediately."

Vene just sighed as the ship failed to go to warp. She knew there were going to be issues but she had hoped to at least get out of the Sol system first, this was just embarrassing, =/\= Get it Repaired Lt. and Let me know when we can go to warp. We have a schedule I'd like to try to keep,=/\= Vene had been an engineer herself and knew the pressures. But now she also knew the pressures of being a CO and why the push engineers the way they do. She still didn't like it, but she understood it.

"Understood, Thortin out." Jacob said tapping the commbadge and turning towards the engineers waiting behind him.

"Teams one and two scour every system and subsystem and find me that deficient EPS conduit. Get it replaced and reinforced. I will not have another issue such as this again. Understood?"

"Yes sir!" The teams said as they scrambled to get to work.

Jacob's frown didn't fade as he turned to look at the reactor.

"Repairs on the fly." He muttered to himself. "What do they think I am? A miracle worker?" He slid the PADD into a pocket and grabbed a toolkit before heading out of Main Engineering to assist with locating and repairing the faulty EPS conduit. This was what he feared the most; a new ship with all the issues of a new ship.

***Main Bridge***

"Captain, we're being hailed by an approaching runabout." The OPS officer spoke up. "They are requesting permission to dock."

Vene looked the Ops officer a little surprised. The ship should have been at warp, why would a runabout be on approach, "Grant them permission to approach, and find out who is aboard," Vene ordered as her mind raced. This couldn't be because they failed to go to warp. Could it?

After a short moment, the OPS officer looked back at Vene. "They say they are delivering our missing Executive Officer."

Vene sighed in relief, "Grant them permission to dock and have the Commander come to my office once aboard," Vene ordered while standing "Mr Zev, you have the bridge, bring us to warp once capable,"

"Seriously?" The Chief replied, making no attempt to hide his own surprise.

Vene stopped halfway into the ready room, turned and spoke, "Senior Staff meeting 0100 hours," before entering.

"Alright then..." Zev sighed, nodding his head lightly as he glanced around at the officers staring expectantly at him. "You heard the Captain!" he snapped, his demeanor changing. "Helm, Engineering - we're gonna look like losers if we're stalled out in the parking lot. Grab whoever you need and get it together!"


Myomoto had been monitoring what had been happening on the bridge since he couldn't be there personally, when news of the new XO showing up came in he jumped at the opportunity to be involved.

=/\= Myomoto to the Captain. Permission to go meet the XO and escort her to your ready room?=/\=

Normally he wasn't out going and eager to meet new people, but the admiral had told him to try. Plus as ACSTO he felt it was his duty.

=/\= Granted, 1st Lt. =/\= Vene was happy to see an officer so excited to do his job.


NPC at CONN Played by Lt. Thortin
NPC at Ops. Played by Lt. Commander Se'Lah
Lt. St. James Played by CPO Zev

Climbing through the ship USS Islandica Jeffries Tubes Current
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Jacob wiped the sweat from his brow as he worked on one of the countless EPS conduits in the Islandica. With the failed jump to warp, the engineering teams were working tirelessly to modify the systems of the ship to ensure that there were no shorts in the electro-plasma transfer system.

As the final adjustment was made, Jacob sat back from the panel and tapped his communicator.

"Thortin to engineering." He said. "Junction seventy nine is finished. Begin diagnostic."

"Understood, beginning test now." A voice replied.

Picking up his tricorder, Jacob began to scan the junction. It confirmed that power was running through the system and it was holding.

"Increase power throughput." Jacob called out as he scanned carefully.

The system thrummed more quickly as an increase of electro-plasma was sent through it to power the systems that the junction served. Adjusting his position to take cover by the side, Jacob tapped a few commands into his tricorder.

"Simulate power transfer during warp drive state." He ordered, taking care to make sure he wasn't in the way of a possible overload blast. He hated to work on new ships, it was always full of so many problems he didn't know where to begin sometimes.

He watched as the power levels increased until they reached the levels normally found during warp drive. Using the tricorder, he scanned for stresses in the EPS relays, hoping that the modifications would hold while they shunted highly volatile plasma through them and towards other systems.

It was holding, thanks the engineering gods. He closed the tricorder and set it on the ground before tapping his communicator while tapping his communicator.

"Tests are successful." He said. "Resume standard power transfer." Gathering his tools, he set them into his case before sealing it and slow crawling out of the tubes into the main junction area. He could hear the other teams working as he took a breath.

"Status report!" He barked. The sound of his voice echoing down the jeffries tubes.

"Almost done sir!" He heard from one tube.

"Finalizing the last modification." Came another.

Nodding slowly, removed a PADD from his pocket and began reading through the list of work that needed to be completed. The checklist for the EPS conduits repairs were almost done and what remained was to ensure that the Warp drive wasn't wasting power as it transferred power from the matter/anti-matter reaction.

"Ready for test!" Came the calls from the Jeffries tubes.

Jacob lowered his PADD and pulled out his Tricorder to begin scanning the systems.

"Begin power transfer tests. Gradual increase to warp status." He ordered, his tired eyes focusing on the tricorder.

There was still so much work to do.
First impressions Shuttlebay Mission Day 1 1015 hours
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Myomoto had already started to get ready in anticipation of the captains permission. He took an extra minute to make sure his uniform and personal appearance were sharp. I am the first face our XO will see on this ship. Gotta look good so the ship looks good

Stepping out in a hurried, yet not running, pace he made it to the shuttle bay just as the XO made touch down. Coming to attention he waited for the XO to step out.

As the hatch opened, the woman who stepped out was a somewhat unusual sight, when expecting a Vulcan. She was dressed in a standard Starfleet uniform, and her hair had a slightly more wild look than was normal for Vulcan.

"Requesting permission to come aboard, Lieutenant." She said simply, standing at ease.

Myomoto, who had seen Vulcan Starfleet members before but never worked with one, was a little surprised by the XOs lack of... Well... Perfection. None of this showed on his face however as he replied "of course ma'am. Welcome aboard the Islandica."

He also noted with a little curiosity that she carried what appeared to be a very old style side arm. Curious, she carries it with familiarity so its not for show. he thought to himself.

The wandering of his eyes didn't escape Se'Lah's keen attention to small details. "I do not use energy weapons." She said as if answering his unspoken question as she offered a a hand shake. "I am Se'Lah."

Myomoto smiled in return and relaxed slightly. "Joseph Myomoto. I use energy weapons as part of the job but personally I like the heft of metal, chemical slug hurler myself." He took her hand found himself saying "I run target practice sims in the holodeck sometimes if you would care to join me sometime," he added "ma'am" after a little hesitation as he realized he may have unintentionally broached a social barrier.
I should have worked on my social behavior before coming aboard a fleet vessel he berated himself internally.

"I don't see why not." Se'Lah answered. "I could always use the practice. After you." She said, gesturing in the general direction of the shuttlebay door. "I'm sure the Captain wishes to see me."

Myomoto was glad of her professional attitude. Much more comfortable for him. "Of course ma'am. If you will follow me I will take you right to her." Myomoto turned smartly on his heel and half marched as he lead her out the shuttlebay doors, down the corridor and into the turbo lift.
"Bridge" he said crisply and stood at ease as he waited for the quick trip.

Se'Lah observed him as they stood in the lift, trying to keep her attention less noticable, so he didn't think she was staring. "You don't have to be ridged around me, Mr. Myomoto." She finally said. "I don't bite."

Myomoto took a second to think about his answer before he replied "I'm sorry ma'am. I am a little, well, socially... hindered I think may be the best word. I have spent most of my career in strictly professional mode." He thought a little more before continuing "It is how I feel most comfortable. That invitation, while sincere, was quite unlike me. This is my first ship board posting since leaving field work for marine intel. It's a few new situations at once for me. I apologize ma'am"

"You have nothing to apologize for." Se'Lah replied with a hint of a smile. "You won't offend me by being honest, or informal. My own memory of things is a bit... on the short side, so I understand awkward moments pretty well."

"I will keep that in mind ma'am," he said with a little smile of his own. The turbo lift doors opened onto the bridge, and he gestured ahead of him. He followed her out and motioned her to follow him to the right and stopped in front of the captains ready room.
"Here we are ma'am. If you need anything further do not hesitate to let me know."
He then turned to leave and return to his post in the armory until the end of watch.

"I will do that." She said, then watched him walk away, before ringing the chime on the Captain's door.


Lt Commander Se'Lah
Executive Officer

1st Lt Joseph Myomoto
Assistant Chief Sec/Tac Officer
She arrives at last Captain's Ready Room Mission Day 1 1030 hours
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***Main Bridge***

After a short time, the turbolift doors opened, and a young looking Vulcan woman emerged onto the Bridge, escorted by 1st Lieutenant Myomoto. She was dressed in the standard Starfleet uniform, and carried only a PADD with her. As the man walked away, she turned to ring the chime on the Captain's door.

***Ready Room***

Vene was reading over the service record of her XO when the chime rang. She had already read it twice but she wanted to ensure she did miss anything. When dealing with someone who had been at Star fleet for almost 60 years there was a lot to remember.

"Enter," She called closing her display.

As the doors opened, the woman walked in, and promptly stood at attention. "Lieutenant Commander Se'Lah, reporting for duty, Captain." She said simply.

"Please have a seat Commander," Vene stated gesturing at the chair across from her, "And please attention is never needed. I don't find it necessary, even more so from my XO," Vene was nervous, this women was going to be her sidekick for an unknown period of time and Vene knew this first meeting would start the forging of that.

"Can I get you anything to drink?"

"Water will be fine." Se'Lah replied. She was also just as nervous, if not more so. While she was keeping her emotions under wraps, she hoped it didn't slip. She decided to break the ice on her amnesia issues right off the bat. "Forgive me if I seem a little odd to you. Losing one's memory tends to make things interesting at times."

Wow, right to it even though surprised, "I read your record and I just can't imagine what that is like. Must be very disconcerting," Vene then remembered she asked for water, "Oh yes, water,"

Vene turned to the replicator and ordered two glasses of cold water. A moment later she slid one of the glasses across her smooth black desk.

"I am kind of surprised you asked to be put on active duty after only two months,"

"To say the experience is disconcerting would be an understatement." Se'Lah replied, picking up the water. She took a sip. "Thank you."

Se'Lah looked at Vene as if studying her. "I was beginning to get restless." She explained. "I don't exactly enjoy being poked, and prodded on a daily basis. I would rather be doing something useful."

Vene wondered who she would be without all her years of history, 640 years of memories gone. She would be nothing, "I can understand getting restless. The last six month waiting for launch was almost torture," Vene then thought Did I just compare waiting in drydock to being in the hospital, oh god,

"At any rate," she paused and took a sip of water as she put a thought together, "That was perfect timing getting aboard. If we weren't delayed, who knows when we could have picked you up,"

"I probably would've caught a ride with a faster ship to catch up." Se'Lah replied, a slight smile crossing her features. "I'm known to be persistent, when the situation calls for it."

"A faster ship seems logical," She stated with a smile, "And speaking of being persistent, I was wondering how you view the role of XO. What do you view this job as?"

"I can't say I remember having any experience with the position," Se'Lah admitted honestly. "However, I personally believe it is a partnership with one's Commanding Officer."

Fair Enough Vene thought about the memory comment, "I agree, partnership is a key part of the job. I don't know how much you know about me, but I tend to be pretty casual. I want the crew to feel conformable but still be efficient. I am hoping together we can find that balance," Vene looked at the Vulcan hoping to study her response.

"With my past, I should be able to handle that." Se'Lah said, before taking a sip of her water. She chose her next words carefully. "All my memories begin the day I woke up in the infirmary of the location I was stationed at two months ago. Being in a hospital, casual is what they seem to give you. The change in environment is a bit unnerving though."

"If you need anything to help with that change let me know," Vene stated in a motherly tone viewing the Vulcan as one of her children for a moment, "I would also ask you keep regular check ups with the doctor, just to be safe,"

"That was already a plan for me." Se'lah explained. She took another sip of her water, before continuing. "One more thing..." She reached down, pulling her sidearm from it's holster to place it on the desk in front of Vene. "It's not exactly standard issue, but it can fire lethal, and sedative rounds. Normally I keep sedative rounds loaded."

Vene did not like her officers, besides security, carrying weapons around the ship every day and the weapon made her uneasy, "I have already made it a standing order that crew is not to be armed on normal duty shifts. But I will allow this," Vene wanted to show trust to the new XO. She thought the Women might need it as a comfort blanket, "Lethal rounds or not that is up to you. But I don't want this crew to turned into an armed war party. We are going out there to explore, so you are the only exception to this rule outside of security staff,"

"Understood." was Selah's simple reply. She picked the gun back up, replacing it into it's holster. "I treat weapons as exactly that. To me, it is a tool for defense, and nothing more."

"Glad to hear it, now we have a briefing on the expanse in a few hours which should bring us all up to speed on that. So aside from that, do you have any questions for me?"

"Just one." Se'Lah said, before finishing off the rest of her water. It was that moment that her Vulcan training slipped. She took a deep breath, looking at Vene before asking. "Is it going to make you uncomfortable working with someone who can't remember anything before two months ago?" The question, as it came out, was asked in a far more Human tone than any of her other conversation, laced with her underlying nervousness.

Vene eyed her picking up that something wasn't right. If the women Human she would relate it to insecurity but with a Vulcan she was unsure what to think, "I chose you out of a large field of candidates, many of who are perfect on paper. I don't like that perfection. If there is anything I have learned over the centuries it is that, One should surround oneself with as many interesting people as one can. And that is what I have done. You can do the job, Myself and command has faith in that. Will it be hard? Yeah, I assume so. But that is what makes it interesting. So No I am not going to be uncomfortable with it, as long as you can do the job, we are good," She hoped the reinsured the women but was not sure.

Se'Lah cocked her head curiously. She hadn't expected the answer Vene had given, but she found the woman's sincere attitude refreshing, and reassuring. "You are most curious." She finally said. "You're right. I read your files, even the information that others do not see, but I can see now that this information doesn't do justice to the woman sitting in front of me." Se'Lah stood up, taking the two empty glasses, and placing them back in the replicator, before turning to face Vene again. "You have my loyalty. In time, perhaps my trust... I hope I do not let you down, Commander Vene." She offered the woman a handshake. While this was generally a very forward act for a Vulcan, she hoped it would become the starting point of a trusting partnership.

"And I hope I won't let you do, Commander," Vene stated returning the shake after standing herself, "I have a small assignment for you before I forget," The incident on the bridge with the SCTO just jumped in her mind,

" When we left drydock CPO Zev, our SCTO, had a Lt. St. James take tactical and report for him while he stood by. It was odd but not wrong, I am sure you can find a recording in the bridge security log to see for yourself," She added pretty sure her Intel officer had everything recorded, "I was hoping you could look into how the CPO has his Department Organized, there are rumors he has given all tactical duties to this Lt.. If that's a good idea I am not sure. I am hoping you can be the judge of that and make sure everything is in order,"

"I can see where you may be concerned for the safety of the crew." Se'Lah replied, her demeanor becoming all business. Based only on what Vene had just said, these actions seemed odd to her, and it was worth looking into. "Is this task to be handled discreetly?"

"Be has discrete as you wish," Vene responded, "I just don't want the CPO to feel like he is under investigation for those actions. At least until we know why he is not taking tactical himself. At this moment, I am more curious than concerned,"

"Should the need arise, I can always take over the tactical station in a pinch." Se'Lah noted. "It can't be that difficult. I will do my best to keep this discreet, so as not to alarm the CPO. I will simply observe his department, along with others in order to make it seem like a normal occurrence."

"Thank You, Commander," she smiled, "You are free to go unpack if you wish. I am sure your things have found their way to your room by now,"

"I should probably also check in with the Doctor." Se'Lah replied. She had already planned on Sickbay being her next stop, before her quarters. "With my issues, it would be the next logical action."

"Oh, yes," Vene responded more to the logical part than going to the Doctor for Vene had forgotten that the women was a Vulcan for a moment, "Good luck and make sure you have all your limbs before you leave," she added with a small laugh,
The Lost Scientist Unnamed Planet Mission day 2
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Through the thick underbrush of the forest that surrounded the foothills, a young woman stalked her prey. She was humanoid, though just barely, and she often preferred to move about on all fours to better navigate the rocky terrain, but for now she was upright with her bow in hand. Though self-made, this bow was far more advanced than that of her neighbors in the caves and allowed her to hunt a greater range of game than the natives of this world. If her aim was true, then today she would be delivering a wild boar for trade.

With a single shot, she felled her target. She shouldered her bow and stalked closer cautiously. With little effort, she hefted the boar over her shoulder and continued on towards the caves. Along the way, she occasionally stopped to sniff as some plants growing about, picking a few sprigs and roots and shoving them into her satchel, primitive medicines the natives had difficulty acquiring and they too would be useful for trade.

Before arriving at the caves, the young woman stopped at a spring. She set down her game and moved closer to the shallow water, peering in to look at her reflection. With a quiet sigh, her reflection began to change, her creamy white hair bleeding to a murky, matted brown, her skin darkened and her ears shrank and disappeared under the unruly hair. Finally several cranial ridge markings developed on her forehead as well as a change in her jaw structure. When it was all done, the only thing that looked the same from before was her eyes, a clear blue that seemed to see right through everything.

With the change complete, the woman reached down into the mud at the bottom of the spring, then began to smear mud over her hair and exposed skin. She bathed considerably more often than her neighbors and they found it an oddity whenever she would show up clean. Once she was satisfied that she looked appropriately dirty, she retrieved her boar and continued on towards the caves.

She only came around to visit her neighbors once a lunar cycle, or on rare occasions twice if she needed something like she did now. Her bowstring snapped yesterday and she was using her extra string now, so she would need to braid a new string as backup. She lacked the thread to do it and one of the groups in the caves were using primitive linens. Between the boar and the roots and herbs, she should be able to get a lot of linen, maybe even a piece of cloth to make a new shirt!

The Natives organized themselves in small communities of extended families organized under a family Matriarch, much like the primitive Klingons, but without the violence. Spread out in the caves around the Sacred Humming Tree the Natives lived simple independent lifes.

The need for safety in numbers, from outside groups, and a common desire to be near and defend the Humming Tree had lead the Matriarchs to form a larger governmental body. This larger body, which met during the forming of each new moon, was very primitive and weak but had created, for the benefit of all, a communal hub for trade and bartering.

With the Birth of the new moon to take place in few nights the outlying Families had moved closer to the Humming Tree and Large trading area known as The Grounds. It was the perfect time of the month for trade, for all were in attendance.

The Grounds were light by a large opening in the cave ceiling and a large number of personal fires and torches was a hotbed of activity. For those who studies primitives cultures this would be the place of all places to be. A well-placed science team would have a lifetime of study, assuming they could get permission.

The outsider with the boar moved through the network of caves to The Grounds. She didn't like being so close to the Humming Tree. At one time, the woman had been a scientist, she knew of technology and had traveled among the stars, so she knew that this Humming Tree was something more than these primitives thought it to be. This Tree was revered almost as a deity, but she knew the truth of it and how it was contaminating this culture. This Tree was also the reason she couldn't stand to live with these people. She would have gladly worn their face and adopted their ways for the rest of her life for the sake of companionship, but the Humming Tree pained her greatly. She could not get too close or stay for too long for fear it would kill her. The remnants of her past, a slave device embedded in her skull, resonated with the frequencies in the area and delivered a jolt right to the pain centers of her brain, a cruel but effect means for her master to control her before she managed to escape. Already she was in pain. Even at the edges of the Grounds, it was almost more than she could bear, but she swallowed her pain and moved on to the weavers to barter for her thread.

The Vo'Zan (Name of the Natives) moved out of the outsiders way as she made her way through the crowd. Although she had been a common sight on The Grounds for more than a decade, not being in a Family made her an outsider and the more conservative Vo'Zans uneasy.

A young weaver noticed the outsider approaching and smiled with excitement, for she already knew what the women wanted. Not wanting to risk the outsider going to another weaver the women skipped out to meet her, "Bow String break, Shae?" she asked with excitement.

Shae nodded silently and laid the boar on the ground before the weaver with the arrow still stuck in the animal, evidence that it had been her achievement. Now that she had presented her kill for payment, she carefully removed the arrow from the pig and checked that the shaft was not warped and could be reused before adding it back to her quiver. "I have herbs, too," Shae added, her voice hoarse from lack of use. She dug around in her satchel, collecting the roots and herbs she had found along the way. "Thread, good thread for bow. And cloth?" she asked, offering the medicine. Maybe the weaver didn't need it, but it was still valuable.

The young weaver looked at the herbs and smiled, "Mother Has been looking for these," she stated as she lifted one of the more rare herbs out of the bunch, "This way," she turned moving to her wares, "Now Roin made these from a derk (Deer like animal) he took down last week," she lifted showed two sinew strings, "As you know derk sinew is the most durable," The women then looked down at the boar, and apprised it's hide, before attempting to lift it, to get an idea of its weight, "With the herbs in the boar, I could do both strings and this cloth here," she lifted a piece of brown cloth which was maybe big enough for a shirt, if you didn't mess up.

With as often as Shae hunted, she had access to enough derk sinew to make her own bowstring from it, but she preferred the linen. Properly braided, it could be just as durable as the sinew, and it's most important trait was that it would not stretch out. "Sinew will stretch, your thread will not," Shae said simply and lifted the boar to bring it into dwelling for the weaver. "This cloth is good," Shae said. In fact, she preferred this girl's cloth and thread over the other weavers. It was still primitive, but this girl showed innovation and skill beyond that of her predecessors. This new shirt would last her for many years. "Cloth and thread, please Em."

Em knew that Shae wanted the thread over the sinew but didn't understand why. The hunters all used the sinew and laughed at her when she stated that Shae used thread, "The hunters think you are a fool," she stated opening a small chest and taking out some thread, "They won't even try the thread, they say it will break when they draw back,"

"They may call me whatever they like," Shae said, not really caring that the hunters thought her a fool. She knew what others thought of her; even with her ears smaller like they were now, her hearing was exceptional and she could hear the whispers behind her back. "The bowstrings I make from your thread are the best, it will not break if braided right." Not that the hunters would ever know her secret of braiding the bowstring. She was careful with what she revealed to these people, she didn't want to contaminate their culture any more than necessary.

"If you can teach me that braid, you can keep the boar," Em stated with smile knowing the answer before but hoping it would change,

For the briefest moment, Shae actually considered it. She didn't need the boar right now, but what she could trade for it would be more than worth it if she were to teach Em the braid, but she couldn't... Maybe Starfleet had turned their back on her when they let her get taken, but she wasn't going to turn her back on the values she had been taught; she could not ignore the purpose or importance of the Prime Directive. "Your offer is tempting, but I must decline," Shae replied, but there was no mistaking the hint of remorse in her tone. She really felt bad that she couldn't share this tiny bit of information with them. It was just a bowstring, what harm could it do? When Em offered the cloth and the thread, Shae took them with a grateful smile. "Thank you, Em. Is there anything you need from the forest so I can bring it on my next visit?"

Em sighed when she got the answer which she expected, "Mother has been looking for Keen wood seeds," she admitted, "There a shortage at the moment, a fire in the hills wiped them out,"

"I will bring you Keen wood seeds," Shae promised, then turned to leave. The pressure was building in her head, she felt like she was about to explode, but she didn't want to leave so abruptly either. Em had shown her kindness many times in the past and she was the closest Shae had to a friend out here. Despite her desires, Shae could not stay; the Humming Tree the Vo'Zan revered would not let her stay. "I will see you soon," Shae said as a farewell.

Lieutenant JG Kalin Brennan
Commander Vene As NPC Em
Getting Cozy With Command Bridge
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When the turbolift doors opened, and an unfamiliar Vulcan woman stepped through it, Zev was ready to turn over command and go hide in the Armory. Quite frankly he was uncomfortable, and though he did his best not to show it, everyone knew what a nervous Ferengi looked like. Over the course of the past few days he'd gone from that snarky old guy who taught Ensigns how things were done, to apparently being qualified to command the whole ship. There was no possible way he could have imagined that he would be sitting in the Captain's chair.

Okay, scratch that: he'd snuck up to the bridge of his last posting during the night shift and sat in the chair.
... And took a selfie.
... And he might have said something along the lines of "Maintain our course and speed." Y'know... Just getting a feel for what it was like to be in command of the ship.

Those stolen minutes on the Bridge of the Guardian were all but forgotten; jokingly giving orders to his shipmates and superiors was nothing like the real thing--the feeling of responsibility. After ordering the Helm and Engineering departments to do their best to get the Islandica underway, our favorite Ferengi took a seat in the big chair, and became silent. On occasion he would glance around; to the casual observer he may have appeared lost. He was convinced that as long as he didn't say or do anything, the ship wouldn't blow up, and the Captain would come back.

{{I bet this is how dogs feel when their owners leave for work in the morning}} he mused, smiling to himself as he instantly pictured a golden retriever wearing a suit and sitting at a computer terminal with a confused look on it's face. And glasses. It was even funnier with glasses.

He was slightly disappointed when the Commander made a bee-line for the Ready Room, but in the five minutes he'd been in command everything seemed fine. Everyone was working at their consoles, and they all sounded pretty dedicated to their work. The lack of small talk actually surprised him. He never really intended to eavesdrop, but given his hearing even the slightest whisper could catch his attention.


Zev started, as the last thing he wanted to hear--someone addressing him directly while he was sitting in the Command chair--was heard. "Yes, Lieutenant," he replied, recognizing the ever excitable voice of one Lieutenant James St James. "The transfer orders for those arriving with the XO just came through, would you like me to to pipe them down to your office, or would you prefer to look them over now."

It was a loaded question, and the implications of what The Chief did and said in the next few seconds could have lasting repercussions for everyone on the ship, their families, and friends.

On the one hand, if he just had the paperwork sent to his office to be reviewed later, people may think that he was procrastinating, lazy, incompetent, or worse. In his capacity as Chief of the Boat, Chief Tactical, and Chief Security Officer, there was a pretty good chance the the personnel arriving would fall somewhere under his direct supervision. Their careers, living arrangements, and security clearance were on hold until The Chief did his part to welcome those souls aboard.

At the same time, the Islandica had JUST left spacedock, and it wasn't exactly the smoothest departure in Starfleet history. Obviously the well-being of the entire ship's complement came first, so stopping to sign off on some quarters and review Security clearances would only distract him from the most important responsibility any Starfleet Officer (or Enlisted man, for that matter) could have: ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of his shipmates while serving in the capacity of Acting Commanding Officer. Because really, that's what he was right now. The Captain was in a meeting, and had placed him in command. If sensors detected an Omega molecule--which he wasn't supposed to know existed, but he did somehow--it would he his duty to... well, contact his Commanding Officer.

The point is: heavy were the shoulders of those who sat in the Chair.

Acknowledging that, though, didn't change the fact that a decision had to be made, and all eyes were on him to make that call.

"... Both," he said decisively, straightening his posture for emphasis. If this moment in history--the very first time a Ferengi NCO in temporary command of a Starship gave orders to comrades--were ever retold, he wanted to ensure that he wasn't slouching. Body language was important, and this controversial decision would undoubtedly be on page one of the next issue of the Federation News.

"Aye, sir," St James replied.

The Chief's PADD beeped, indicating that a new message had been received.

"Thank you," Zev stated with a nod. Returning his attention to the main viewer, the Chief resolved to look over the transfer orders later. All that had just transpired was a big moment for our diminuitive, large-eared, snaggle-toothed friend.

=/\= Chief Petty Officer Zev
CSec/Tac, USS Islandica
Tears burned at her eyes... Unnamed Planet Mission day 2
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Shae wandered through the foothills away from the caves of the Vo'Zan. As always, she kept a watchful eye open for anything that might prove useful for trade, leading her to more herbs and roots. Even though she hadn't traded off all the herbs, collecting those herbs and roots earlier was a good decision; once dried they were still good for trade later. Maybe on her next visit she would visit the medicine woman...

Once Shae had put some distance between herself and the cave, she took a deep breath, breathing in the scents of the forest. She had exceptional olfactory senses, and when she determined that she could not detect the scent of hunters in the air or find any signs that they had been near, she allowed herself to change back into her natural state then bound off into the forest, sloping towards a river that ran near her cave. She had once thought to build a small hut, but even that kind of construction was too advanced for these people and she chose to dwell in a cave in case the natives found where she lived. Her neighbors had never come this close before, so she felt safe running around in her natural state.

She arrived at the river and checked some fish traps, pleased to find a fish in one of the traps. She quickly found kindling and built a fire on the bank of the river, then gutted her fish, stuck it on a couple of sticks, and set it over the fire to cook. While she waited for her meal to cook, she shed her gear and the layer of furs she wore, then waded into the river to wash the mud off herself. The water was cold, but she was used to it by now. She could vaguely recall taking hot baths back in her home in Ireland, on Earth, but she preferred these chilly dips now. She almost couldn't remember that life anymore and it became more difficult to recall details the longer she was here. Just as well... As long as she was here, they couldn't find her, nor could they hurt her family to coerce her cooperation. Or, at least she tried to believe that... After so many years, who knew what was true anymore, maybe her family was already dead as punishment for her disobedience, but she wanted to believe they were okay...

Shae pulled herself from the stream once she was clean and wrung the water from her hair and tail, then settled onto the rocks near her little fire to dry off in the sun. She looked down at the threadbare shirt she wore. It was a good thing she got new cloth, this shirt was just about gone! She would start that new shirt once she got back to her cave, but for now she just wanted to relax for a moment. The pain in her head was subsiding now that the Humming Tree was no longer affecting the device in her head, and as the warm sun lulled her closer to sleep she began to purr. It was a strange sort of contentment she had here. It certainly wasn't a life she would have chosen for herself, but it was very gratifying to know she could survive like this.

Just before Shae could fall asleep, she heard a noise in the forest. She sat up, her ears erect and moving about in search of the sounds, her eyes darting about in search of movement and her nose working overtime to find any clue of what was near.

The Myth of a beast half Vo'Zan half creature had always been in the great stories told by the Vo'Zan to their children. The creature was commonly blamed for hunters dispersing late at night or when a lost child could not be found. But no had ever seen the creature and lived to tell the tale, leaving the people with only a deep vague descriptions told in stories. Until today, that is.

Shae's nose had failed her earlier in the day for it missed the scent of a bows men high in a tree waiting for his dinner to walk by. When the man saw Shae he did not think much of it, besides the annoyance of her scaring away his prey. But when she transformed into her normal state he died in fright. The stories had become true, in that moment. Not knowing what to do or how good the senses of the creature were he waited for her to leave and then waited another hour or two.

By the time he left his tree his story if Shae turning into the horrifying creature had grown from the simple, but still scary truth, to a tail that rivaled the best bards.

It did not take long, once at the grounds, for the bowmen to gather a hunting party to go after the beast. It had taken all of the afternoon for the men to track Shae to the riverbed now they surrounded her. The Mothers had ordered it to be brought back alive so along with many drawn weapons the men carried nets.

When Shae arose from her sleep the men froze our of fear but a moment later, as if of one mind, the men acted. Out of the woods came battle cries followed quickly by the nets from all sides to ensure a capture.

Oh shit! This could not be happening! With the reflexes of a mountain cat, Shae bolted. As she dove for her bow and quiver, she saw a break in their lines where they were bringing the nets together to form a barrier. The hunters were quick and coordinated, but she was faster. She rushed them and broke through, heading for her cave where she would have better visibility and they wouldn't be able to surround her.

In her head, Shae was at war with her instincts as she ran. The primal urges of the beast within wanted to kill them all for entering her territory and daring to ensnare her. Fools! They thought they could contain her! But no, she couldn't kill them, they were just trying to make sense of a creature they couldn't possibly understand! And they had come with nets, that had to speak of a kinder purpose than weapons drawn! Tears burned at her eyes. She didn't know what to do!

The hunters jump back in fear as Shae was not snared by the nets. She was fast as the stories told she would be, but they had not expected the speed and agility she displayed. After a moment to regroup and group moved after Shae at the best speed they could.

Shae looked back at the hunters behind her. She couldn't believe they were actually trying to keep up with her! With a snarl, she increased her speed, leaping through the trees and up the hill faster than they could keep up with her. With barely a thought, the coloring of her hair and fur shifted so she blended in with the rocks and foliage better, practically disappearing in front of their eyes. She was losing them, she could barely hear them behind her. With any luck, they wouldn't be able to follow her trail now that she was on the rocks, but if they did, she had something waiting for them back at her cave...

With it getting dark and a tail un followable the hunters stopped their pursuit. After a brief conversation, it was agreed, that at first light they attempt to find the trail once again.

Shae growled as she watched them descend back down to the river and start making camp where her little fire was. Damn! Her gear and her new cloth was still down at the river! Well, at least she managed to get her bow and quiver, but now she would need to figure out what to do from here. While they could not continue their search in the darkness, Shae had no problems finding her way around. She made her way to her cave and collected as many of her belongings as she could carry. This area was no longer safe, it was time to move on...

Lieutenant JG Kalin Brennan
Commander Vene As the Hunters

The Erebus expanse Observation Lounge Mission Day 1 0100 hours
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***Observation Lounge***

Vene tossed on her overcoat and hurried out of her ready room. She was late for her first meeting with her senior staff and couldn't believe it. As she listed the reason for her lateness in her head, as if coming up with excuses, she realized that she was the Captain and she couldn't be late. Vene Smiled as she remembered a professor who once said, "A Captain is never late on her own ship, Everyone else just arrived early,"

With that in mind she stopped hurrying and attempted to walk into the Briefing as if she meant to arrive at this time, "Good afternoon," She greeting giving her senior staff a nod as she placed her padd in front of her seat, "I want to make sure we are all on the same page about the Expanse. So I am just going to jump right into this. Please save your questions to the end,"

Vene quickly turned to the wall console and opened up the file with the holo-images she arranged for this briefing. It was best to get completely set up before starting, she thought remembering the public speaking class she took, over 500 years ago.

With a deep breath to clear her thoughts she turned back to her staff, "As you all know we have been assigned to explore an area of space known as The Erebus expanse. The Expanse borders Breen space and an area of uncharted space. Where we are going to enter is about a 2-day journey, at warp 5, from the Federation border and about a day from Breen space," Vene pulled up a map on the holo-projector showing their area of entry,

"Now we don't expect to encounter or have any issues with the Breen. Since the War they seem to have isolated themselves. We have some Intelligence that they may have entered a small Civil War but we are not sure. Command believes we should keep an eye out for Breen activity but does not consider them a threat to our mission. Intelligence believes they are more occupied with internal matters,"

"Now on to the Expanse itself. I am unsure how well you all know your history, but you may recall an area of space which was known as the Delphic Expanse from pre-federation times. It was an area of space that was artificially filled with webs of dangerous spatial anomalies and was then surrounded by layer of thermobaric clouds," Vene paused for a moment as she attempted to remember what she was doing with herself back in the 2100's, "At any rate the Erebus expanse is very similar in that it is filled with webs of anomalies. For that reason, no Federation vessel has entered the Expanse for 75 years. It is simply just too dangerous. That's why they built this baby," Vene tapped on the wall referring to the ship itself,

"These Anomalies will make warp travel in some locations impossible. They will mess with sensors and I am sure many other systems in ways we don't know yet. In all honesty, we are not 100% sure what to expect. But the Islandica has been equipped with advanced sensors, designed to pick up most known anomalies, we have also been equipped with advanced shielding which should protect us," Vene looked over to CPO Zev, "The downside to this shielding is that it is great for radiation and subspace eddies, we could fly into a sun if we wanted, but it is not that great against projectiles. So if we get into combat that is something to keep in mind,"

"Speaking of Combat," Vene quickly changed subject, the low tactical capabilities of the Shields was the one thing she really didn't like or want to talk about, "We are likely to run into it. Due to the fact that large vessels can not enter the Expanse, it has become a haven for black markets and thugs. In their small vessels they have been able to map safe routes and forum bases. Mr. Whisler may have more on that, But I know there is not much,"

"Overall we have been assigned four missions. Number one and top Priority we are to chart the expanse. Number 2 we are to make contact with any new civilizations that may live within the expanse. Three is to assess any threats in the area and number four, which seems to be the most difficult, Command wants us to find out why this area of space is filled with anomalies. We believe it is naturally occurring but we are unsure how,"

Vene took a breath before sitting down and opening the floor, "Questions? Comments?"

Se'Lah sat quietly looking at Vene, sending occasional glances at the others in the room. What Vene had laid out, answered most of her own questions, so she felt her input wasn't yet needed.

Jacob looked around and before speaking up.

"Yes captain," He began. "Do we have an idea of how or where we can resupply and repair should we come into trouble? As you well know our first attempt to go to warp speed resulted in ruptured EPS conduits ship wide. After doing some preliminary study of the new shielding system, I fear that we might have more issues with the power system until the shield systems can be fully tested. I'd recommend not putting them to too much of a rigorous test the first time through."

"Yes, yes," Vene responded as if she had meant to bring that up all along. The reality was that she had completely forgot about it, "We have arranged, a very tentative agreement, with a Ferengi station. In fact, we have a meeting to finalized our arrangement before we enter. Which will take place in four days, given us time for a fast shakedown,"

"Ferengi?" said Dr. Beh'ruken shaking his head, nearly snarling at the very name of the species. "Wonderful grub. Horrible reputation for being ethical or freely helpful" added the Antican, his sharp teeth showing. The Doctor shot a look at Zev and then back at the Vene.

"No offense to present company, but how trusting can we be of these...Ferengi? You said that this expanse has been a sort of safe haven to illegal activities, black market dealers, smugglers, thugs...the vermin of the galaxy for lack of more polite terminology. Sounds exactly something the Ferengi would have a vested interest in" said Beh'ruken sharply.

Shaking his head, Beh'ruken added "They could betray us? Inform these thugs that we are coming through the expanse."

Myomoto looked over at the doctor and could not keep the heat out of his voice as he responded. "Tell me doctor. Do you intend to sow distrust before the mission even starts or do you have something productive to share." He was a little flushed as he continued, "if we are to succeed in this mission we are going to have to trust each other... IMPLICITLY! If it does happen to drop in the pot, that's what me and the men like me are on this ship for!"

He turned to the captain "ma'am I am sorry for my outburst. Trust," he turned to look hotly at the doctor "is a hot button for me. Yes it should be earned; however sometimes you just have to start with trust and go with it."

The Antican bared teeth at the marine and only kindly held back on his response, trying to be as respectful as he could for the Captain. "Excuse me for being cautious, Lieutenant" replied the Chief Medical Officer, sharply emphasizing the man's marine rank. "I do support trust, but we are not talking about just any species. It would be one thing if we were discussing Vulcans, Betazoids, or another Federation world. The fact of the matter is, these are Ferengi" said Beh'ruken remaining calm.

"To quote the Rules of Acquisition: 'Number twenty one, Never place friendship before profit. Number sixteen, A deal is a deal ... until a better one comes along" quoted the Antican. "Not the sort of people I'd want to trust implicitly" added the Chief Medical Officer, looking at the Vene. "I respect your decisions, ma'am, whatever they may be. However, I would err on the side of caution considering potential vulnerabilities of the ship. I do not want my Sickbay to fill up."

"No, Doctor," Zev interjected. "There's a difference between caution and blatant racism."

The Chief Medical Officer looked at Zev. "I did not mean to imply that ALL Ferengi are untrustworthy."

"Gentlemen!" Vene interjected at the mention of racism, "Let's focus on the facts which the Doctor has hit right on the nose. This area does have 'illegal activities, black market dealers and smugglers,' and the Ferengi in the station most likely do have a vested interest on all of that, It is good business for them, I can't blame them. I've done it myself," As she stated that last sentence her voice trailed off, It was a slip of the tongue about her past she hoped the other didn't pick up on, "But as of right now, they have agreed to provide us with safe harbor when needed, In exchange we will not interfere with what happens on the station and they get a nice payment from command. It is not ideal and there are risks but We are no longer in Federation space. All these laws we live by and cling to don't exist for others and we need to respect while also watching our own back,"

"That is all that I want" said Beh'ruken as he let out a heavy breath. His breathing continued to be quite heavy as he calmed. "These activities are good for business and where there is profit to be made...those with the lobes for business will be bathing in latinum. I do not care about illegal activities, just exploring the expanse" said Beh'ruken. He took another glance at Zev. "I did not mean to offend you."

Myomoto turned back to the doctor his face showing regret. He bowed respectfully and said "I too did not mean offense. I have a few hot buttons and unfortunately they can still get the better of me. I regret my words."

"It is fine, Lieutenant" said Beh'ruken with a bow of his own head. "You had valid points. I respect them" he added.

Turning back to the captain Myomoto addressed her "Captain I would just like to put this out there now with most seniors officers here." He turned to address everyone "As was just covered we go into uncharted space. Unknown situations and hostility. I will be training the security officers in ship board combat and a few advanced tactical responses and defenses. I will open this training to anyone on board who would like to aid in ship defense. I am also open to requests for any special training in groups or one on one. You can pass this information on to your individual departments if you wish."

He returned to his seat and sat waiting to hear what else will be covered.

"I will also offer my expertise to assist in providing training for those who need something a bit more advanced, or discreet." Se'Lah added casually. It was the first time she'd spoken during the meeting, catching everyone's attention. "If we are going into unknown territory, then it is a wise idea to be prepared for all possibilities. To this end, I will also be observing, and inspecting various departments to measure preparedness, and see where improvements should be made." While she had been asked to keep an eye on Zev, and discreetly investigate him, and his department, this move would allow her the freedom to do so without it being noticed.

Beh'ruken cleared his throat and looked at the Captain. "If you have no objection, Captain. I would like to partake in this combat and defenses training" said the Chief Medical Officer.

"No objections," Vene smiled, happy to see the crew taking the initiative, "In Fact, Commander Se'Lah if you wouldn't mind I would like you to set up a training rotation that will get all crew members combat training. With Captain Myomoto or not I think it is good for the whole crew to get a refresher,"

Jacob watched the sudden heated exchange cool and shrugged inwardly at himself. Great start. Argument at the briefing table. He thought to himself.

"There might be a..slight delay in the absolutely preparedness of my department commander." He spoke up. "As we have much to do, the department may be in a ragged state by the time you get to us."

"That is not a problem, as I intend to work individually with each department." Se'Lah replied, looking at Jacob. "As far as training goes, since weapons are restricted to Security, and the Command staff, my offered training, outside of those departments, will be limited to hand-to-hand, unless the Captain authorizes more." She said, before glancing at Vene.

"Those likely to be on away teams, should get a weapons refresher. But my restrictions remain in effect, if we are boarded it is not going to be planned. The crew should be versed in hand-to-hand for close quarters, "Vene did not want her crew to become a paranoid armed force. They needed to defend themselves but remember that Science was the reason for them being here,

"Now that, that is all settled we will be arriving at our testing grounds at 1100 hours tomorrow. It is a planetary system about a day outside the expanse. We will be testing tactical systems in an asteroid field there before moving on to the Ferengi station. Any questions or concerns let Commander Se'Lah or myself know, Dismissed,"

Eleven hundred hours?! Jacob blinked. With the warp drive still down and the EPS conduits still undergoing modification that was a tall order. He bit back an objection and lifted his PADD to prepare the emergency work that would be needed to ensure that the Islandica could make it to warp for that 1100 hours arrival time.

Se'Lah sat, quietly waiting for the others to file out. She wanted a word with the Captain, before the two of them returned to their duty stations.

As the room emptied Vene started to shut down the holo-images and gather her padds, "Something on your mind Commander?" Vene asked as the door shut behind the last officer.

"That was an interesting exchange between the Doctor, and Mr. Zev." Se'Lah replied casually. "I was just thinking on whether the tension between them could become a problem."

"It is too soon to tell," Vene responded, she as just as concerned but wanted to give it a little time, "Watch them but I think we should give it a week or so and see how they are before step in. Everyone is still trying to feel each other other out,"

"Understood." Se'Lah replied. She'd done a little reading over the scheduling information in Zev's department since talking to Vene earlier. "I've looked over Mr. Zev's department schedule. It would appear that he has himself scheduled to be anywhere but the Bridge on a consistent basis."

"That might be because he doesn't have the officer training or experience," Vene said thinking out loud, "Maybe we should change that," She brought her attention back to her XO, "Lets organized some type of drill, Something that will place him command,"

"That would involve the removal of both you, and myself from the action." Se'Lah replied, looking at Vene. "You want to have us 'killed off' during a drill to see how he responds under such stress?"

"I've always wanted to be Actress," Vene said flipping her hair with a smile

Se'Lah gave her a smirk. "I'll make the arrangements." she said as she stood from her chair. "When would you like this to take place?"

"Lets do it after we finish Testing the Tactical systems. He should be on the bridge for that,"

"Yes, Captain." Se'Lah replied, a slightly pained expression flashed across her face for only a moment. "If you don't mind, I think I need a few hours of rest, before we arrive at the testing grounds."

"As do I," Vene stated with a smile know that she would not going to get any. She had to much on her mind.

What is that? Bridge Mission day 2 1100 hours
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After finally getting to warp thanks to the hard work of the engineering crew the Islandica was approaching its testing grounds. It was the plan for Tactical Systems and Sensors to be the main focus for today's tests. Vene was hoping everything would go off without a hitch, but she also expected the ship to jump to warp right out dry dock, which it didn't.

Still at warp and going slightly faster than planned to make up for lost time the ship approached an unnamed system, "Sir," The helmsmen turned to the ship's XO, for Vene was in her ready room, "We are approaching the testing grounds. Should we drop out of warp?"

"Yes." Se'Lah replied simply. "Drop to impulse, and do a scan of the area to make sure no other ships are in the danger zone." The initial scan would be a starting test for sensors. She tapped the COMM button on the center seat. "Captain to the bridge."

A few moments later Vene walked out of the her ready room while putting on her overcoat, "Guessing We have arrived," Vene stated to her XO as she moved across the bridge,

Ensign Jameson sat at her station conducting the scans as ordered. Just as she was about to report back an all clear, something pinged on her scans. "Ma'am, I think we've got something," Hanna said as she refined her scans to investigate this strange blip. Whatever this was, it certainly wasn't anything from any race she recognized. "I'm picking up a signal directed into the expanse, but it's not from a ship."

"There no outposts in this area, Right?" Vene asked out loud surprised as she stood in front of the command chair just vacated by XO

"No, the area is clear," Hanna confirmed. "I'm attempting to localize it's origin, but I'm unable to decrypt the signal."

"Send Its origin Location to the Helm," Vene ordered, "Let's get closer," It seemed things were going to start sooner than Vene expected, "Are we Looking at a station or something planet based?"

"A planet," Hannah replied as she sent the coordinates to the CONN. "The fourth planet in the Psi Gamma system. It's M-class and looks to be inhabited by a primitive humanoid culture."

Se'Lah looked at Vene with a raised eyebrow, then over to Hannah. "Ensign, please send the signal data to the science station." She said as she moved over to the science station. According to her own files, she'd had to run decryption to bypass locks on several occasions. "Perhaps another set of eyes will help with decryption."

Hanna nodded and transferred her results to the second science station next to hers. "I'm not all that adept at decryption, so an extra set of eyes would be appreciated," the young Science officer said. "Whatever is generating this signal is not native to this world. I've seen no indications of industry on this world, I don't think they've even discovered basic smelting yet."

Se'Lah was silent as she studied the data on the second science screen. After a moment, she raised an eyebrow. "This encryption code could not have been generated by such a culture." She told Hannah, before turning around to face Vene. "Captain, the signal encryption appears to be extremely advanced, probably beyond my skills."

"Let us get it down to the Intel office, see if Mr. Whistler can help," Vene ordered as she stood and moved over to the other officers.

"Looks like tests are going to be on hold for the time," She stated trying not to make it overly clear how excited she was,

Vene looked at the sensor data for the planet, "There doesn't seem to be any villages in the area of the..." she paused and looked for the right word before choosing, "Device. How do you feel about going and taking a closer look?" Vene asked her XO. Little did Vene know the caves in the area deflected the sensor signals and there was infact a large gathering in the area.

Myomoto had not yet gone to the bridge and decided to finally rectify that. He would probably have to do a duty cycle or two there so he figured he would stop and observe the station while the tactical exercise was happening.
Upon entering the bridge he hesitated at the door and noticed that something was happening out of the ordinary. Not wanting to interfere he moved to a spot where he could observe what was happening and be available if needed.

"I believe the Prime Directive applies here." Se'Lah replied simply, as she forwarded the signal encryption to Mr. Whistler's office. She stood up to look back at Vene. "The technology should not be there, so a closer look is probably wise."

Myomoto perked up at the sound of that. An away mission? Already? He waited patiently to hear what would be decided before chiming in. This was not his pervue, protecting the away team was.

"I agree," She looked at the sensor results one more time, "It looks like dusk has just settled in. Gather a team and let's get down there while whatever locals there are, are sleeping,"

"Captain, as your first officer, it is my duty to remind you that it is against Starfleet regulations for a ship's commanding officer to lead an away mission that could potentially be dangerous." Se'Lah didn't expect any danger, but in a situation like this, it was always best to take proper precautions.

Vene held back the urge to sarcastic wine like a 5-year-old and just smiled, "Very well, Assemble your team and report to the transporter room," She stated walking back to the command chair,

"And don't forget to wear a jacket there is a cool breeze coming from the northwest tonight," she added in an overbearing motherly tone as if talking to one of her children.

Myomoto stepped forward then "Permission to join the away team ma'am?"

"Granted." Se'Lah said simply, turning to Hanna. "Ms. Jameson, I'd like you to come along as well." She then moved to the Tactical station, looking at James, who Zev had yet again chosen to stand at Tactical. She decided to take him off the bridge, and out of the Captain's hair for the moment. "You too. All three of you grab hand phasers, and jackets, and meet me in Transporter room 2 in five minutes."

Hanna rose from her station. "Yes Ma'am," she answered as she followed Se'Lah to the turbolift.

Commander Vene
Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Commander Se'Lah
Executive Officer

1st Lt. 1st Lieutenant Joseph Myomoto
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer & Intel Officer

NPC Ensign Hanna Jameson
Science Officer
Played by Lieutenant JG Kalin Brennan
Away mission: "Oh, so we're here now?" Part 1 Mission day 2
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*** Transporter Room 2 ***

Se'Lah was in the transporter room, before anyone else. She stood waiting off to the side for the others to arrive. Over her uniform, she was wearing a black leather jacket.

Ensign Jameson entered the transporter room a moment later, shrugging her field jacket on as she reviewed some last minute data on the origins of the signal she had downloaded onto her tricorder. She nearly bumped into the Executive Officer on her way in, muttering a brief apology before standing off to the side as she waited for the rest of the team.

As Hanna apologized, Se'Lah observed her. She seemed somewhat nervous, and definitely had her mind occupied with the contents of her tricorder. "Have you ever been out in the field, Ensign?" She asked, curiously.

"A few times," Hanna replied distractedly. Then, as if suddenly realizing who was talking to her, she looked away from her tricorder readings with a sheepish look. "Sorry ma'am, I'm just frustrated with these readings. I can find no reference in the computer for this kind of signal or encryption. I just don't know what to make of it."

"It is probably best left to the Intelligence department." Se'Lah replied simply. "The reason I selected you for this mission is because of your expertise in science. You are likely to find details that others will miss."

Myomoto strode into the transporter room dressed in his tactical vest and holster. He looked quite comfortable and competent. He smiled at the other 2 members of the away team already assembled as he slung his coat over one shoulder and leaned against the far wall. He was getting into his mission mode and his eyes took on that 'see everything' look, and his body, though appearing relaxed, was ready to react.

Hanna nodded in greeting to Myomoto and stepped aside to make room for him in the cramped transporter room. Then she looked back at the Executive Officer with an appreciative glance. "Yes, you are right and I have already handed this information over to Intel, but I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't at least try to understand this signal."

Lieutenant St James was excited... of course. From the way he moved as he appeared to decelerate near the Turbolift doors, one would have thought that he'd sprinted from the Turbolift. They would have been right. An Away Mission! James was over the moon. When the Chief had assigned him as the Tactical Officer he thought that he'd spend the rest of his life on the Bridge--little did he know that he'd be first choice for Away Missions as well!

Se'Lah looked at the assembled group as she pulled out her gun. "Set your weapons to stun only." She said, as she reached into her pocket, placing a tranqualizer clip into it. She also carried a clip of live rounds, but that was only for extreme cases. She stepped on the transporter pad, waiting for the others to join her.

Myomoto's face went blank as he stepped onto the transporter pad and pulled out his phaser to set it to stun. Joseph muttered to himself in Russian "Bud'te bezopasny i byt' sil'nym. Bud' skor i byt' uverennym. Zashchita i zhertva . Eto moy prizyv." With the completion of each he seemed to harden in a new way. His eyes became emotionless and distant, his muscles tensed and bulged, and finally he looked around at the away team and nodded to himself.

Hanna's breath caught in her throat as Myomoto went through what seemed to be a personal ritual of some sort to prepare himself. It made her worry for what could possibly be waiting for them down on this world. "We must be careful with the indigenous life forms," she spoke up as she checked that her weapon was set to stun. "This is a primitive culture and we must take care that we leave no impact on their development if at all possible. Strictly speaking they should never see us, never know we were there, so avoid contact."

"Agreed." Se'Lah said, then looked at James. She wanted to get down there while the area was clear. The sooner they learned what they were dealing with, the better it would be for them. "Coming Lieutenant?"

"Are you effin' kidding!? Of course!" St James exclaimed, moving into position. "The Chief is gonna be soooo mad that he missed this! Y'see, he told me that the only reason he put me on the Bridge-gig is so that HE could go on all the cool missions and I'd have to do the meetings! His eyesight is terrible, as is his personal hygine. And he hates meetings! Not to mention how we all make him incredibly uncomfortable. And have you seen his quar--"

Myomoto glanced at St.James and in a calm icy voice simply said "When we are down there, Lt St. James, I suggest you keep that mouth shut for a while. We need to stay quiet and unnoticed. I am glad your excited, turn that enthusiasm into focus and you'll be more than ok."

"Oh, yeah, right," James replied with a nod, as he continued. "He told me to defer to you, y'know. I got eight-different-kinds of ass-chewed about doing whatever you said before I even got here. He was all like 'Listen to Myom... Myo...' Yeah, he doesn't know how to pronounce your name. Also, are you aware that we all call him 'The Chief?' I'd reccommend it, because he seems to get--" quotation fingers "--irritated if there's too much nois--

Myomoto sighed "St.James... Shut it or I'll scrub you! Game face on."

"What does 'scrub... you...' ... mean?" James trailed off, noticing the glares of everyone around him. "Right..." he said, quietly, looking like a scolded puppy.

"Energize." Se'Lah said simply, as she looked at the transporter officer.

A moment later the team was engulfed in the familiar blue transporter beam, which replaced the room with an area of trees, and what looked to be some hidden caves.

"Based on the scans we took from orbit, the device should be several meters to the east." Se'Lah said as she started walking. She assumed the others would follow her.

"Why didn't they just beam us to where the device is?" St James interjected. "Not that I'm complaining--I'm happy to be here--I'm just sayin: if we took scans from orbit, and they know what it is, why would they beam us meters, if not miles away? Wouldn't that increase the likelihood that we'd run into danger, if not end up--"

Moyomoto took St. James aside for a quick chat. "Ok look. You're a good guy, you just need to settle down a bit. Focus, I am putting you behind the XO watch her back and keep your wits about you. I will take the rear. Remember, we are SECURITY, keep these people secure. Everything else can wait till AFTER the mission." He clapped the man on the shoulder "Let's be about it shall we?"

"Right!" St James replied. "Back covered, wits about the both of us!"

Hanna looked about, pulling out her flashlight to see better in the waning light. "I believe there is a safe path near here," she said as she checked her tricorder to confirm. "Yes, it looks like the natives travel this area regularly, so there are footpaths to help navigate dangerous areas."

As they moved through the area, what sounded like a twig snapping off in the distance caught Se'Lah's attention. Reacting on reflexes, her gun was out of it's holster, and in her hands, pointing in the direction the sound came from. "We should be cautious." She said quietly, before starting to move on, her gun remaining in her hand.

Shae had long since lost track of how long she had been on this world, but even if she had been here a hundred years she would still be able to recognize the distinct shimmer of a Starfleet transporter matter stream. Her eyes were drawn to it as it lit up the hills and she followed the team that had landed, curious of their intent. Were they here for her? No, not possible, more than likely they were here to investigate the array that the Vo'Zan worshipped. Shae tried to dismiss her paranoia, she had just been displaced from her home so it was understandable that she would feel defensive right now, but seeing Starfleet personnel walking around on this world made her more than a little uneasy. Having the Vulcan woman drawing her weapon on a hapless animal running through the forest wasn't helping matters either, but she managed to remain calm and follow the team as they went on. Soon, they would venture into an area she could not go, but for now she wanted to follow as long as possible so she could know their interest in this array.

As they walked on, they soon came to a small spattering of ritual decorations on some of the trees. Se'Lah reached into her jacket pocket, producing a Tricorder. "Ensign, what do you make of these?" She asked as she began scans of the decorations, and the surrounding areas.

"Path markers?" Hanna ventured. "Or perhaps a warning. The presence of a skull on this one would signify this area as one of great importance." Anthropology wasn't her best subject, so she was more or less guessing at this point.

Myomoto called softly to St. James. "If this is a warning I want you on your toes. Let them do the sciency stuff, eyes the woods"

As she listened to Hanna, Se'Lah discreetly used her Tricorder to scan the surrounding area, searching for the presence of any other humanoid life signs, but found none. All she could dtect were a few animals running around in the woods. "We're almost there." She said, putting away her tricorder, and resuming the hike towards the device. "Keep a look out for anything suspicious."

As they kept moving forward, they found themselves entering a clearing. As they exited the woods, they looked around to see more ritualistic decorations scattered about all over the area, but it was what stood in the center of the clearing that made Se'Lah tap her COMM badge.

The device stood like a stone colored pillar in the center of the clearing, and by Se'Lah's guess, it was easily twice her own height. Unlike what one would expect a stone pillar to look like, the device had perfectly smooth sides, and various blinking lights scattered here and there on it's surface.

"Se'Lah to Islandica." Silence... "Away team to Islandica, please respond." When there was no response, she looked to the others. "Jameson, Myomoto, you two get scans of the device. St James, help me examine some of these artifacts."

"Aye ma'am." Myomoto responded simply. He pulled out his tricorder and began doing a full scan of the device, his attention divided between the readouts and the woods. Something was making his senses hum out there but he couldn't place it. He long ago learned to trust this feeling. It had saved him and his principles more than once.

The officer now identified as Myomoto was making Shae uneasy. He kept looking back into the forest in her direction like he knew he was there. He seemed hyper-aware of his surroundings and she assessed that he would be the only real challenge if she was discovered and a confrontation emerged, though it was unlikely now that they had moved closer to the array. She would have to continue watching from afar.

At the array, Hanna was having trouble taking scans of the device. It seemed that the tricorder could not penetrate the outer shell to see what was within, but she was getting detailed readings on the access points. "This is unlike anything I've ever seen," Hanna murmured, speaking more to herself than to Myomoto. She would need a link with the ship to compare this configuration with the database, but with communications down that would not be possible. "What is your purpose?" she asked rhetorically as she reached out to brush her fingers over the smooth surface of the array.

As Se'Lah and St James began examining the various decorations, Se'Lah caught unexpected movement within her peripheral vision. As she looked up, her sight confirmed what her hearing picked up. In an instant, her muscle memory saved her life, as she reached up, catching a stone throwing knife only centimeters before it would've hit her in the chest. As she caught it, searing pain shot through her hand, and green Vulcan blood began to drip from her now injured hand.

"Run!" Se'Lah ordered as several primitive humanoids poured out of the woods. Some had spears, some had knives, and others were unarmed. She tossed the piece of stone away, balling up her fist to help slow the bleeding.


Lieutenant Commander Se'Lah
Executive Officer

1st Lt. 1st Lieutenant Joseph Myomoto
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer & Intel Officer

Lieutenant JG Kalin "Shae" Brennan
Science officer

NPC Lieutenant JG James St James
Tactical Officer
Played by CPO Zev

NPC Ensign Hanna Jameson
Science Officer
Played by Lieutenant JG Kalin Brennan
Trojan Horse: Part 1 USS Islandica Mission day 2
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=/\= Bridge

Zev was much calmer about being in Command this time.

Zev gave the appearance of being much calmer about being in Command this time.

Zev failed miserably at giving the appearance of being calm about anything, and his discomfort with being left in command was a plain as the nose on his face, the ears on his head, and the nervous glances he shot around the room.

All of this responsibility was still new to him, and again, nothing he would have imagined two weeks ago. It felt good, and he hoped he was finding his way--no one had said otherwise--but still, unfamiliar territory. For the moment, all he could do was monitor the Away Team, and just as he was about to ask for a report on their status his greatest fear came to fruition:

Something went wrong.

The Lights on the bridge started to fickle, fist it seemed like just a power surge but soon it become very clear something more was going on. The Red Alert Lights flashed once and the speakers sounded half of an alarm before the the bridge and ship went dark.

A moment later the ship was jolted to starboard and all was silent.

"Umm... Report?" Zev asked, jumping to his feet... before they left the floor. Suddenly, gravity was gone, lights were out, and

"Report! Gods dammit!" the Chief barked.

***Main Engineering***

"What the damn hell?!" Jacob roared as the power suddenly went out and the gravity plating deactivated. He turned towards the matter/antimatter reactor quickly his eyes wide. if the auxiliary power didn't kick in the magnetic containment fields for the anti-matter would fail causing the anti-matter to react to the matter in its housing. If that happened, a sudden power outage was the least of their worries.

"Level five emergency in Engineering. Everything on manual and secondary protocals! Now!" He called out as he pulled himself towards the anti-matter feeding tubes. Pulling himself to the nearest hatch, he placed his feet against the tubes and pulled the door open to check on the emergency batteries that would power the magnetic fields in case of emergency.

The batteries were lit up like a Christmas tree, the lights detailing their use as well as the indicator for the amount of power left in the unit.

"Ramirez! I want all battery backup assembled and out here now!" He called out. "And someone get the gravity plating in here working again. We can't stabilize the reactor while we're free floating up here."

As the engineers floated to their positions, Jacob frowned. The battery would last at most two hours depending on the strain on them. Their inventory had three emergency batteries for a total of eight hours of use. Assuming they could recharge them with the auxiliary reactors, they could last indefinitely. Without them they were dead.

Reorienting himself, he pushed off the tube and floated across the reactor room towards the exit. He struck the wall heavily and gave out a grunt before catching himself. With clawed hands, he pulled himself towards a console that was still flickering. Hopefully auxiliary power was available.

***Deck 1B Cargo Bay One **

Vene had left the Intel office and was on her way to her thinking spot. The little information her and Lt. Whistler found out made her uneasy and she needed time to think about what this meant. Ever since she set off on her own 500 years ago Vene had found her best thinking came when she was weightless. Much to her dismay there had been large chunks of her life when the option of turning off gravity did not exist but at the moment it was more than easy.

Vene was floating at the top of cargo bay one in a meditative like state when the power went off, which she did not notice. She only became aware that something was wrong when she ship jolted starboard. With the gravity off Vene had no way to stop herself and before she was able to brace herself her head was colliding with the bulkhead. For a moment her vision was blurry and she could make out the sight of blood floating around her, illuminated by the emergency lights and then it was black.

***Main Engineering***

"Crap." Jacob muttered as the emergency lights in engineering and the last console he was working on flickered off. "Auxiliary power is offline." He called out to the rest of the engineering teams that were already working with hand lights that floated in place over what they were working on. Jacob's mind was running quickly. They were on emergency batteries while the main and auxiliary power were offline. The frightening part was that the auxiliary power had drained so quickly. Whatever it was that drained the ship's energy it was doing it quickly. He did a rough estimate of the amount of oxygen left in the ship. With the power down, that meant the life support systems would be down too. No life support meant no oxygen scrubbers and worse, no heat. The crew would freeze to death.

"Think Jacob think." He said to himself as he closed his eyes to organize his thoughts. The main reactor was down as were the fusion reactors. That was a secondary concern. The primary concern was finding a way to power some of the systems so that his teams could get to work repairing whatever it was that disrupted the ship's systems. He needed power and he needed...

"I've got it!" He exclaimed, his eyes opening quickly.

"Ramirez, Sprigg!" He called out. A dark haired hispanic officer and a blonde haired Irish officer poked their heads from behind the divider to the reactor room.

"We're going to have to get to the shuttle bay and plug that Volga class runabout of ours into the grid. She's got a Warp reactor and fusion engines. It won't get us to full power, but she should be able to power some of the systems to get us to a survivable state." He stated, pushing himself from the console. "We'll need those spare EPS lines we had replicated for the earlier modifications as well as a pair of adapters to ensure we can plug them into the ship."

"Wow." Ramirez blinked. "I did not think of that. Where'd you learn to do that?"

"School." Sprigg sighed. "You pay attention and learn things." Shaking her head, she pulled herself out of the reactor room and towards Jacob.

"Ramirez and I will get the cables and adapters sir. We'll meet you in the shuttle bay." She assured him.

Jacob nodded once and pushed himself towards the Jeffries tube entrance. The doors were unpowered and since they were meant to seal in the event of a hull breach, he wasn't about to try to force them open.

"Let's get moving. We've got about one hour of life support on this ship before we both freeze and suffocate to death." He said grimly.


"Sir, auxiliary power just went down," A young ensign reported from behind her station which was now black, "What should we do, sir?"

There was one station on the bridge with power. In the event of a total system failure, which it seems was, the bridge was designed to have one station with a battery back up. Only designed to last for a few hours this station always held the last five minutes worth of sensor and computer data. It was hoped that in the event of a total system failure that data could assist any surviving crewmembers.

***Deck 1B Cargo Bay One **

Vene slowly came to a few minutes after being knocked out. She instinctually grabbed her head as she attempted to remember what happened. As she looked at her bloody hand it all came back to her. Well, little that she knew came back to her. Pushing off the wall she made her way to the main entrance of the bay. It did not take her long to figuer out the door was sealed which terrified her.

The computer was programmed to seal doors during a large number of events, but none of them were good. Taking a moment to gather herself with this new reality, Vene noticed the sight of her own breath. Life support is down, she reported to herself.

Without time to waste Vene moved to the Jefferies tube hatch on the other side of the room. She knew she would never be able to get the cargo bay door open herself but a Jefferies tube would be no issue, she had to get to the bridge. She felt Engineering was most likely a better location for her but with the ship sealed she knew that would take too long.

After gaining assess to the tubes it did not take her long to drop down to deck 2. Deck one was split between 1A, the bridge, and 1B the cargo bay. Once on deck two she began to float her way to a bridge access point. She attempted to rush but was slowed down by a dizziness. She had hoped that this was due to 0g but worried it was due to blood loss or the hit to her head.

***Deck 2***

"Captain!" Vene heard someone yell down the corridor. As she stopped she saw two young crewmen float her way,

"What do you know?" she asked softly thinking it was to keep them calm when in reality it was to ease her own mind,

The two crewmen looked at each other for a moment before speaking over each other. A moment later just one was speaking, "It looked like a power surge, Ma'am. Then the ship jolted starboard, since then we have had no power. We haven't seen or heard much else,"

Vene did not want to ask how long it had been since this had all happened. The crewmen where already staring at her bloody hair, "Starboard you say," she repeated as her mind raced, "Listen to me carefully. Life support is down, if you can't tell it is getting colder in here," The two crewmen looked at each other fearfully, "I need you both to go down to deck 3, the first person you find tell them to go to deck 4 and they need to tell the first person to go to deck 5 and so on, Understood," The crew nodded, "You need to tell everyone you find and have them tell everyone they find that if they are not engineers or operations to get to the most inner part of the ship. It will be the warmest there longest, Understood," The crewmen nodded again, "Have all engineers, and Ops officers to get to engineering," Vene paused for a moment, going through in her mind what would happen for life support to be down and how she would try to fix it back when she was an engineer, "Have them go to engineering or the shuttle bay," Vene betting that the shuttle could be used for power and her engineer was already trying that,"

"Yes ma'am," The both went to turn,

"One more thing," Vene added, "Tell people to grab a tricorder, If it gets to -15C in the inner part of them ship tell the crew to wrap up in whatever they can find and make their way to escape pods," Vene could not believe what she just ordered. At -15c a human can live for a couple hours, if smart, But if the inner ship is at -15 the outer sections would be much colder and she need to make sure the crew would be able to launch the pods. Once off the ship she knew her crew would no longer be at risk of freezing to death, "And while traveling stay to the starboard side of the ship, There may be a hull breach on the port side," -

"Understood," the stated nervously


Commander Vene
Commanding Officer

Chief Petty Officer Zev

Lt. Jacob Thortin
Chief Engineer

Away mission: "Oh, so we're here now?" Part 2 Mission day 2
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Shit, the sentries! Shae watched the away team running from the Vo'Zan with baited breath. What the hell were they doing out here so late?! Probably looking for her. Or maybe, like her, they were drawn to the light of the away team's transport when they landed. No matter the how or why the sentries were here, they had found the away team and there was little Shae could do about it with them being so close to the array.

Hanna ran as fast as her feet could carry her. How had they not detected these life forms before now? Their tricorders were all over this place, they should have had some warning! Some sort of projectile weapon grazed her thigh as she tried to escape, not enough to seriously injure her, but enough to make her lose her footing and fall. She cried out as she hit the ground hard.

As Hanna fell. Se'Lah raced towards her, tackling one of the primitives, preventing them from harming her. "St James, Myomoto! Get her out of here!" She ordered as she struggled with the one she'd tackled.

Myomoto had already been on the move by the time the knife reached Se'Lah. His initial instinct was to rush the attackers to break the ambush but his starfleet training took over when he heard his commanders orders. He headed back to the prone figure and scooped it up ordering James to cover the commander and the retreat.

Hannah held tight to Myomoto as he carried her away from the primitives that had ambushed them, looking back at Se'Lah as she held off the wave. This couldn't be happening! These were primitives, they shouldn't have been able to get them jump the away team!

As soon as the team had put enough distance between themselves and the array, Shae leapt out of the trees. She wasn't certain if it was wise to show herself now, but she wasn't going to let the Vo'Zak take them. "Run!" she barked out, her arrows flew past the team to help cover their backs and aid in their retreat.

James hadn't been able to even get close to Se'Lah as she had been surrounded. Instead, he ran, leaving the Vulcan to fend for herself as he brought up the rear of their escape.

Se'Lah heard another unfamiliar voice in the woods telling the others to run, and as she looked up from applying a nerve pinch, she felt an explosion of pain, and the world around her simply faded to black.

Myomoto wasn't sure what to make of the woman shooting arrows to cover them, but he was never one to turn down help in a pinch. Whatever came of this he could deal with later. He just kept his head up and ran until he couldn't hear his pursuers anymore and stopped so the away team could regroup.

Shae wanted to go back to get the Vulcan Commander, but right now her priority was assuring the safety and well-being of the away team; she knew the Vo'Zak would not harm the woman for the time being. As the away team fled, Shae led the sentries in a different direction. Once she was certain that they would not be found in the darkness, she sought out the away team.

As the others made their escape, the Vo'Zan drug an unconscious Se'Lah away into the woods, along with the sentry that the woman had knocked out, leaving the clearing exactly as it had been before the away team had set foot there.

Satisfied that neither the away team nor herself was being pursued, Shae crept through the forest towards the away team. She wasn't certain how they would react to her, so she kept her bow at the ready just in case.

Myomoto noticed the approaching figure and stepped in front of the away team protectively. She was armed so he made sure she saw his phaser and called out "I know you helped us and I thank you but if you want to come any closer you are going to have prove a friendly. Lower you bow, put the arrow away and approach slowly!"

With a low growl, Shae stepped slowly out of the trees, lowering her bow and sliding her arrow back into her quiver. "Are you able to contact your ship?" she asked, her voice a rough whisper.

Myomoto was kind of surprised by that question but remembered that they couldn't while back at the artifact. "I'm not sure.
=/\= Myomoto to Islandica=/\=

The silence of the night was all that greeted Myomoto as he tried to contact the Islandica.

"It seems you are stranded," Shae said softly, hesitantly stepping just a little bit closer. "Will you allow me to tend to your wounded?"

Myomoto was a little flustered but answered "Put your bow down and I will be watching... And yes please. Any assistance would be appreciated." He looked around "Any ideas people? We need to get the XO back and we don't know anything about these people."

Shae shouldered her bow and tentatively approached the wounded Ensign sitting on a tree stump. Hanna wasn't comfortable letting this strange primitive tend to her injury, and yet there was a curiosity about her. This strange woman wasn't like the other natives, and she knew English and knew they had come from a starship.

"You're not native to this world," Hanna remarked as Shae ripped her pants to have better access to the wound.

"No, I am not," Shae answered as she reached into her satchel for a skin of water and began to gently clean the wound. She glanced up at Myomoto who seemed to be in charge for the moment. "I am familiar with these people, I can help free your Commander."

Moyomoto was visibly pleased to hear that. "I have never been in command of a non combat mission before so this is very unfamiliar to me. Especially with prime directive issues involved."

"These people are already contaminated," Shae informed him as she found some scraps of cloth in her bag and began to tear it to make bandages. "The array you were studying, they idolize it, they call it..." She paused for a moment to think of the translation. "Humming Tree. They call it Humming Tree and it has influenced unusual behavior for a society at this stage of development. The best we can hope for at this point is to minimize how much worse we make the situation."

Myomoto took a second to think about this information "Contaminated or not I would like to keep further contamination to a minimum if not eliminate it all together. What do you know about this Humming Tree Miss....?"

"I can help you keep contamination to a minimum. I have worked with the Vo'Zak, they know me," Shae said as she secured a makeshift bandage around Hanna's leg. "My name is Shae, and my knowledge of the array is limited, I cannot go near it, all I know is the superstition that surrounds it and most of that is rubbish."

"Well Shae my name is 1st Lt Joseph Myomoto. I guess we should probably start with the superstitions that AREN'T... Rubish" he smiled at the uncommonly used word. "And proceed from there. Also why is it that you cannot go near the array?"

"It causes me great pain," Shae replied sadly. She rose from where she knelt beside Hanna and fixed Myomoto with an eerie gaze that almost glowed in the faint moonlight. "At this point, the array is not all that important. Retrieving your Commander should take priority, then we can discuss the array and how to re-establish communication with your ship." As she spoke more, it slowly became evident that she had a very distinct accent of Irish origin, so not only did she not belong on this world, but she came from Earth.

"Agreed. How much can you tell me about there settlement. And whether or not you have seen them deal with prisoners. Where would they take her?... Ugh... Anything at this point." Myomoto's frustration showed through at this point and he began to pace back and forth. "What I would give for a marine Rapid Response Team at this point. Hell I would take my own Tac gear and the Intel chief at this point."

"It's not much of a settlement, they mostly reside in caves, though there is a small group that migrates nearby but they are irrelevant for now," Shae said. "And you will not need a Rapid Response Team, I am all the team you will need. I suggest we find a place to hide your injured officer and leave your other officer to guard her, then I will take you to the caves where your Commander is being kept."

"You're going to leave me alone out here?" St James asked franticly, "What if they come back? I can't defend us all by myself?"

Myomoto sighed "You are a Starfleet officer and you will not only perform you duty you will a excel at it! Am I clear? You just need to stay here and stay quiet and unseen. Shae and I will go after the XO." He turned to Shae. "I think it's best if we are off and get this done. Which way?"

"You are in no immediate danger here," Shae assured St. James. "The Vo'Zak never venture far from the caves in the dark, so you are safe until the sun rises." Then she turned and led Myomoto into the forest. "Follow me."

James held tight to his gun as the two left him and the Ensign alone. He was going to do his job the best he could. Her life was now in his hands. He had a Job to do, I job he was pretty sure he could do.


Lieutenant Commander Se'Lah
Executive Officer

1st Lt. 1st Lieutenant Joseph Myomoto
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer & Intel Officer

Lieutenant JG Kalin "Shae" Brennan
Science officer

NPC Lieutenant JG James St James
Tactical Officer
Played by Commander Vene

NPC Ensign Hanna Jameson
Science Officer
Played by Lieutenant JG Kalin Brennan