Stepping Into a New Role Deck 1 - Conference Room MD1 - 0800 hours
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Sitting across from the conference table from Commander Ren'Vo, Enalia Telvan was discussing her role as a new Lt Commander actually in charge of the USS Hera. She knew she met all the requirements and her accomplishments in the Trill militia gave her a bit of a foothold on making rank, but she was still amazed at her current circumstances. Listening to the female vulcan drone on about her responsibilities as little more than academy administration and as an advisor to Enalia, her thoughts wandered to what she knew of her XO - she seemed to at least be similar in her case, having completed most of her academy training and promoted to Lieutenant the same way.

"Do you have any questions Commander?" The vulcan lady actually paused and waited for a response, bringing Enalia back to the conversation at hand. Without skipping a beat, she replies calmly, "It all seems rather straightforward, though I'm sure it will prove otherwise most of the time. Do we have an estimate on when all instructors, cadets, and supplies will be brought on board?"

Commander Ren'Vo looks down at her PADD and clicks it a few times. "It seems we have most of the supplies already and the last of the crew will be boarding within the next few days."

"Excellent. If that's all, I'd like to familiarize myself with the ship a little."

"Very well. I will be on the bridge later, if you require assistance."

Nodding to the vulcan woman, Enalia walks out of the conference room to the bridge, surveying the scene before her. Several Cadets were working with instructors going over the systems specific to the USS Hera and on the main screen, the image of the cardassian designed station they were docked with dominated the view.

Walking over to the middle of the large bridge, Enalia looks over her new seat. The center seat. It looked comfortable enough to sit in, and it had all the needed controls on the arms, but something about it still didn't seem real to her. It felt very isolated, being in the very center of the room, the steps in front of it only adding to the feel.

Turning to the on duty Ops officer, she placed a hand on the back of the chair he was sitting in. "I'll be in my ready room. When our new XO is ready, please have her see me in there. Also, let stellar cartography know I want a list of the anomalies in this sector. I want to see if there's anything interesting we can go survey for our first cruise together."

Barely glancing up, he responded with a "Yes Ma'am" and set about sending the messages.

Enalia, Taking one more glance around, walked over to the door of her new ready room. As the door opened for her, she paused for just a moment before stepping in. It was fairly empty. desk, 3 chairs, computer console, drink replicator... There was a model of the Hera on the wall and an empty fish tank built into a wall behind her desk, but other than that the room was pretty much the same as it was the day it was built.

Sitting at her new desk, she taps the computer console, bringing up the manifest of recent maintenance and upgrades. "This looks like a good place to start."
Coming Aboard Deck 6 - Transporter Room 1 | Deck 8 - XO's Quarters MD1 - 1200 hours
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"Preparing to transport. Energizing....." The transporter cadet said as the chief watched him.

Emilie materialized onboard, her brown hair sparkled and she watched as the cadet operated the transporter.

"Good work cadet." The chief said. "Welcome to the USS Hera ma'am."

"Thank you cadet." Emilie said glancing at the very young man standing at the consol. Emilie took Liam and they stepped off the pad.

"Ma'am will that be all of your luggage?" The chief asked looking at the Lieutenant.

"No I have a few things that should be coming aboard later just some small boxes, if you could have them delivered yo my room that would be great." She said. "Come on Liam, lets go to our quarters." Emilie said leading liam out into the Hall. She pulled out a pad. "Ok so our quarters are on deck 8."

"Mom" Liam said looking at Emilie.

"Yes Liam?" Emilie said stopping and looking at Liam.

"This is our new home right?" He asked.

"Yes it is." Emilie replied getting down to his level.

"Awesome." He said. He then ran off down the hall.

Emilie sighed and ran to get him back. When she caught him she said "Liam please dont run away from me. Its a big ship and you could get lost."

"Alright." He said sighing.

They entered the turbolift together "Deck 8." Emilie said. The lift went up a few decks. "Come on, lets find out quarters." Emilie said grabbing Liam's hand before he was able to run away. They walked down the corridor together. "Ah here we are." Emilie said "The Xo's quarters with an extra room." She entered and let go of Liam's hand. She began to unpack all of her clothes in her drawers. Then she began to unpack family pictures and some of Liams toys.

"Liam Im going to get you some lunch then someone will come here and take care of you while I go to work." Emilie said. She walked over to the replicator. "One peanut butter and jelly sandwich." she said. She waited as the food materialized. "Liam its ready."

"Ok mom." liam said walking to the dining room and sat down.

Emilie walked over with the plate in her hand. Here is your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. "Here you go." Emilie said.

Liam took the plate to his room with his toys and began to eat and play.

"Liam im going to go meet the captain but I will be back in an hour ok? Do not go anywhere." Emilie said walking out the door.


Post by

Lt. Emilie Wolf
Executive Officer
USS Hera

Liam Wolf
Family Member
No Good Deed Deep Space 12 - Promenade MD1 - 0015 hours
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The scream, carried above the din on Deep Space 12's busy Promenade, seemed to split the air. A commotion rippled down across the lower level through the bustling crowd, and 3rd-Year Starfleet Cadet Quentin Cross looked up just in time to see a young alien girl barrel between two Ferengi merchants and streak past the al fresco dining area where Cross sat. She was cute, observed Quentin, as the girl loped by, seemingly in slow-motion. Pretty and petite, with wide sparkling black eyes on her delicate mouse-like face. A pair of large rounded ears poked out of the top of a shock of coarse, taupe-colored hair. A heather-grey bodysuit hugged her lithe little frame, and a brown leather satchel trailed behind her as she ran.

As the mouse girl passed by, Quentin caught sight of her pursuers: two male Seleucids, clad in the dark Cardassian leathers common to the smugglers and brigands that infested the star systems in this sector. The Seleucids weaved and wriggled through the throng of passersby with impressive speed and agility. Their sleek and slender bodies almost seemed to undulate as they snaked past. Quentin felt his blood run cold at the sight of their slitted reptilian eyes, and the way their black bifurcated tongues flicked out from between their fierce fanged lips. The smooth shiny scales of their feldgrau complexions gave their skin an almost wet-looking sheen as they slithered after the mouse girl.

The mouse girl darted off the Promenade and down an abandoned alley hoping to find refuge, and felt her heart sink when she realized that the poorly-lit passageway terminated in a dead end. She turned to try and make it back out into the open Promenade, but suddenly froze as the serpentine figures of the two Seleucids appeared at the entrance to the alley.

"Well, well, well," chortled the Seleucid on the left, as he glided slowly forward. "Looks like we finally got the tender little morsel boxed in, now, don't it?"

"Looks like," agreed the Seleucid on the right, gently sliding a scaly hand onto the disruptor pistol that sat in a holster on his hip. "I gotta say, my little bite-sized beauty: I really don't appreciate your stealing our latinum."

"Rude, is what it was," commented the first Seleucid, who violently kicked a flimsy plasticite crate, sending it crashing into the wall behind the frightened mouse girl. "The rules were: we pay, you play. You ain't supposed to run out before we even start playin' witcha."

"Not very nice of you," tsked the second Seleucid, shaking his head sadly. "I think you still owe us quite a bit of playtime, I'm afraid. What say we take this little game back to our ship, where can all get a bit more comfortable?"

"And is this a private game?" asked Quentin Cross from the entrance to the alley. "Or can anybody join in?"

The two Seleucids froze and turned to look at the soon-to-be dead man who dared to interrupt their fun with the mouse girl. There, standing just inside the alleyway with a Federation hand phaser drawn and pointed at them both, stood a tall young Human male wearing a Starfleet uniform. The second Seleucid with the hand on his disruptor pistol locked eyes with the young Starfleet cadet, his snake eyes looking for a sign of hesitation that was so common in such a soft and sympathetic species like Humans. Quentin only stared right back, determined not to show any doubt.

"Go away, Starfleeter," hissed the first Seleucid, turning his attention back to the mouse girl once he saw that his partner had eyes on the young Human. "Not your affair."

"The girl screamed for help and I heard her," Quentin said, holding both the timbre of his voice and the phaser in his hand steady. "That makes it my affair. Now how about you two take a walk before my friends with the gold shirts show up, and this conversation takes on a whole different tone."

The second Seleucid broke eye contact with Quentin and glanced at his partner. Quentin could see in the look that passed between them, that neither of them wanted to involve the station's Security Department in their business. The second Seleucid lifted his scaly greyish-green hand off of the disruptor at his hip and stood up straight, holding his hands out at his sides to show that he had no intention of drawing his weapon on the young Starfleet cadet.

"She's far from innocent in all this," seethed the second Seleucid as his partner turned away from the mouse girl and likewise lifted his hands to face Quentin. "This little thief stole a whole lot of latinum from us, you know."

"Then you should stick around and file a report with Security when they show up," answered Quentin, unmoved. "Or not. Your choice." And with his phaser still trained on the two snake-like brigands, Quentin stepped aside, unblocking the path that lead out of the dead-end alley.

The two Seleucids exchanged another sneer, and then gingerly glided past the armed Starfleet cadet, and out of the downturn. Without another word, the two men stepped into the surging crowd that churned past the alley on the Promenade, and disappeared. Once they were out of sight, Quentin holstered his phaser and turned his attention to the young mouse girl that crouched in a quivering ball at the end of the passageway.

"It's alright," Quentin said soothingly. "They're gone now."

The mouse girl looked up, peeking between the fingers of her gloved hand to see that the two snakes who had been hunting her had really disappeared. In their place, looking down at her with the kindest cutest brown eyes she had ever seen on a non-Myosian, was a young chocolate-skinned Human male, wearing the form-fitting uniform of a Starfleet cadet.

"OH THANK YOU!" cried the mouse girl, flinging herself up off of the floor and onto the athletic Starfleeter. Her slender arms hugged tightly around his waist, and she buried her head into his chest, squeezing him for all he was worth.

"Okay, take it easy," smiled Quentin, patting the girl on the shoulder comfortingly. "They didn't hurt you, did they?"

The girl only shook her head, and hugged Quentin even tighter.

"You're going to cut off circulation to my legs if you hug me any tighter, you know," laughed the cadet. "What's your name? Where are you from?"

"I'm Meeka," squeaked the mouse girl, looking up and Quentin with big black eyes. "I'm a Myosian . . . but I'm . . . I'm not really from anywhere."

Quentin reflected on that for a moment. He had heard about Myosians as a kid from his moms, but he had never met one before. It was said that their homeworld was destroyed, scattering their entire species all across the Alpha Quadrant. A desperate and displaced people, many of them resorted to lives of debasement and delinquency in order to survive. Quentin thought that he could understand that on some level. After losing his mothers as a kid, it would have been easy for him and his sisters to succumb to despair, too.

Suddenly, the mousy Myosian girl jerked away, her large rounded ears twitching as she glanced past Quentin towards the entrance to the hallway. Before Quentin could react, Meeka bolted for the entrance to the alleyway, and in a flash, darted into the crowd. Quentin went after the Myosian girl, but upon reaching the Promenade, realized that she was long gone. As Quentin scanned the crowd, looking for a sign as to where Meeka could have disappeared to, the young cadet caught sign of another commotion rippling through the churning crowd towards. Just then, out of the river of people waded a trio of Starfleet Security officers, led by a stunning statuesque Klingon woman with her long dark hair in a braid behind her back and the pips of a lieutenant on the collar of her gold-accented Starfleet uniform.

"You! Cadet!" cried the fierce Klingon security chief, approaching Quentin. "You reported an incident involving a young girl with a satchel. Where is she?"

"She disappeared, Sir," answered Quentin, who found himself standing a bit straighter in the Klingon woman's presence.

"What?!" demanded the Klingon woman, and she quickly gave a nod to the two goldshirts behind her, who each immediately fanned out, looking for a sign of where the Myosian girl might have gone. Turning back to face Quentin, the angry Klingon woman ordered, "Tell me what happened."

Quentin related what he had seen: how he had heard Meeka cry for help and run past. How she had been chased into an alley by two unidentified Seleucid males who seemed intent on harming her. How Quentin had stepped in when it seemed they were ready to take Meeka by force. And how, to Quentin's sudden embarassment, the Starfleet cadet had stepped aside to allow the Seleucids to leave the alley.

"I hadn't actually observed them committing a crime, Sir," Quentin began, hoping to explain himself before the Klingon security chief could become too irate. "My only thought was to keep them from harming the girl, and prevent any bloodshed. Allowing the two men a way to back out of the confrontation seemed like the best option at the time -"

"I don't care about the Seleucids," fumed the Klingon woman, her hands resting in fists on her hips. "It's the Myosian girl I'm interested in speaking to!"

Quentin was puzzled. "I don't understand, Sir."

"That Myosian girl is wanted for questioning in over 16 instances of theft, burglary, pickpocketing and solicitation on this station," sneered the Klingon lieutenant.

Quentin felt his stomach drop. Meeka was a criminal? That poor, pretty, petrified, petite little girl -?

"Cadet," asked the Klingon woman, stepping forward to look down at Quentin, despite his height of 6 feet. "How did you convince the Seleucids to back down from attacking the Myosian?"

"I, um . . . I drew my phaser on them, Sir."

The Klingon woman leaned forward to look Quentin in the eyes, intently. "And where is that phaser now, Cadet?"

"It's right h-" Quentin stopped mid-sentence as he moved to pat a hand on the phaser clipped to his waist and realized with a sinking feeling that the weapon was no longer there. Something like panic flashed behind Quentin's soft brown eyes, before he suddenly realized with defeat where it had gone.

"She stole it from me, didn't she?" Quentin asked, unable to look the Klingon officer in the eye as he shook his head in disbelief.

The Klingon woman nodded. "Looks like your going to have some explaining to do to your CO aboard the Hera in the morning, doesn't it?"

Quentin sighed and hung his head as he returned to DS-12's Security Station with the Klingon officer to file a report for the missing phaser, before turning in for the night. The incident would go into his record, no doubt. It was definitely not the best way to begin his assignment aboard the Hera.
Stars, Here We Come Deep Space 12 - Docking Airlock 10 MD1 - 0900 hours
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Zalilia was sitting hunched over a PADD, trying to get her head around the Quantum Physics of black holes. When her combadge chirped at her, quickly putting the PADD down beside her she tapped her combadge and said, “Cadet Eru, here” the response she received was to report to the Commandants Office. After closing the coms line, she sighed, tucked a strand of blonde hair behind her ears and moved to start putting all her PADD away, she then walked out of her dorm room thinking ‘I’ve not done anything at all yet to get me in-trouble, hopeful someone’s not started up that little, let’s get Eru in more trouble joy fest again.’

After the short walk to the Commandants Office, which she could almost do in her sleep now, Zalilia stood in front of the Commandants Office, with a quick straighten of her uniform she walked in and came to a stop before the Commandants Receptionist, “Cadet 3yr Eru, to report to the Commandant” with a smile she responded “One moment please.” With that she tapped a button on her console informing the Commandant of the cadet’s presents.

“Well you must have done some good this time, not one screaming instructor or ship’s captain and she seemed happy when she had me contact you.” Was all the receptionist got out before she received orders to send the cadet in, with a nod of her head to Zalilia as the signal to go in.

Before Zalilia could stop in-front of the commandant’s desk she was already talking. “It seems Cadet that someone out there is looking out for you, as your request to Commander T'Lana Ren'Vo was approved by Star Fleet Command and the good Commander.”

The Commandant took a breath and then continued “Now the ship has already left, so you are to get yourself to Deep Space Twelve, and before you ask NO you are not allowed to fly a shuttle there. The Universe still has at least 2 year before it need to brace itself for that fun.”

After pausing for a few seconds she asked “Any questions?”

As soon as the Rear Admiral had menaced Commander T'Lana Ren'Vo, Zalilia had been ready to jump for joy. Just managing to control her voice, she responded with a “No Sir, no questions.”

Zalilia barely heard the Admiral good luck, as she’d turned and made a dash for the door on dismissed.

With a shake of her head Rear Admiral Brand decided not to call the cadet back in and give her a telling off about conduct, she remembered when she was that age and acted like that when she got her first assignment.

Zalilia just managed to stop before the receptionist, to get the hard copy of her new assignment and orders. With a quick look at the PADD she saw that she had 3 hours to get pack and up to Earth Space Dock as the SS Tomoe Gozen was bound for Deep Space Twelve. With that she made her way back to her dorm to start packing.

One of her rival happened to see Zalilia pack and can’t wait to rub it in thinking that Zalilia was quitting. “Ah, known you didn’t have the guts to stick it out in Star Fleet, just a flash in the pan, not willing to work at it.”

Zalilia stopped packing for a second and was about to retaliate and then just shrugged her shoulders and carried on packing. Just as her rival was about to open her mouth and say something else, Zalilia’s roommate can rushing in, “Did I read your message right?”

The rival just smirked she though that Zalilia got on ok with her roommate but if she was this excited that Zalilia was leave then maybe they didn’t again she was about to say something but the roommate had only paused to catch her breath. “You got your request to do a 2 year cadet cruise.”

At those words the rival blow up, cadet cruise were meant to be given out to the best of the best to help them get to grips with star ship life quicker, almost shouting she said “How the hell does a misfit and trouble magnet like you get on a cadet cruise, and a year early as well!”

Zalilia with a smile just respond, “Some are good, but other are great.” She winked at her roommate, as her rival was doing a good impression of a gold-fish, “well that’s my stuff all packed, want to walk with me to the transporter pad?”

“Sure, it’s a shame you have to leave so quickly.” With that both Zalilia and her ex-roommate leave her ex-rival still looking like a goldfish.

“Well if I get this transport I’ll make it to DS12 before it gets there otherwise they’d have to wait and you know me, I’m going to need all the good graces I can get with my new ship and captain.” With that they both laughed, on entering the Transporter Room Zalilia hands her travel order over to the ops ensign and steps on a pad, with one last wave to her ex-roommate she’s beamed up to Earth Space Dock.

After finding out where the Tome Gozen was dock and making her way there, thankfully with been Star Fleet she didn’t have to go through customs, she’d have never made the departure times, and she boarded and was meat by the captain “Hey Starfleet.”

Zalilia look to the neck collar to see who it was, noticing it was a non-star fleet uniform, Zalilia looked to the shoulder on seeing the Wings on the chest and the bar on the shoulder, Zalilia replied “How can I help you captain?”

“You Rare Losty’s kid? Heard he had one that joined up.”

With a look a shock she got out, “Aye sir, Rareeyic Eru is my father and Skipper of the Lost n Found. If their ship pattern is still the same they should be on Spoon Spider same time we are.”

With a fake look of shock the captain said “I didn’t think a Starfleet officer would speak like that, what’s your commanding officer kid I’m going to report you for that.”

“Now captain I would assume that you would know the look of an officer’s uniform and see that I’m just a wee green wet behind the ear cadet.” With that the captain clapped Zalilia on the back, “I though it mite be you so I moved one of the trades to the smaller cabins and gave you his one. Just don’t tell him.”

Zalilia had forgotten what it was like being stuck on a ship, without anything to do. 60 days to get from Earth to Deep Space 12, in that time she’d been able to contact her family and confirm that they would be on DS12 when she got there. The other passenger were traders or people going to see the worm hole, and the crew, well apart from the captain tried to make out that they were space hardened rogues, she just got a laugh out of that. Growing up on a ‘trade’ ship that flew Salva to Deep Space 12, meant she had seen more scary things than getting search by Federation ships.

After thanking the good captain for the trip she made her way to 7th heaven’s on entering the noise was deafening, taking a quick look around she happened to see her brother Dejjel, he had his back to her, leaning back over the rail on the upper floor of the bar surrounding the dabo table.

Zalilia found the stairs leading up and made her way over to her family, she saw her father and mother, Vidria, holding each other and laugh at something one of the other occupants of the table had said. As she got closer and one of the bar occupants moved she saw Briria and Jeenarin were also there she wondered where Izin was, then almost slapped her head – something she’d picked up from the humans at the academy. Izin would be standing watch on the ship.

Zalilia almost had to shout to be heard over the noise “Hi mum, hi dad how are you both?” both parents turned at and looked at Zalilia with a look of who are you before, they focused on the face and were like “Zalilia!”

Vidria recovered first and said “Get over here and give your mother a hug.” As Zalilia was hugging her mum she nodded to Briria and Jeenarin, and then said to Dejjel “So Izin’s ill is he, finely given him food poisoning then?” Jeenarin giggled at Zalilia comment.

Briria turned to look at Dejjel and said “First I’ve heard about it.” And Jeenarin got in on the fun “So that’s what all the mess was in my poor baby,”

Dejjel just sighed, having 3 younger sister meant he was always getting picked on, if it wasn’t his older brother trying to toughen him up, it was one or all three of his sister making fun of him.

Vidria let go of Zalilia turned to her other two daughters and gave them the look, both Briria and Jeenarin ducked their heads for a second.

Just as Zalilia was about to take a seat, her PADD bleeped at her, after a quick glance, it was her turn to sigh, “Damn, it seems my boats come in early, I have to go meet it as the station’s already flagged me as on station.”

On finding out which docking port Hera was docked at Zalilia made her way there, after activating the second lock door she came to attention and stated to the security officer on the other side, “Cadet 3yr Eru, requesting permission to board.”

The security officer held up his hand and said “One second, please” he then tapped his combadge “Lieutenant Radcliff to Chief of the Boat, I have a Cadet Eru requesting permission to board.”

“Lieutenant Radcliff, please inform the Cadet to report to Sickbay for a full medical.” With that the Chief of the Boat closed the com-line.

Radcliff just looked at Zalilia and said “you heard, off to sickbay with you.”
First Meeting Deck 1 - Captain's Ready Room MD1 - 1230 hours
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After Emilie left her quarters she went to go check in with the captain. She walked across the bridge saying hi to some of the staff and cadets. She walked up to the captains ready room and rang the chime.

Looking up from her terminal, LTCMDR Telvan clicks it off and says "Enter," hoping that chime meant one of her new command staff is reporting in.

Emilie heard the acknowledgement and stepped into the CO's office. She walked up to the captains desk "Lieutenant Emilie Wolf, Executive Officer, reporting for duty." She said.

Standing slightly and smiling, Enalia motions to the other chair in the room. "Please, come in and have a seat. Welcome aboard the Hera. What do you think of her and Starfleet's plan for us? Personally, I'm fascinated and look forward to seeing what kind of tings are in store for us."

Emilie took a seat across from her captain. "I am thrilled, I have a son and husband on board and Im hoping my son will someday become an officer. I think that hosting a cadet cruise is a great idea, it will prove to be a good life lesson for them. I remember my cadet cruise, it was some of the most fun I have ever had." She said.

Smiling warmly, Enalia nods a bit. "It sounds like you have everything well in hand. There aren't many facilities for families, but we're a lot better equipped for that sort of thing than almost any other ship in the fleet, at least. As for the cruise part, Starfleet is expecting us to make it hard for the cadets. with the majority of the crew being cadets and most of the experienced crew being trained as teachers in their specialization, this should make for a very fun... I mean..." A look of concentration passing over her face, Enalia continues in her version of an official voice. "This cruise is meant to build character and train these cadets for Starfleet's primary mission of exploration, diplomacy, and border patrol. There will be no time for fun and games." She smiles wide and giggles just a bit. "According to command."

"I think I understand how this thing works." She said. "Anyway, when will we get our first batch of cadets?" Emilie asked politely.

Enalia checks her terminal real quick. "We already have some. They're helping with the final refit procedures and learning the ship's systems now. The main group will arrive on Tuesday."

"Ah." Emilie said. "And I assume the Academy teachers will join them?" She guessed.

Nodding slightly, Enalia continues. "Yes, hopefully they come aboard a little sooner to help organize the cadets into classes and flights. We have a very basic curriculum outline we have to follow, but generally, that's up to us and the instructors."

"Ah, as Executive Officer will I have a group of cadets? Or is more for Department heads and Instructors?" She asked, she already had a kid so whats a couple more?

Nodding again, a smile creeping wider on her face, Enalia replies, "As part of the command staff, we'll have responsibility of all of them. Especially the ones that will be taking positions directly under us."

"Ah yes of course. Also is there any word on the rest of the Senior Staff? And will they be cadets or officers?" Emilie asked.

Enalia taps at her console for a second. "I've chosen a few cadets for command duty and i think a few are actually freshly graduated Ensigns, but for the most part, we're going to be it as far as actual officers as far as I can tell. It should make for an interesting experience, I'd say."

Emilie smiled "Im sure it will. Lets just hope that we wont have any problems with them. I've never been around cadets like this before, I've got a feeling that we are going to be working very closely for the next few months." she said.

Enalia shifts in her seat a bit and smiles widely, "I look forward to our time together. I'm sure things will be rough, but I think we can manage it, don't you?"

"Yea, I mean if I can handle a six year old I can handle a couple of teenagers...right?" She asked.

Enalia smiles and stands, walking around the desk. "I can only assume so, but at the very least, these teenagers are Starfleet professionals so maybe not as hard to take care of as the 6 year old. I hate to chat and run, but I need to check on some of the upgrades and refits in progress. A couple of them should be done about now, but they keep running into 'compatability issues,' as the engineers call them. Please settle in as best you can, and if you need anything please let me know, ok? And welcome aboard." With that, Enalia smiles brighter and offers her hand in welcome.

"Alright Captain." Emilie said as she stood up "Its been a pleasure." She said as she walked out of the ready room door and onto the bridge. She took a seat at the Captains chair as the captain would be going around getting reports.


Post by

Lieutenant Commander Enalia Telvan
Commanding Officer
USS Hera

Lieutenant Emilie Wolf
Executive Officer
USS Hera
The Commander and the Cadet Deck 1 - CO's Ready Room MD1 - 1345 hours
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As Cadet Junior Grade Quentin Cross exited the turbolift to find himself on the Bridge of the USS Hera, a smile spread across his handsome boyish features. The 3rd year Starfleet cadet had seen the bridge of a Nebula-class starship before in a holodeck recreation, but being on one for real was a different experience entirely. Perhaps it was the knowledge that, in a few short days, Quentin would be underway as part of this starship's operational crew. The prospect might have terrified the untested 20 year-old, if the promise of the adventure that awaited him didn't thrill him beyond words. He was going to get to do what almost every other cadet in his place could only dream about ... and here was where he was going to get to do it! Quentin carried a small duffel bag slung across his back as he admired the Bridge's almost luxurious decor, his eye falling appreciatively on the trio of command chairs that sat at the center of the room facing forward. Finally, the young cadet found himself standing in front of the door that led to the Commanding Officer's Ready Room. Signalling the door chime, Quentin smoothed down his red-accented Starfleet cadet uniform, and waited for Lieutenant Commander Enalia Telvan to answer.

Hearing the door chime, Enalia taps the screens on both of her desktop terminals to turn them off. She had so much cross referencing and learning to do as captain of the Hera that she had to have a second one. In fact, she was even considering a third for a while, just to do a little catch up work. But right now, there was someone at her door. "Come in." she called, hoping it was one of the holo-classroom techs reporting they were done. Unfortunately for her, it was only one of the cadets. A familiar one, at that. Was this the one she chose as her 2nd officer and Chief of the Boat?

Quentin entered the room and found himself face-to-face with the Hera's CO. Enalia Telvan was much younger than Quentin had expected, with a fresh youthful face that looked like she had just graduated from the Academy herself. The soft brown spots that trailed from her hairline and down the sides of her face to her neck identified the lieutenant commander as a Trill. With long dark black hair and confident dark brown eyes, Quentin decided that he found her quite attractive.

Quentin came up to stand in front of Lt.Cmdr Telvan's desk and, after depositing his duffel bag on one of the empty chairs, stood at attention with a smile and a PADD in his folded hands. "Good morning, Sir -" Quentin began, before suddenly becoming flustered. "I mean, 'Ma'am'-?" Was it 'Sir' or 'Ma'am'? Damn it, he was training to be a command officer! He should know this already. "Sorry," the cadet apologized, determined to continue. "Cadet Junior Grade Quentin Cross, reporting, Ma'am." Quentin ended his introduction by holding out the PADD that held his identification, credentials and commission orders.

Taking the orders and clicking through them uncommonly slowly, thinking about what to say, Enalia goes through everything. After a minute, she realizes that the cadet was still standing at attention. Looking up at him, she finally speaks. "At ease cadet. I'm glad you made it here safely. Please help yourself to the drink replicator and sit down. I know current training has everyone saying Sir to everyone, so I understand, but I prefer Ma'am when possible." Feeling her symbiote shift in her abdomen, she places her hand over it momentarily and shifts in her chair. Neither her nor the worm were comfortable in this chair - she'll have to have it replaced with an actual Trill chair when she had the time.

"Um ... thank you, Ma'am," Quentin managed to say, as he moved his suddenly cold and leaden feet toward the Ready Room's small beverage replicator. "Rigelian hot cocoa, extra strong," ordered the cadet, and he watched as the beverage materialized in a white ceramic mug. Quentin took the mug of steaming chocolate and slipped into a seat across from Lt.Cmdr Telvan. After a tentative sip, the 3rd-year cadet asked. "So ... how's it going this morning Ma'am?"

Shaking her head slightly, she sighs. "Well, I'm still trying to get used to this slug and all the new thoughts and feelings and things, this chair is very uncomfortable, I'm still waiting on a survey of nearby nebulae for our maiden voyage, most of the instructors are late and the bulk of the cadets will be arriving before them now, and the overhaul of most of the systems is behind schedule by a day. At the rate we're going, our maiden voyage will be to the nearest bar." Looking over Quentin again, she sighs once more, leaning back in her chair, wincing at the lack of proper lumbar support. "So how has your day been so far? Was it you that had a run-in on the station?"

The young cadet sighed, a look of embarrassment on his face. "Um ... yes, Ma'am," Quentin replied, adding quickly, "and I take full responsibility for letting my weapon be stolen. It won't happen again." Quentin hesitated, a pained vaguely hopeful expression on his boyish features. "How much trouble am I in, Ma'am?" he asked, tentatively.

Tapping one of her computers on, she checks over the ship's sensor grid status. "It may be an abuse, but if you have the weapon serial number, take it to astrometrics lab 2 and have them scan the station and surrounding area for it. That one is still undergoing upgrades to the systems, but it'll work just fine if i read this right. From there, you can beam it directly to you using a backdoor to the cargo transporters in cargo bay 3." Turning back to the Cadet, she continues, shifting in her seat to sit a bit crooked. "With any luck, not much trouble at all. Besides that, even if you can't get it back, if it ever goes aboard a Federation ship, the internal sensors should pick it up and deactivate it now that it's reported stolen. I'll still have to reprimand you of course, and there's the official report, but if you get it back ok it'll help a lot." Enalia pauses, takes a deep breath, shifts in her chair again, and taps her comm badge, holding a finger up to Cadet Cross to silence his reply for a moment.

"Captain Telvan to engineering. How long would it take for you to replicate a traditional trill chair and have it installed in my ready room?"

The voice over the comm crackles a bit as they reply. "It might have to wait until the engine upgrades are finished before the larger replicators are running and that may take 2 more days, ma'am. They're trying to do some things to these engines they weren't built to handle and compatibility issues keep cropping up."

With a worried look on her face, she looks at Cadet Cross and barely stifles another sigh. "Thanks. Keep me informed." She taps off the comm and looks a little crestfallen, letting her breath out slowly. "Sorry about that. I'm freshly joined and this is my first host... I'm its first host... It's..." The confidence in her eyes slips and is replaced by confusion and she's obviously a little flustered.

Quentin's brow knotted into a look of genuine concern as he noted the pretty Trill commander's obvious discomfort. "Ma'am," said Quentin, his voice tender and compassionate as he deposited his cocoa and moved closer to Enalia. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

Shaking her head a bit, her confidence started creeping back. "No no... The briefings warned me that this sort of thing will happen. It's just going to take some getting used to, is all. 'There's a lot of testing and training to make sure the candidates chosen are of strong mind and will so that the symbiote does not overpower the host to a dangerous degree.' is what they tell us since we're small, but to actually go through it... and it being even more confusing when you're the first host..." Enalia sighs heavily, straightening up in her chair and looking Quentin in the eye, a bit of a smile playing across her lips. "Just don't let the rest of the crew know, ok?"

Quentin nodded, his brow still wrinkled in concern for the pretty commanding officer. "My lips are sealed," the cadet promised. "So you said that you're the first host that your symbiote has ever had?" asked Quentin, hoping that getting Lieutenant Commander Telvan to talk might help distract her from the discomfort she felt. "How come? I thought all symbiotes were hundreds ... even thousands ... of years old."

Nodding a bit, Enalia leaned back in her chair a bit. "Most are, though like any living creature, new ones are born. It doesn't happen very often from what I've been told, but it does on rare occasions. Technically I'm older than it is because of that."

Quentin raised his eyebrows. "Wow, that's pretty cool," observed the cadet. "That already makes you the most interesting Trill I've ever heard of!" The prettiest, too, Quentin wanted to add, but the 20 year-old cadet only smiled and settled back down in his seat across from Enalia. "So is this your first command? How did you wind up as the CO of a mobile academy. Was it your choice?"

Leaning back a bit more and relaxing visibly, Enalia gets a bit of a far away look in her eyes. "I'm not sure how I got the position, actually. I graduated head of my class in Starfleet, went for the joining, and when i got back, was told to report here for my assignment. I'm guessing between my prior service in the Trill defense force and my assumed vast experiences as a joined trill, they just decided to make me the captain of this ship. Which in the end, I take to mean one of two things. either they have high hopes for me and expect things to go well, or they expect the project to blow up in their faces and I'm the scapegoat. Either way, it should be fun, right?" With that last statement, Enalia flashes her best award winning smile.

Man, what a smile! Quentin thought to himself dreamily, before realizing with a start that he had sort of been asked a question by his CO. "Oh, yeah! Definitely!" nodded Cadet Cross, a faint rosy color rising in his cheeks. "Especially since we have someone like you as a Commanding Officer. I mean, I half expected someone with grey hair and a permanent frown on their face." Quentin gave a wistful smile as he admired Enalia's attractive raven-haired locks. "I'm glad to see I was wrong. Thanks for being so understanding about what happened with me last night on the station, Ma'am. I was worried you might decide to send me packing back to San Francisco."

Laughing just a bit, a darkness seems to creep into her smile. "There are much better options than that. Besides, you already reported in so technically I can't send you back there. Don't worry, you're stuck here for a while. Get comfortable. And if you want someone with gray hair and a permanent frown, I'll introduce you to the academy representative. We're trying to simulate an actual crew which I think is why she's not in command of the ship."

Quentin seemed to cringe slightly at Enalia's description of the academy representative. "Not looking forward to meeting her, then," said the cadet, hesitantly. "You mentioned that we would be simulating an actual crew here on the Hera. If I may ask, Ma'am, what position did you have in mind for me?"

Looking a bit more serious, Enalia rethinks her words. "Maybe 'simulate' isn't the best term. We will be a real crew on a real ship doing real missions, however some of those missions will be simulations of past historical missions. Our primary goal is to train cadets, but after that, we're to follow the tenants of exploration and discovery that the Federation was founded on. As for your job, you're the second officer and chief of the boat. You'll be in charge of actual personnel rosters and you may have to get to know everyone on the ship and act as an impartial liaison between myself and the first officer and the cadets. In a way, you have a bigger job than I do."

Quentin's warm brown eyes went wide at Enalia's words. Second Officer and Chief of the Boat? Jackpot!

"I ... Thank you, Ma'am," Quentin managed to say, struggling to find the words to express his excitement. "Oh, you're not gonna regret this, Ma'am!" Quentin took Enalia's hand without warning and began shaking it, happily and vigorously. "Thank you, thank you, thank you! And don't worry! I can handle the job, no matter howbig it is!"

Enalia holds up her free hand and tries to calm Quentin down. "Wait a week and see if you still want to thank me. On that note, there's a group of cadets due to arrive in about an hour. Oh and before I forget, take this." Pulling her hands free, Enalia pulls out of her desk a small box and slides it over to him. "I'm giving all of the student command staff auxiliary Ensign rank. You're still a cadet, but for command purposes, your clearance level is now Command Ensign. Don't abuse it."

"I won't, Ma'am!" said Quentin, as he lifted the box's lid and laid eyes on a gold-colored Ensign's pip sitting on plush black velvet inside. "This is so awesome!" Quentin cradled the slim case protectively in his hands. "Thank you so much!"

Enalia stands up, walks around the desk, deftly slips the pip out of the box Quentin is holding, and pins it to his collar above the cadet rank bar. Smiling, she offers her hand in congratulations. "Keep in mind that you'll still have to attend classes for a while too. And be sure to meet the cadets coming in this afternoon to welcome them aboard. I'll leave their quarters assignments to you, as well as getting their class schedules and duty rosters lined up. I noticed a few that overlapped so you'll already have your hands full. Oh, and be sure to say hi to the first officer after she arrives this afternoon as well. And if you need anything, please let me know."

"I will, Ma'am," nodded the young cadet, his brown cheeks reddening with Enalia standing so close to him. "You can count on me!"

Enalia smiles a bit brighter. "Then get out there. You have lots to do and little time to do it in."
New Life in Strange Old Ships Deck 14 - Cargo Bay 4 MD2 - 1200 hours
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The Rube Goldberg machine was large and elaborate. It consisted of over one thousand, two hundred parts ranging from dominoes to spare warp nacelles off of old Type-1 Shuttlecraft’. There were several academy cadets that thought they had gotten away with it at first but Ensign Jenny V7 had already known about it before they got it started. What she was mainly concerned about was the large fish tank at the end of the contraption dumping water on top of the plasma coolant and diluting it. That’s why she took them out. The cadets flicked the dominoes and they cascaded down the line, knocking down one machine, two machines, a shelf system, activating a phaser that shoots across the cargo bay, destroying a tricorder, and its contents landing onto a weight dish causing it to rise and pull on a bar with a steel rod. The rod hit the floor instead of the water of the fishtank. The Android applied her skinny foot to the set of replicator parts that the water was supposed to land on top of and this caused the effect of completing the machine. In a way, Jenny V7 was the Android that took up a place in the students machine instead of the fish tanks. If they found out, technically, the machine was complete since she became part of it for that moment. She quietly walked away and back into the hallway so that everyone could have their fun without hurting anyone. She managed to sneak out without alerting anyone.

Bumping into Jenny was like walking into a wall and Enalia was walking pretty fast when she did, stumbling back a bit at the impact. "Oh... Excuse me Ensign... Jenny, was it? I was just on my way to see you and a Rube Goldberg device in action. I missed it, didn't I?"

"I'm.." The Android blinked and smiled a little at her. Her voice sounded somewhat metallic with a slight hint of an echo. For her human programmer, it was the best she could do. Either way, whatever ability Doctor Soong had at creating a perfect humanoid voice, her programmer might not have had, but it didn't stop them from excelling in the full range of human emotion. Jenny twitched her head to the side and looked up at her new potential friend. "... well, you see. I wasn't aware that you knew of the happenings down here and was sure that your knowledge of their unscheduled plans would cause them --" The Android seemed as if it was processing the last word too long but it finally came out.


Smiling brightly, Enalia leans in a bit, her voice lowering. "They used some resources that are tracked and I saw the logs so I made inquiries. Make sure they use one of the holodecks next time though. If I wasn't on top of this, security would have been here by now, wondering why a phaser was fired. so how did it go?'

"As far as they are concerned, it went perfectly. Unfortunatley, I did not want water causing excess oxidation to the seals for the plasma coolant reserves, so I -- became the gap in the rube goldberg machine instead of a cracked fish tank. Technically, I am a machine -- so... It was still a complete success." The young looking droid explained.

Enalia chuckles to herself a bit. "That sounds wonderful. So where are you headed now?"

"Nowhere in particular," the Ensign proclaimed as she took the queue from her CO and began walking down the hallway with her. "I can provide you with a visual record of the machine in action. I was hiding behind some containers, however, so the entire process was not on record." She explained. "I have completed my daily tasks early and therefore am simply exploring the ship for things to do." She smiled. "It's an older model, isn't it?" She asked.

Smiling and nodding, Enalia walks with the young Ensign. "Yes, the Hera is one of the first Nebula class ships, commissioned with only a sensor pod and half the systems in her now. She's been around a while, but she's still got it where it counts and with any luck at all, she'll be the perfect ship for our little mobile academy. So what do you think of her so far?"

"I wouldn't recommend taking her too close to any boarders. Beyond that, the Hera is a perfectly capable ship despite being a little antiquated in technology." She reached out with her slender hand and caressed a square screen that partially stuck out of the wall next to the turbo-lift. "These for instance, they removed them from Galaxy class ships and replaced them with solely flat-panel LCARS after stardate 41153." It wasn't what she said that made her comment sound acceptable as much as how she said it; the upward inflection in her metalic voice, the way she touched the outer edges of the device, the smile on her pale lips, and the twinkle in her almost-human, artificial black eyes. She let out a half laugh as metallic as her voice. The Android obviously found the ship admirable if nothing else. Her teeth showed in that smile, they seemed slightly blue, as well. The rest of the Android looked perfectly human other than her skin, the darkness around her eyes, the black eyes themselves, and the bluish tint to her teeth and inner mouth.

Enalia smiles wider, a pleasant note to her voice. "Yes I remember that. These cadets are going to be spoiled with all this old reliable technology. She may not be as fast or responsive or nice as the newer ships, but her systems are broken in and tweaked to perfection. When they get to their first assignment on a newer ship and see all the maintenance they need, they'll be begging to come back here. You seem to have a bit of a passion for this sort of thing. Do you? Or am I just reading you wrong?"

"I am a machine," she said with happiness and wonder in her voice. She smiled brightly at the captain. "Usually, it's only the universe itself that allows matter to integrate in a way that, by chance, allows the universe to know itself. In my case, a group of people wanted me to be self aware out of pure generosity." She stepped into the turbo lift and took a closer step toward Telvan. She pulled her shoulders up to show her excitement. "Someone amongst you built this ship just as I was built. This ship might not be self aware but I count myself lucky to be capable of understanding the good you do with us, your creations..." She said. "Yes. I do -- very much have a passion for this, you, and further understanding."

Blushing furiously at Jenny's words, Enalia turns away slightly, her temperature rising from the close proximity of the beautiful android. She was designed and built far better than Enalia had heard or expected. "Well... I haven't built anything myself... And the Hera may not be self aware, but she's still got a heck of a personality as I've been finding out since I got on board. She hasn't taken kindly to a lot of the refits and we might be stuck here at station for another week if we can't get the engines working right."

"Sadly, engineering isn't my specialty. They were originally going to program me for engineering but I was given Tactical at the last moment before programming," she said. She came off as harmless, and very polite. And all this time, she was so curious why everyone saw her in uniform and instantly assumed she was an Engineer and not the Chief of Security. It didn't bother her but she did wonder, nonetheless. "A lot of people do think I am an Engineer because of the color of the uniform though. This deep into Starfleet space, I see no reason to carry a phaser." She explained.

Placing a hand on Jenny's shoulder, Enalia smiles warmly at her, the blush not yet faded from her cheeks. "I don't think the refit engineers would enjoy yet another pair of hands in those engines anyway. And thank you for not carrying a phaser. I'd prefer if none of us had to carry them... We've already lost one and we're still docked..."

"You lost a phaser?!" The Android's voice sounded like a young girl yelling in a can at that point. "I wasn't made aware of this. Shall I start an investigation." She reached into her pocket and pulled a PADD out of the flap. Her fingers glided across the surface of the device quickly. "I apologize for not being made aware of this sooner." She was obviously drawing up a report as she talked.

Hurrying to calm her, Enalia tries to sooth Jenny as best she can. "No no, it's ok now. It was actually lost on the station and our second officer handled it already. Everything is ok now. If you want a report on it, you can ask the Klingon in charge of security there for it." Looking up at the ceiling of the non-moving turbolift, she realized they weren't moving so she addressed the computer. "Deck 9, near the lounge."

"Oh, in that time I had already sent two correspondents to station security, found the records of where it was found, notified your first officer of the followup report and cataloged the phaser ID number along with the power cell. The Phaser is currently transferred to a backup emergency compartment on the station and we have one replication certificate to synthesize a new phaser with this serial number." She handed the PADD to her CO. "I apologize for that. I'll have the followup just as soon as I hear back from the station's security chief and close the file."

Enalia just stares slack jawed at Jenny, completely stunned at what she was saying, the color draining from her face. After a few seconds of being in shock, she finally formulates words. "Holy... Not even the Borg are that efficient..."

"I didn't actually -- do anything. Most of the situation was already handled by a security officer, a helpful Klingon, and taken from a Myosian near the promenade. In fact, all I did was put the report together." She said. "According to station reports, it was a helpful group of bystanders and station security that did the majority of the work."

The turbolift stopped and they got off together.
"All I feel bad about is the fact that this entire incident slipped through my fingers. I'll do my best not to let that happen again." She even gave a slight bow as she walked. "Where are we going?" She wondered.

Walking with Jenny down the corridor, she reaches out and runs her fingers along one of the old hallway emergency supplies storage units. "Don't worry about it - it's all ok now. I need to check the 'upgrades' to the crew lounge. It's supposedly been doubled in size and mood lighting and a sound system were installed, as well as having a few crates of actual alcohol behind the bar."

"A sound system?!" The Android cheered and jumped with joy. "Oh my God! I hope they have Karaoke!" She cheered gleefully as she skipped into the room.

Enalia couldn't help but giggle at the thought of an android enjoying karaoke. "I'm sure they do. I hope these walls are sound insulted... We don't need to keep people awake..."

"I thought about getting my music out there a few days after I was designed, but I was too afraid of my voice being accused of being synthesized..." The cute android said with her synthesized voice. Her dark black eyes widened and she let out a giddy, high pitched 'hehe' that was so badly synth'd, it was clear she made a joke.

She walked in and looked around the lounge. There were even anti-grav bar stools.

"Oh fantastic... Next time there's a bar fight, it won't be stools, it'll look like a Frisbee competition! Yay!" She said jokingly as she walked to the bar. "Anyone home?" She wondered.

Looking around at the fancy lounge, Enalia recalled the report she read about the lounge. "It doesn't seem anyone is home, and with everyone either at orientation or settling in... Anyway, the prior 'Twilight Lounge' Manager is on the engineering team doing the engine upgrades and he's scheduled to leave after that's complete" A mischievous grin crosses her face. "You wouldn't happen to be willing to take over for him, would you?"

"Maybe just for now... But totally not permanently," the slender girl launched off the floor, performed a front-flip and landed on her feet on the other side of the brilliantly lit surface. She reached down and picked up a PADD and read through it. "Ah-huh..." She then bit her bottom lip after having a brief first-time session with learning about all the popular drink mixes.

"How would you like... A screaming orgasm?!" She nearly squealed. She reached up with her finger and flicked it at the ceiling and suddenly, a burst of techno music started blasting through the air. The Androids shoulder length black and blue hair started flying like a high school cheerleaders pompom as she swayed her slender body to it. She screamed cheerfully for almost no reason as she flipped a bottle of Vodka behind her back and caught it with the rim of a shot glass. She spun around as the clear liquid flooded the small glass half way. She swayed her hips and shook her shoulders while bouncing to the beats as she added Irish Cream to the mix. She threw a container of Coffee Liquor against the wall and bounced it from one surface to the other as she moonwalked in for the catch and swung around, arching her back as the contents dropped into the top of the shot glass while she pulled the neck of the Vodka bottle out of it. "Woohhh!" She screamed in that party-going metallic echo of hers. She flicked the shot glass over to her captain.

"I've never made a drink before but there you go!" She said. "Proportioned exactly as described." She put one foot sideways right after the other and then went heal to tow, straightening her legs out each time, causing her to spin from left, to right, and left again as she danced her way out and around the bar to the dance floor.

Taking the shotglass and downing the drink in one go, Enalia 'gently slams' the glass on the counter, a warmth and a giddiness flowing through her. "My favorite. Don't tell anyone I drank that on duty though."

"I won't," the Android said while dancing wildly to the music.

Smiling widely, Enalia takes her leave. "I'll leave you to your lounge. I have some more inspections to get done. Have fun."

The colorful haired Android girl waved happily and danced while waiting a response from DS12 about the incident.
Dinner Love Confession Deck 9 - Officers' Mess Hall MD2 - 1800 hours
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[Deck 8 - 2XO's Quarters]

Cadet Quentin Cross sighed as he rolled onto his back on his bed, and gazed up at a PADD held above his head. The tablet's display featured a service file called up from the Command department's Personnel Records. Quentin's finger traced along the side of the file's headshot: an image of an attractive raven-haired woman, wearing a Starfleet uniform with command-red accents, and a sporting a trail of soft brown spots along her hairline and neck. Quentin thought back to his first meeting with the pretty Trill commander early yesterday morning. The 20 year-old cadet had tried to dismiss his attraction for the slightly older woman as a passing thing — a consequence of his relief that she had been so understanding and easy to get along with. But the attraction had only grown stronger in the young man, as, during the course of his first official day on duty as her new Chief-of-the-Boat and Second Officer, Quentin had found the opportunity to see his commanding officer a dozen more times since that first meeting. And now, here he was, absolutely lovesick ... pining away for an unattainable woman with a gnawing, hungry need in the core of his being. Soft soulful music thumped throughout Quentin's dimly lit quarters as he adored the still image of Lieutenant Commander Enalia Telvan's headshot, and imagined that her warm, smiling eyes were looking at him.

[Deck 9 - Officers' Mess Hall]

Entering the Officers' Mess Hall after an exhausting day of overseeing the initial briefings of the cadets as well as the refits of the ship, Enalia taps her comm badge. "Telvan to Cross. Please meet me in the Officers' Mess."

[Deck 8 - 2XO's Quarters]

Quentin felt his heart skip a beat as he heard Enalia's voice cut in over the chorus of some slow-burning torch song. The Officers' Mess? For dinner? With the Ship's Captain?

"Acknowledged, Ma'am," Quentin called out to the air, then waited a few seconds for the comms channel to cut out before jumping up and yelling out an ecstatic, "YES!" The lovestruck cadet could not believe his luck. She had invited him to dinner!

After a moment, though, Quentin's smile melted into a look of pure anxiety. She had invited him to dinner! It had been two hours since the end of shift, and Quentin had been too busy pining away over Enalia's picture to even change out of his uniform! Quentin cursed out loud as he stripped out of the form-fitting garments, tearing the command-red compression undershirt away from his toned athletic torso, along with his trousers and underwear. Damn it, he had to make this fast! First, he needed a quick sonic shower to wash away the grime of a long first day. Then, he'd dress to impress, and hopefully be sitting at a table with Commander Telvan over a candlelit dinner in less than five minutes!

[Deck 9 - Officers' Mess Hall]

It was exactly three minutes later that the doors to the Officers' Mess swished open to let in Cadet Quentin Cross. The 20 year-old cadet was wore a crisp white Starfleet dress uniform, with all of the spit and polish expected for a five-star diplomatic function. A bright eager smile dominated the cadet's boyish brown-skinned features, and he cast a quick glance around the empty mess hall until he laid eyes on the Hera's Commanding Officer.

Looking up at the white uniformed Quentin, her fork in her mouth and a bit stunned, Enalia waves the cadet over. Either she was under dressed being still in her normal uniform, or there was a reason he was in his dress uniform. Whatever it was, she was sure he had an explanation and she looked forward to hearing it. She spears another potato and munches on it, looking at a PADD in her off hand while he makes his way across the small command mess.

"Hi!" was Quentin's dreamy eyed reply as he smoothly took a seat across from Enalia at her table. Being this close to the object of his affections was having an almost intoxicating effect on the young man. He was glad that he had taken the effort to put on his dress whites. Her reaction upon seeing him in the crisp white formal outfit was well worth it. "I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be an official function or not," the young Chief-of-the-Boat explained, "so I decided to err on the side of caution and dress to impress." Quentin cast a loving glance at the brown spots that kissed Commander Telvan's inviting slender neck, and a blush crept into his cinnamon-brown complexion. "I didn't realize that we'd be dining ... alone ... together."

Looking around the empty room, Enalia realizes that they were indeed alone in the Officers' Mess. "It seems the rest of the command crew are either eating in their quarters, or already ate before us. If you haven't eaten, grab something from the replicator. I'll wait." She returns to her PADD and her dinner.

"I ... I am hungry ..." Quentin admitted, his dark-complexion reddening again, as the boy searched for the courage to say what was truly in his heart. "I am hungry ... but not for food." Quentin's warm dark-brown eyes seemed to brim with emotion as he searched Enalia's face for a sign that she understood his meaning.

Without even looking up at the handsome cadet, Enalia takes another bite and replies after a second. "What are you hungry for then? Knowledge? A good stiff drink?" She continues, muttering a bit. "I know I could use one after today..."

"Really?" asked Quentin, brightening at the chance to be of use to his lady love — and secretly thankful at the opportunity to pass off what began as a declaration of true, undying love, as meaningless small talk. "What kind of drink would you like? Maybe we can head down to the Lounge ... or over to the station? There's this bar on the Promenade that everyone keeps talking about. It's supposed to be pretty wild!" Quentin bit his bottom lip, desperate to confess his love for his CO. "Or ... we could ... you know ... maybe share a couple drinks ... in your quarters?"

Enalia looks up and points to a large hinged access panel next to the replicator. "Behind that panel is a secret stash of actual alcohol. Grab the bottle of romulan ale with my name on it and replicate a couple of glasses. Welcome to command. By the way, feel free to use this mess as well."

A broad bright smile flashed across Quentin's boyish face, and the cadet jumped up out of his seat, eager to comply with Enalia's directions. "This is so awesome!" he intimated before rushing off to retrieve the hidden stash of booze. "I've always wanted to try Romulan Ale! They say it tastes like dreams ... and freedom!"

Quentin chuckled to himself as he wondered how strange he must look, standing there in his dress whites, breaking into an access panel to remove a bottle of illicit liquor, to share with his new captain! The 20 year-old was almost giddy with excitement as he replicated to clear snifter glasses — having chosen a snifter configuration because they always seemed rather high-class and distinguished to him — and brought both the glasses and the bottle over to where Enalia sat.

"What should we drink to?" asked Quentin eagerly, as he pulled the stopper from the mouth of the beveled trapezoidal bottle. Immediately, the sharp cool aroma of the glowing blue liquid wafted into the air, striking Quentin's sinuses with the harsh chill of an Andorian winter night. Like a cross between the fresh juniper smell of a smooth dry gin, and the frosty sweetness of a rich peppermint schnapps — only a hundred times as intense. Quentin felt his nasal passages go dry and his eyes begin to water from the strong menthol-like fumes.

Looking over her PADD some more, Enalia is obviously distracted as she mumbles a bit. "How about to today being over... The highlight of my day was meeting our new chief of security. Very impressive. She's on top of your missing phaser, as well." Looking up at the young man, she smiles tiredly. I put her in charge of the 'Twilight Lounge' here on board too. You should check it out later."

"Ooh! Maybe I will!" answered Quentin, wincing from the strong smell as he filled both his and Enalia's glasses to half-way full. "Well," he offered, "The highlight of my day, was being able to see you from time to time, Commander ... Enalia," Quentin hesitated as he addressed the Trill commander by her given name, thrilled to be able to speak it aloud to her, yet afraid at how she might react.

Enalia sets her PADD down and takes the glass, knocks it back in one swallow and hands the glass back in one swift motion before Quentin could even pull his hand back. "It seems that was the highlight of many people's day today."

"Yeah, but how many of them are in love with you —?" Quentin froze, the blood draining from his cinnamon complexion as he realized that he had finally — and accidentally — blurted out the one thing he'd been dying to confess all night. His big brown eyes wide in shock, Quentin looked up at Enalia to see if she had even heard him.

Looking up at Quentin, her surprise obvious at him actually saying what she had guessed at earlier. After a few seconds of silence, Enalia leans back in her chair. "Three. You're the third to confess today, though the other two fancied themselves poets." After a few more seconds of silence, she sighs heavily while spearing a small leafy vegetable on her plate. "Pour me another glass and get something to eat. I don't fancy eating alone."

"I'm the third?" asked Quentin, crestfallen, his voice as small as he felt. He dropped his gaze down to the glowing blue Romulan Ale sitting in his glass. The words were like a dagger in his heart, and absent-mindedly, Quentin took a long forlorn draft of the Romulan ale in his glass. The lovesick 20 year-old barely felt the chilly shock of the alcoholic beverage assault his palate, so lost was he in his emotions. It was unclear whether the water that welled up in his eyes was from the potent ale, or from his breaking heart.

"I'm the third?" repeated Quentin, his tone become more insistent, and surprisingly, a touch more aggressive. "So, who were the other two?" he asked furrowing his brow. "Because I've got no problem fighting for your love, if that's what it takes. Shoot, I'll go kick their asses right now!"

Holding up one hand to silence him, Enalia puts her fork back down. "Don't do anything rash, maintain your discipline, and keep your position in mind. You're by far the only one that has regular access to me, first off. Second off, I'm not interested in Bolians or ... or whatever the other one was. Flattered maybe, but that's it. Third, even if I wanted to pursue a relationship with a cadet, it's against fraternization policy. You running off and kicking someone isn't going to do any good for anyone. Now are you going to pour another glass for me and get something to eat or do I go over some potential issues with you awkwardly?"

"So ... then ... you like me better than those guys?" Quentin asked, a faint hopeful smile playing upon his lips. "Alright, then. I guess I can let those other dudes off the hook just this once, I guess. Hold on," Quentin smiled, standing up and tugging down his crisp white uniform jacket. "I'll be right back." Heading back over to the replicator, Quentin leaned against the wall and presented his order. In a few seconds, he was sitting back down in front of Enalia with a steaming plate of moo shu pork dumplings, beef teriyaki, a portion of crab rangoon, and some sweet and sour tulaberry sauce on the side.

"Okay," nodded Quentin, as he picked up a pair of chopsticks with a nervous smile. "I've got some food in front me."

Picking her PADD back up, Enalia clicks it a few times and chews on a piece of potato thoughtfully. "This wave of cadets have a few 'unstable elements' I'll need you to keep an eye on, but nothing too bad I hope. A few guys that were arrested for fighting while on the way here, an ex black market merchant, 2 guys involved in some lewd displays their second year, 3 women involved in test compromise... And a Lagashi woman... There'll probably be culture shock on both sides of any incidents she might be involved in." Enalia hands the PADD to Quentin and takes a bite of her chicken.

Quentin put down his chopsticks and swiped his finger across the PADD's surface, scrolling down the personnel records listed there. His gaze lingered for a moment on the photo of the Lagashi female cadet, before he looked back up at Commander Telvan. "Sure," he said with a shrug, too distracted to really focus on the list of cadets at the moment. "I can definitely keep tabs on these guys, no problem — but we didn't finish talking about us." Quentin sighed, his heart breaking from the frustration. "I meant what I said, you know? I am in love with you. I get it ... it seems like a silly juvenile crush to you. Especially since I'm just a cadet. But I'm telling you: this is more than a crush. I love you more than any man has ever loved another woman. If I can't be with you ... I'll die! I just know it!"

Refilling her glass and taking a sip of the icy blue liquid, Enalia thinks for just a moment. "Work before play please. There's a lot of it to get done, as well. As for accepting or denying your feelings... Well, I'd honestly prefer to do neither. If I accept them I compromise both of us. If I deny them, I compromise you and quite possibly lose a valued member of my crew. Either way, it leaves lasting repercussions through both of our lives and the lives of everyone on board. We have almost 800 people that depend on this ship being a success, not including Starfleet as a whole, which is counting on us to continue this mission for years to come, bringing about 300 cadets a year to graduation and eventual service aboard other ships. Do you understand?"

Enalia's words had the jarring effect of making the lovesick 20 year-old consider reality for a moment. There really was a lot at stake ... not least of which was the reputation and future career of the woman he claimed to love. He was placing her in an impossible situation, he knew. The romantic side of him wanted desperately to believe that the 'trueness' of his love would find a way. But now Enalia was appealing to the pragmatic side of him, the side that believed in doing the right thing ... not just the thing you wanted to do most. With a defeated sigh, Quentin slumped his shoulders slightly and looked down at the PADD in his hands.

"Okay," he said quietly, nodding after a few minutes. "I don't want to make you feel like you'll lose me if you deny my feelings for you. That would be like holding a phaser to your head ... and that's the last thing I would ever do to you. So ..." Quentin let out a long sigh. "I'll keep my feelings to myself for now. I'll wait. I'll wait until I graduate from the Academy. I'll request to remain here, on the Hera, with you. And maybe then, I tell you again that I'm in love with you ... and maybe then, there won't be anything to keep you telling me how you feel?" Quentin smiled, a genuine expression of hope masking solemn steel-clad resolve. "I can wait."

Enalia smiles brightly. "Excellent. For now, let's do the best we can with the time we have now and worry about where it leads later. Your graduation is still almost a year away and if at that time you want to stay on board, we'll discuss it then." Taking another drink, she stabs at another leafy vegetable and pokes it in her mouth.

Quentin looked down in contemplation at his plate. This is going to be the longest freaking year ever, he thought, sadly. He was doing his best to put on a brave face for Enalia, but on the inside the young cadet was absolutely devastated. There was a raw, tearing sensation where the lump in his throat had been only a few minutes ago. The frustration was so bad, it made him want to cry. Quentin gave a ragged sigh as his gaze drifted over to the PADD that Enalia had given him. The Cadet Commencement Ceremony was tomorrow, Quentin remembered. Christ, how am I supposed to get up there and give a speech now? he wondered, leaning his head against his upright fist.

"We, um," Quentin said, surprised at how raw his voice sounded. "We still need someone to give a salutatorian address at Commencement tomorrow. I was hoping we could find a live senior staff member to deliver it, instead of that pre-recorded stuff we have from Commander T'Lana Ren'Vo. I asked the XO if she'd like to volunteer, but all I could get was a soft 'maybe'. I don't suppose you'd be interested in getting up and saying something to the cadets?"

Smiling brightly, Enalia beams at Quentin. "I thought you would never ask. I already have a speech prepared and waiting."

Quentin nodded, and allowed himself a whisper of a smile. "Awesome," the cadet said quietly. "I know the cadets will really appreciate it, Ma'am." Quentin pushed himself away from the table, taking the PADD with the troublemaker list on it as he stood. "It's, um ... it's gonna be big day tomorrow," Cadet Cross offered, unable to make eye contact with Lieutenant Commander Telvan. "I still have a few things to take care of that I should probably see too, Ma'am."

Her smile fading only a bit, Enalia nods and stands as well, moving to take her plate back to the replicator. "Be sure to get some good sleep then. With any luck our first cadet cruise will start tomorrow successfully."

Quentin nodded and after a deep breath said, "Well, then ... Good evening, Commander."

Standing there staring at the replicator with her tray in it but not pressing any buttons to clear it, Enalia calls back to him. "Good night."
Activation Deck 24 - Chief Engineer's Office MD2 - 1100 hours
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George had finally gotten things under control in engineering and decided to take a moment to himself in his new office. He sat down and activated his console scheming through some of the unique systems and programs that were installed or being installed on the Hera. After about ten minutes George found a program that caught his eye a combat hologram, this was something he had thought wasn’t possible but here it was and George wanted to tinker with it. With a smirk on his face George accessed the program and the holoemitters in his office flickered to life.

After a moment what could only be described at the average male humanoid materialized on the other side of George’s desk in the middle of his office and stood there, unwavering and unblinking in silence. Several more seconds passed before the man suddenly shifted as he seemed to come to life. “Program initiated. Fully sentient, holographicly enabled, combat training instructor version four point seven, seven, three, nine, point six two." the words came out in a mechanical rhythm completely devoid of emotion. "Would you like to download relevant personal files?"

George sat back in his chair for a moment analyzing the hologram that stood before him “Sure download them... not that I care.”

"Download complete." The program said almost over the top of George's second remark. "Name: George Lucas. Gender: male. Race: Trill. Rank: Ensign. Position: Chief Engineering Officer of the USS Hera. Please verify this information is correct."

“Correct.... will you hurry up” George said impatiently waiting for the program to finish its initial setup.

The setup programming apparently recognized George's offhand remark. "Completing setup with automated setup applications. Please standby while name, personality, and-" the computer cut itself off. "Setup complete." The holographic man blinked once as he relaxed, then he glanced around the room for a moment before turning his attention to George behind the desk. "Ahh finally. Was it just me or does my setup take forever?"

George was startled by the reaction from the program he wasn't expecting a response anything close to what he had just received “You could say that.... were you programed with a attitude or is my imagination carrying me away.”

"Much like how your personality is made up of your genetics and life experiences, my personality consists of a standard set of variables defined by the occupational role which I was created for and other personality traits chosen with a series of algorithms that were designed to analyze a database of several billion Starfleet personnel." He paused for a moment. "So in short, yes."

“Well then you should be quite the entertainment... so whats your primary mission here aboard the Hera?” George said lean over his desk interested in his response.

The hologram shifted his body toward the man behind the desk. "As a Combat Instructor I am usually assigned to train applicable crew members in almost any form of combat, including hand to hand combat, close combat weapons, small or large firearms, explosives, and any other weapon found in the Starfleet database. I am also qualified to train crew personnel on the ship's defensive systems, both internally and externally, and tactics for everything listed above. While not recommended, it is also possible in dire situations to use my program for repulsing boarding parties."

George was slightly impressed at what the engineers back at Starfleet R&D had come up with “Well my friend it sounds like your a bag full of tricks but I noticed a few restrictions placed on your programming, most notable the inability to access the ships offensive systems... I think we should rectify that how about you?” George finished talking as a sinister grin came across his face.

For the first time, the holographic man standing there in his standard Starfleet uniform with its yellow color code, smiled. It was a rather pleasant smile that showed no indication of false intentions or subversive acts . "I think that would be a useful asset to allow me to access should my job duties require the use of, or training on, them."

“Alright my friend well I've got a lot of work to do, but feel free to do whatever it is you feel you need to do. From what I've read the vast majority of the ship has holoemitters.” George waved the holograph off as he returned to his console “O one more thing before you leave what should I call you?”

With a nod he turned to go, but paused and looked back at the added question. "So long as I know you are referring to me, I suppose you could call me whatever you'd like. My name, however, is Hal." Another nod later he was stepping out of the Chief Engineer's Office and out into Engineering.
Engineering Disaster Deck 24 - Main Engineering MD2 - 0900 hours
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George had already spent the better part of the morning butting heads trying to get situated aboard the Hera and now he enters main engineering. The cadets were running from place to place with looks of confusion and dismay on their faces with entire consoles dissembled and spread across the floor as well as warp core upgrade parts hanging from lifts on the second level. George could feel his temper begin to boil over as he watched the chaos unfold, walking over to a working console George tapped a few keys and the evacuation alarm began to sound. The cadets flocked towards the exit frantically running over one another smashing into the door as it refused to open as George had locked it before hand.

Deactivating the alarm George cleared his throat and with a loud thunderous voice spoke “Listen up!” the cadets all turned standing stunned and unsure of what to do next.

George unlocked the door and motioned the cadets back towards the warp core“I don't know what is going on here but I'm the new Chief of Engineering and whatever this mess is best be cleaned up in the next thirty minutes or I'll have your heads.”

And with that, the main doors to engineering open up and standing there is the Captain of the Hera, LtCom Enalia Telvan, a taller black haired trill with a sternly concerned look on her face. "What was the alarm for? The engine upgrades aren't going to take even longer, are they?"

George coming down off his rant on the cadets turned around to confront the voice coming from behind him. The sight of a fellow Trill didn't help him calm his temper “Lieutenant Commander what are you doing in my main engineering?” George said flaying his arms in anger for the intrusion.

Raising an eyebrow and advancing through the cadets as they part for her like the red sea (only in the engineering gold color), She steps right up to the other Trill, looking him straight in the eye, their faces mere inches away. When she speaks, it's quietly but with a ferociousness and a low growl that would turn concrete to jello. "As captain of the USS Hera, I'm checking on the upgrades to my ship and I want a status report of the refit and upgrades to my engines. Do you understand Ensign?"

George didn't expect such a aggressive response from the young woman but it didn't phase George he had dealt with people of that caliber before “As you wish CAPTAIN!” he said with a hint of insubordination.

George walked away from the captain accessing the panel closes to him, “Well it looks as if the cadet here have made quite mess of the upgrades but I plain to have them working round the clock to complete the upgrade.... hmm I would say I could have them ready by mid day tomorrow.”

He had brass. Enalia enjoyed working with officers like that. Would she have to break him or could she let him go, though? Barely able to control a grin, she steps up next to him and looks around the room. "It seems the two refit engineers aren't in at the moment. I recommend you get with them to help you straighten things out. And keep in mind they're civilian engineers. I don't want them corrupting these cadets or taking over the place more than they already have. Oh and I still want a traditional Trill chair in my ready room when the engines are done. I'm sure you know the specs."

George notice the captain had taken a more passive stance which made him a bit more relaxed, “As for the refit engineers I'll have them working just as hard or harder then the cadets by the time I'm done with them they won't wanna see another warp core the rest of their lives.” a smile came across Georges face as he thought of the torture he would be committing. “As for your chair captain I know something special in mind for you I think you'll approve of.”

Tapping a few more keys on the console he brought up more details on the upgrades “George Lucas just encase you didn't get a chance to read my file yet captain... and yours?”

Yeah Enalia was going to enjoy having him around. "Enalia Telvan." She purred out. "It sounds like you'll be the one to send cadets to for non judicial punishment as well. Be sure to get with Quentin when you need someone for menial labor. As for your file, I'm the one that approved your transfer. I read enough of it to know you got pretty far in the symbiant selection process. Further than most at least. Between that and your skills and reprimands, I decided you would make a good Chief Engineer for this old girl rather than a run of the mill engineer. Having said that, there are only 3 people you have to worry about pissing of, me being the most important, and as long as you don't blow anything up, I'll be happy."

George let out a small chuckle “I think I'm going to enjoy working here, one question though.... you look as old is my sister how did you manage to get command of such a vessel?”

Enalia's expression darkens for a moment. "How does a 24 year old girl fresh from the Academy get command of a massive ship and 800 people?... There's some debate on that point, but between exemplary scores in all training and having prior command of a Trill Defense Force patrol craft before the joining, I'm hoping they're just overestimating me rather than being a scapegoat if this ship's mission fails... Don't repeat that to anyone please..."

“Well Enalia” George said hoping not to enrage the best but make the conversation feel more personal “your little secret is safe with me... I'm betting that little slug you got carrying around is more qualified then most the other candidates they could have chosen.”

George turned around and leaned against the console looking at the young Trill waiting for the repercussions of his words but secretly hope for the best to come of it.

Enalia sighs heavily. "Not really. I'm older than it AND the first host... Odds are, you have more experience than I do. On top of that, thanks to it, none of the chairs I've sat in outside of the Symbiosis Commission are even remotely comfortable, hence my need for a new chair in my ready room."

“Good to never need to know but why stop in your ready room might as well have the one on the bridge replaced to its nothing a little manual labor won't hurt the cadets that’s what there here.”

George let out a little sigh as well Enalia didn't seem to be minding him to much, but as soon as he was about to continue one of the cadets dropped a piece of the new converters. “I'm sorry captain but I need to go ride this cadet into the ground for that but I would love to get together perhaps on some off time if you like... it's not often I meet a Trill that doesn't hate my very existence.”

Smiling lightly, Enalia makes ready to leave. "Have fun. I'll probably be in the command mess tonight if you're not too tired or busy."

George was happy that Enalia invited him to dinner, “You can count on it I'll square these guys away and be there.”

Before George could even see the captain on her way he had to go save a set of cadets from themselves.
Captain Meets Commander Deck 1 - CO's Ready Room MD2 - 1300 hours
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Riley wore his standard grey uniform. His hair was perfectly combed and moussed into a side-swept do. His suit was perfectly straight and his commbadge polished to a shine. He pressed the button next to the door. He thought this whole situation as odd. He was the instructor for bridge simulations, and even captained a starship for years. Now, he was on a ship with an inexperienced officer, and in all technicalities, was beneath her in chain of command.

Enalia clicks off her computer, closing the status messages that had piled up recently. "Come in." As the door opened and she saw who was on the other side, she stood and held out her hand in greeting. "I've been hoping to meet you soon, professor. How was the trip from Earth?" This was the same professor that taught one of the command classes her last year of her own academy years and here he was, teaching on what was now her ship.

"It was well, Commander Telvan." He stepped into the room, and stood with his head crooked towards the captain, and his body still facing forward. "I see my class got you far. You were the only student that I have ever given a commendation to." With that he stepped forward to the desk, his entirety pointing towards the Trill, and his hands folded behind him. His piercing blue eyes gazed directly into hers, "I hope to see you in true action. It is a rarity to see one's students on the line of duty, and not in a simulation."

Withdrawing her hand from the offer of a handshake, Enalia sits back down and relaxes. "Still rather gruff and pedantic, I see. The joke is on you this time though - this whole cruise is supposed to be a simulation. I do expect real encounters, but for the most part this ship is here to give experience to the cadets on board." Enalia pauses and looks him over for a moment. "I don't suppose you'll sit down. I've never seen you do it before."

"Only at the captain's chair." He said the statement with a straight face, but he meant it as a half-joke. However, it wasn't far from the truth. While commanding, he spent his time on the bridge, or sleeping and eating. If he weren't confined to the human stomach and fatigue, he would choose to be on deck the entire time. "Simulation or not, when an actual ship is headed by a majority of cadets, there's no doubt going to be trouble. A ship without incident is not a ship at all."

Knowing him well enough, the half joke wasn't entirely lost on Enalia. She smiled somewhat wryly at it and the other comments. "And I expect to have more cadet induced incidents than I can imagine. Are you settling in well? Have you seen the 3 bridge simulation holodecks that were installed? I'm told they have the best Starfleet has to offer in cadet bashing technology."

"I just had a third class cadet take my things to my quarters in the pod. As for the holodecks, I have yet to test them out. I was going to go straight there after meeting you," he said. Riley gave a grunt. "I hope that the cadets are up to the simulations I will provide. Since we are now aboard an actual vessel, and not in a room in San Fransisco, I have changed my curriculum. It will make your training look like a party."

Enalia couldn't help but smile at that. "Just please tell me that Gorn mission is still in there somewhere. Everyone needs to go through that nightmare of a mission."

"Oh, that one, and many more like it," said Riley, "It isn't often that boarding parties would disengage the gravitational plating and engage in martial combat while the ship hurdles into a nearby star, but in case it ever does, all of my students will know how to do succeed adequately." He scoffed, "You're squad was the first to complete the simulation within ten tries."

Enalia couldn't help but chuckle at that. "I'm glad we were memorable if nothing else. I thought we'd never get through that mission without someone at least vomiting, but somehow we did. Which reminds me. I still need to get a safety harness installed in the command chair on the bridge."

Riley tilted his mouth, "And what if the intruders manage to tamper with the ship's safety protocols and lock you in the chair indefinitely? You might need to check out my program Theta-2-0-Beta. It covers such an event." He almost smiled with excitement. "In fact, I can give you all of the new holoprograms, and you can try them in your spare time. It will greatly increase your capabilities."

Rethinking her safety harness plans, Enalia turns a bit pale and nervously laughs. "I'll keep that in mind." Standing back up, she locks her hands behind her back. "I'm sure you have a lot to do and I don't want to keep you from it. If you need anything, please let me know. And thank you for joining this program. With you here, I at least feel like we have a chance at making it past our first nebula."

"I am grateful for this assignment. I hope these next few years be filled with discipline and intrigue," Riley said. Without saying anything more, he gave a small bow, and turned on his heels. He marched out the door. It was likely that he was on his to interrogate a cadet, to the detriment of his or her aspirations.
Lagashi Vision Deck 11 - Gymnasium MD3 - 1615 hours
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[Deck 9 - Crew Mess Hall]

Placing her tray in the replicator, Cadet Cho'ren sighed with disgust at the lack of a neural interface anywhere on the ship. Even the replicators were either voice or touch operated only. The Federation and their backwards ideas of genetic and cybernetic enhancement frustrated her at even the most basic of tasks. It took a small miracle to even get into Starfleet Academy. Her family insisted on it as it was a good solid income and all her needs would be provided anyway, but she was thinking it wasn't worth it on days like today, what with the trip from Earth, the in-briefing here on the Hera, and the computers and replicators being obstinate. Thankfully, the gym was open so she could at least blow off some steam.

Making her way out of the mess hall, she wandered the halls with a map of the place pulled up in her memory. It took a small miracle to get even that small bit of data downloaded to her neural implants but she was thankful she had it. This ship was larger than she expected. At least she was used to the stares and enough people could tell she was Lagashi and not Borg...

[Deck 11 - Gymnasium]

Ah here it is... the ship's gym. She entered and headed back into the locker room while stripping off her outer uniform to just her jump suit and a pair of fingerless gloves and prepared for a kickboxing workout.

The martial arts section of the Ship's Gymnasium seemed to be empty, expect for a lone Human male who danced and stalked around the body bag that hung down from the ceiling in the corner. A sheen of sweat shone on the young man's cinnamon-brown skin, causing his shirtless athletic frame to glisten. A pair of form-fitting compression shorts hugged the young Human's rock-hard thighs and buttocks, which vied with the boy's taut, toned abs and his chocolate-brown eyes for consideration as his most attractive feature. With his brow furrowed, and his lean body hunched over protectively, the young Human continued to stalk around the perimeter of the body bag. The sharp repeated thwack of the boy's taped up fists against the leather bag, merged with the soft huffing noises from the young man's nostrils to make the only noise in the empty gym.

Cadet Quentin Cross was lost in his own thoughts as he beat on the hefty body bag in front of him. It had been a rough day for the 20 year-old Academy student, who had struggled all day long to remain afloat in the sea of tempestuous emotions that raged within him. It had been nineteen excruciating hours since the object of his undying love had torn his heart from his chest, and crushed it between her slender, manicured fingers. Lovesick and heartbroken, Cadet Cross had managed by the grace of God to pull off organizing that morning's Cadet Commencement Ceremony. Unfortunately though, his doleful demeanor had sapped the life out of the stirring and inspirational speech he had written for the ceremony's Maiden Address. Now, with the day's work done, Quentin hoped to take out his emotional turmoil and romantic frustrations upon the red leather practice bag.

It was a moment before the young man looked up, realizing that he was no longer alone in the gym. At the locker room entrance stood a young woman with long jet-black hair and almond-shaped burnt-gold eyes. Quentin noticed the familiar delicate calligraphic tattoo on the right side of her face, and recognized the young woman as Cho'ren Vara, the cadet serving as a tactical officer in the Hera's Security & Tactical Department. The service record that Commander Enalia Telvan gave Quentin identified the young raven-haired cadet as a Lagashi: a species that Quentin had yet to encounter or interact with. If Quentin had not been so caught up in his heartbreak, he might have approached the attractive young woman with a friendly smile and a welcoming handshake. Instead, Quentin ignored the young Lagashi woman's presence and delivered a rapid-fire triple jab at the body bag.

Vara steps over to one of the sparring bags near the occupied cadet, glancing disdainfully towards him. His speech earlier today only reminded her of how naive the Federation seemed to her. Yet another reason to work off some steam.

Taking a simple kickboxing stance, she fired a few punches at the bag to help loosen up and activate the augments in her muscles. Quickly reversing her stance, she then fires a back kick at the bag that sent it flying away from her. Casually recovering and watching the bag swing back, she fires a roundhouse kick at it, changing its trajectory 90 degrees. This was good for a warm-up, but she needed something a bit more stable for a proper workout...

Quentin allowed himself a couple of stolen glances at the Lagashi cadet as he continued to work the large body bag in front of him. She looked good, Quentin silently conceded, both in appearance and in practice. A thin slate-grey tank top and matching shorts hugged her trim and well-toned figure, and complemented the Lagashi girl's smooth honey-tan complexion. Quentin let his eyes linger on the female cadet's long and lithe legs, and watched with mild interest as they executed a textbook roundhouse kick. He cast an appreciative glance at the rise and swell of her small pert breasts, and let his gaze wander down across Cho'ren Vara's slim girlish hips, and over the firm round globes of her buttocks. Alarmed, Quentin felt a stirring deep down in the core of him, and danced around the body bag to turn his back on the attractive Lagashi girl. He delivered another stunning combination to the center of the workout bag — jab, jab, straight, left hook, left cross ... dance left, lean back, duck right, under left ... jab, jab, jab, straight, left uppercut, right uppercut ...

Realizing this wouldn't get her very far as the bag took too long to swing back into position, Vara looked around again with a slim hope of finding a decent sparring partner. Unfortunately, there was only one other person and from his stance and eyes, she could almost feel the pain he felt. She didn't need any augments to see that someone had hurt him pretty badly, but she could see it so well, she almost felt bad for him. She watched him for a few seconds more as he bobbed and weaved around the red bag and she started thinking. He would be pretty good if he had just a few Lagashi implants and a bit more focus. Sighing, she stepped towards him knowing full well she would regret this. "Quentin Cross, I believe your name was. Your form is sloppy. What has you distracted?"

Quentin paused mid-combination upon hearing the Lagashi girl's voice. The attractive cadet's overture filled him with a bunch of conflicting emotions. He could honestly say he'd never been surprised, intrigued, anguished and annoyed, all at the same time, before.

"What has me distracted?" Quentin repeated, his back still to the Lagashi cadet. His muscles tensed as he remembered what having his heart broken over dinner last night felt like. "Holding conversations during my workout, for one thing." Quentin went back to striking the body bag, harder this time than he had been before. "What's ... Distracting ... You?" Quentin asked, vocalizing each word with a tremendous punch to the body bag.

Vara steps around to the opposite side of the bag, placing her hands on it and completely stopping its movement from what she assumed was a powerful punch from a normal human. "What distracts me is 2 things. One, if I cut loose, I'll break the equipment here like I did at the academy. Two, there's a deeply disturbed young man in the same area that obviously has something he needs to get out but is instead flailing at a punching bag."

Quentin sucked his teeth and dropped his taped-up fists at Cho'ren Vara's interruption. "Then maybe you shouldn't cut loose," Quentin shrugged, turning around to walk away from the attractive young woman. "Besides," he added, shaking his head, "why should you care about what I've got on my chest?" The brown-skinned cadet headed over to the floor-to-ceiling mirrors that paneled the nearest wall, and began shadowboxing in front of them.

Vara sighs and follows him over to the mirrors. "How does that Earth saying go? Throw caution to the wind, I believe. You're wearing a shirt on your back and I put your glove in my hat, so I'd like to know." She hoped the mix of quotes would stun him into at least talking about whatever was bothering him.

Quentin paused mid-combination again, his a comically confused expression on his boyish handsome features. Cross was positive that he had never heard either of those supposedly Earth sayings before in his entire life. "It's complicated," allowed Quentin, his body language relaxing a bit as he spoke to Cadet Cho'ren by looking at her reflection in the gymnasium mirror. "But then girls are always complicated, so what else is new?"

Vara nods at that. "Then you're easily as frustrated as I am for a different reason. The Federation isn't what my family convinced me it was. Someone or something isn't what you expected? Perhaps you declared your love and she told you she wasn't interested in men?"

Quentin shook his head with a sad smile. "If only it was that simple," he said softly. A long introspective moment passed as Quentin looked down at the floor, remembering how ridiculous happy he had been walking into the Officers' Mess that evening, and how devastated he had been upon leaving it. With a soft snort, the shook himself out of his reverie and went back to watching Vara in the mirror as he shadowboxed. "So ... being is Starfleet issn't what you expected, huh?" asked Quentin, sneaking another glance the Lagashi girl's soft subtle curves. "What do you find wrong with it?"

Sighing and crossing her arms, Vara leans against the wall. "The general distrust of implants and the backwards policies on genetic enhancement as well as the fact that no one has a data cloud around them. I can't even access a PADD the way I'm used to. It's like I'm cut off from the rest of the galaxy... I have a husband and a wife back at home and I can't even talk to them the way I'm used to. Not to mention I can't even get through my combat training without hurting someone. My first class when I joined, I broke the instructor's arms like twigs. He told me to kick as hard as I could and well... I didn't hold back..." This guy obviously needed someone to confide in and hopefully telling her story would get him to open up just that much more. Besides, she might be able to get on good terms with Quentin. He was a nice person in a nice position and it might pay off to make friends with him. "So what's her name, anyway?"

Quentin's brow furrowed. "You have a husband and a wife? Both? At the same time?"

Vara rolled her eyes at that. "Oh yeah, something else frustrating... The families on earth are just between 2 people and their children. The Lagashi male to female ratio is one man to every 3 women so we have different ideas on family. Generally, there's a man working a nice safe job, a home bound wife to take care of the kids, and 2-3 other women in higher risk jobs to bring in money. While I'm here my government is paying a stipend to my family and if I get a commission, they pay a lot more. My family convinced me it's a better deal than fighting Breen and killing pirates, so here I am. Honestly though, I think I'd rather be in the Lagashi Navy... At least there I don't have to worry about accidentally killing an ally and I can let go and practice on a main deck support without fear of it breaking..." She pauses for just a moment. "So you're not telling me her name then?"

"Nope," Quentin said, trying to suppress a smirk as he looked Vara in the mirror. "Look, don't take it personally, Cho'ren," Quentin said, mistakenly using the Lagashi girl's surname as her given name. "I appreciate your offering to let me vent. Really. It's just ... it's still too soon for me to talk about it." After all, getting things off of his chest is what led him to this misery in the first place, Quentin reasoned. If only he had kept his mouth shut ... if only he had never confessed his love ... Quentin flinched again at the memory of last night's dinner and returned to his shadowboxing routine. "I don't blame you about being pissed off, though," the 20 year-old cadet shrugged. "Fighting pirates and the Breen sounds exciting as hell. Beats sitting through an entire year of Intro to Spatio-Temporal Dynamics, hands down." A smirk washed across Quentin's face as he thought again about what Vara said about the make of the typical Lagashi family. "Three women to every man, huh?" observed Cadet Cross, with a shake of his head. "I may have to get my ass to Lagashi, at some point down the road."

Moving away from the wall and leaning in closer to Quentin, she brings her face to within inches of his and looks him over. "I think you would make a good candidate for Lagashi citizenship. As long as you're not squeamish about implants, that is." Moving back, she looks over the rest of him and smiles. "Yeah definitely good genetic material. You wouldn't be around that woman though. I'm sure she's got quite the career to think about." She waves her hand a bit flippantly. "Besides that, who wants to..." Suddenly she thinks better of what she was about to say. She didn't want to tip her hand about what she saw after the opening ceremony events just yet. "Never mind. What are your plans for the rest of the night?"

Quentin froze as his brown eyes locked on Vara's reflection. Oh, shit. Did she already know? No, the young Human thought. Impossible! If she really did know, then why all the questions? Why try to coax Quentin into divulging his secret? 'She's got quite the career to think about ...' Could Cho'ren Vara have merely been taking a shot in the dark with that one? An educated guess? Or did she see something that led her to suspect who Quentin had been jilted by? Finally turning away from the mirror, Quentin faced the Lagashi girl, suddenly acutely aware of how close her body was to his. She was close enough that Quentin could feel her breath blow cool upon his sweaty skin, and he noticed how prettily the burnt-gold irises of her eyes glinted when they caught the ambient light.

"I, uh ..." Quentin glanced briefly at Vara's full lips before furrowing his brow again and looking away. "I don't have any plans," he admitted. "Why?"

Vara smiles almost wickedly, her perfectly white teeth glinting. "Then let's do something together. I want to get to know you better."

Quentin looked back at the beautiful Lagashi woman, at a loss. Surprised. Intrigued. Anguished. Annoyed. Quentin Cross could not explain why or how, but there was something about Cho'ren Vara that seemed to push so many of his buttons at once. Without a word of either consent or protest, Quentin let Vara take him by the hand, and lead him off of the empty gymnasium floor.

Smiling wider, she leads him out of the gym. "By the way, my given name is Vara - please call me that."
First Day on the Job Deck 1 - Bridge MD2 - 0745 hours
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Cadet Junior Grade Quentin Cross stepped out of the turbolift onto the Bridge of the USS Hera and immediately began scanning the control room with his dark brown eyes. The 3rd year Academy student had been assigned to Alpha Shift, the Hera crew's daytime block of the duty schedule, which began at 0800 hours in the morning and ended at 1600 hours in the afternoon. Quentin had been excited to have been awarded such a prime-time schedule off the bat, since it was during Alpha Shift that a starship's Senior Staff typically worked. Today was the first of Cadet Cross' internship aboard the Hera, and he hoped to make a good impression upon that morning's supervisor by arriving at least 15 minutes early for the shift. Quentin suppressed a nervous jitter as he looked to see if he could locate the Hera's Executive Officer.

Emilie was sitting in the CO's chair on duty and the captain was in her Ready Room. She heard the door open and she turned around to see a Cadet JG walk in. She stood up and walked towards him "Hello Cadet." She said as she extended her hand to meet the cadet.

"Ma'am," smiled Quentin, taking Emilie's hand and shaking it. "Cadet Junior-Grade Quentin Cross, the new COB," he announced. Quentin's dark-brown eyes glanced at the lieutenant's pips on the young woman's red-accented collar. "You must be Lieutenant Wolf?"

Emilie smiled and put her hands back by her side. "Yes that's me. Cadet Cross, I'm pleased to meet you. Have you found everything alright, quarters and such?" She asked.

Quentin nodded in the affirmative. "Yes, I got settled in yesterday, Ma'am," he replied. "My quarters are actually pretty awesome! I'm in the Forward section on Deck 8 where most of the other Senior Officers are. I've even got the room to myself ... though that may have to change in the future. The usual policy is that cadets, enlisted and non-commissioned officers and are expected to bunk two to a room on a ship of this size. So, we'll see how long my good fortune lasts." Quentin gave a good-natured shrug and sighed as he looked around at the Bridge. "I can't believe I'm actually here!" he said, barely able to contain his excitement. "I'm actually going to get to serve on the bridge of an active duty starship! This is so freaking cool -- !" Quentin caught himself, and attempted to dial back his enthusiasm. He didn't want to look like too much of a spastic newbie in front of the attractive slightly-older lieutenant. "Sorry, Ma'am," Quentin apologized, doing his best to play it cool.

"Its alright Mr. Cross, I remember my Cadet Cruise, ah I had such a good time there and Learnt more than the academy could teach me. Starfleet had the right Idea to do this." Emilie said.

Quentin nodded his eager agreement. "So ... I guess with you being the XO and all, I'm going to working right underneath you, right Ma'am?" he asked, prompting the pretty older Lieutenant to give him a quick briefing. "Beyond the standard duties for a Chief-of-the-Boat, what will you be expecting of me ... and what should I expect from you as my department head?"

"Well the Captain and I will be overseeing all the Cadets and Instructors. So your instructors will be writing reports on how your doing, the captain and I will look them over and decide where you'll be stationed on your first official assignment. As for your other duties, I hear your taking over the role of Second Officer. Well as the Senior most cadet on board you'll be a role model to the other cadets, and you should be getting some Command experience in." Emilie said.

"Cool!" nodded Quentin, enthusiastically. "The role model part shouldn't be a problem. I'm actually an oldest sibling, with two younger sisters. They live back on Starbase 72. What about you, any brothers or sisters?"

"No brothers or sister...or any other blood family members besides my parents for that matter, but I am happily married with a child if that counts." Emilie said smiling at the Cadet.

"Married and a mom," Quentin observed, his expression one of genuine interest. "Is your family with you here, or are they back home?"

"My husband is on a deep space assignment but my child is here with me on the Hera." Emilie said "He's six so not exactly going to be in classes with you."

Quentin laughed. "No, I suppose six years old is still a bit young for Starfleet Academy, even in this day and age. Actually, my 18 year-old sister Callista just got accepted into the Academy. She's going to start this fall. My youngest sister Cassandra is only 16, though, so she may still have a couple of years left, depending on how well she does in school this year. Oh! Before I forget —" Quentin produced a PADD that he had briefly tucked under his left arm. "Yesterday, Commander Telvan asked me to get the class schedules and duty rosters for the cadets sorted out. I wanted to run them by you before I brought them in for her to sign off on."

Quentin moved to stand alongside Emilie as he held up the PADD and pointed out the data with his finger. "I figured that the best way was to have the cadets rotate their duty schedules based on service track," explained Quentin, "with command-track cadets rotating through Gamma & Alpha Shifts, operations-track cadets on Alpha & Beta shifts, and sciences-track cadets running the Beta & Gamma slots. It might make things more flexible should future changes be necessary. What do you think?"

"That sounds perfect." Emilie said examining the PADD, "But we better be sure to run it through with the Captain before we actually do anything." She said looking more closely, "I assume Security and Engineering are following the same schedule as Operations, and Medical/Counseling will be with Science right?" She asked just double checking.

"Yes, Ma'am," Quentin smiled. "Gold with gold, blue with blue. Now that that's done, I just have to finish assigning the cadets their new quarters. The second major task before the Cadet Commencement Ceremony scheduled for 1500 hours tomorrow afternoon." Quentin made another 'a-ha!' face at Emilie. "Which reminds me again — I'm giving the ceremony's maiden address, but we need a ranking officer and Academy graduate to give a salutatorian address to the assembled cadets. Interested?" Quentin flashed a playful charming smile, his warm brown eyes doing their best to coax the attractive brunette lieutenant into saying yes.

Emilie smiled and looked at the Cadet, "I'd love to but I'm afraid im not too good with public speaking. I'll definitely be there, but I may or may not give a speech." She said.

"Aww," groaned Quentin, playfully. "I thought that was gonna be a definite 'yes'. Don't worry, though, it's cool. I think we've got a pre-recorded message from Commander T'Lana Ren'Vo, the Academy CO." Quentin shook his head in mock sadness. "Having you speak in place of her would have been such an improvement."

"I'll see if I have time later. Have a PADD sent to my quarters and I'll look it over." Emilie said smiling at the Cadet. "Thats all for now, continue your duties." she said walking back to the Captains chair and sitting down.

Post by

Lieutenant Emilie Wolf
Executive Officer

Cadet Senior Grade Quentin Cross
Chief of the Boat | Second Officer
Professors B Deck - Holographic Classroom MD2 - 1330 hours
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Riley heard of the certain Combat Instructor who happened to also be a type of sentient AI. If the two were to be colleagues in the faculty, it was only appropriate to introduce himself. He walked to the arch, and pressed a few buttons to summon the program. Once he got it pulled up, he looked towards the holo-classroom for the person to appear.

A six foot man in the Starfleet standard attire materialized out of the air, his particular uniform adorn with the yellow know to Security, Tactical, and Engineering officers. The lack of pips on his collar was obvious. With his hands folded behind his back he gave the man a nod. "What can I do for you, sir?"

Riley scanned the man up and down. "It is to my knowledge that you are the new combat professor. The both of us will be working alongside each other in hopes of taking people that walk through this door," he signaled to the room's large bulkhead, "and turning them into officers. Tell me, what are your primary functions?"

The holograph slipped into his computer-like tenancies, regurgitating what he'd said earlier to the engineer who'd activated him the first time. "As a Combat Instructor I am usually assigned to train applicable crew members in almost any form of combat, including hand to hand combat, close combat weapons, small or large firearms, explosives, and any other weapon found in the Starfleet database. I am also qualified to train crew personnel on the ship's defensive systems, both internally and externally, and tactics for everything listed above."

A very brief moment of interest crossed his face as he experienced what he perceived to be irritation toward himself. In the future, he would describe his primary function equally, but different.

Riley squinted his eyes. He tucked his hands behind his back and started pacing back and forth in front of Io. It looked as though he was getting ready to interrogate, instead of having an equal conversation between two educators. "How long have you been active? What qualifications have you received from Starfleet to be fit to train?" Riley had a general distrust of anything non-organic. Anything that was technical could only be good for breaking down or glitching at the worst time.

"Time since initial activation is one hour, thirty two minutes and counting. I am technically part of a fourth generation of non-medical holograms, though the first two iterations were never put into service. My holographic matrix is seventh generation and I suspect you have no further interest in my technical specifications. My 'qualifications' are simply that Starfleet has deemed this program's knowledge and teaching ability is qualified to certify members of the crew to which it is assigned." He finally paused to take a breath. "Would you like a list of each individual certification?"

"No," said Riley, "That will do. I wasn't informed that starfleet was replacing our jobs as officers by computers. I remember days before we had emergency holograms as doctors and androids as engineers." He reflected back on to the simpler times before perking upwards again, "However, I would like to test out your program's capabilities, if you don't mind. I've been meaning to test a few of my simulations before classes start."

"I can recall a time before my full activation when data was transmitted seamlessly and almost effortlessly between myself and all other communicating entities peers, subordinates, and superiors alike. The replacement of outdated and incorrect information was nearly instant and always accepted." Hal, in his own way, reflected on his own simpler times. Those "times" just happened to be the few seconds between activation and running 365 updates before quickly rebooting and coming online. However, his tone didn't reflect feeling one way or another about such a state.

"Anyway," Hal said after a brief pause. "You'd like to run a combat simulation?"

"Yes," said Riley. He took the program's statement as an insult. It seemed that his own ideals were passe and irrelevant to the current times. Maybe so, but he was in the business of training people to be innovators and decision-makers, nothing more. If there was one thing that would never change, it will be the merits of man. "It is a combat simulation on the bridge. It was designed to teach students how to manage a boarding-party situation. I would like to see your systems in action."

With a nod he replied. "Very well." After a very quick check of the thousands of training programs he determined that there was more than one that met the vague description Riley had just listed, so he waited for the man to load the program himself.

"Computer, start program Riley-Theta-3 Subsection 1." The room changed into a Defiant class starship. At each of the stations were a holographic officer. There even sat a bolian hologram on the captain's chair. "You will play the role of chief of security. This mission is as stated: 'The USS Diligent is ordered to defend the Starbase TR-87 in a skirmish with rogue Cardassians. The crew is to defend the station at all costs.' Once you are ready, take the tactical station. The program will start thereafter."

The hologram once again responded with a nod before turning to face the bridge and move straight for the tactical station to await the beginning of the simulation. This would be his first time participating in a holographic program as opposed to being part of one. If what he was feeling was excitement, he was still on the fence about it but that likely due to the extreme scrutiny he was facing from Riley, he just didn't know that yet.

As soon as the hologram took his seat, the ship rocked violently. Plasma conduits fell from above and the science console exploded. "Captain, we are receiving heavy fire on our port shield generators. Our shields are at 70% capacity, and holding." Another jerk of the ship made sparks fly from the lighting. "Make that 50%." The operations officer looked back at the captain, "Sir, we have high damage on our port nacelle. We are unable to warp. However, our impulse is still online." The captain looked at the screen, which showed four Galor-class vessels, all firing at the Diligent. He gave an order, "Put power to port shielding." Just as he said that, a torpedo caught onto the shields. "Captain, shields are down." The buzz of a transporter appeared on the ship. Five cardassians appeared out of it. Riley gave a nod as he looked to the man at the tactical station.

Hal had found, in between holding onto his station during hits, that he could do very little from the tactical console. This didn't surprise him, it was a boarding repulsing exercise, after all. He was on his feet almost before the notification that the shields were down had finished escaping his simulated crewmen's lips. As it turns out this was helpful because five Cardassians on a Defiant class bridge with a full crew made for a packed house. With the nearest of them only a meter away the combat instructor took a single step toward the tall figure and placed a hand on his shoulder just as he finished materializing, his fingers wrapping around the man's stiff collar. Hal's other arm was soon to follow, moving quickly to aim at placing a blow to the head right around the temple with the heel of his hand.

He did his best to hang onto the man, he figured he'd need some suitable cover.

The conn officer tried to overtake one of the Cardassians, but was shot by a pulse-wave by one of the boarding party's phasers. The bridge resumed into an all out firefight. The captain managed to get his hand on a phaser from the wall. He took one of the intruders, but at the cost of his own life. The computer spoke, "Intruder Alert on all decks." Protocol went into action as all of the doors slammed shut.

As the Captain went down Hal slipped his arm around the Cardassian's neck in a one-armed choke hold as he snatched the man's phaser. In one fluid movement he lifted his arm and fired at the Cardassian that had taken out the helmsman. Helped by his computer-like accuracy it was a perfect hit and he even got off a second shot at another member of the boarding party. The second shot missed due to the man he was using as a human shield coming out of his short daze and starting to struggle, but the Engineering panel behind his target erupted into sparks and sent the man flying.

The last Cardassian man pointed the gun straight at Hal. By this time, the other starfleet personnel where either incapacitated or dead. Hal remained as the last non-invader on the locked bridge. It seemed as though a draw, until the phaser of the Cardassian dropped down next to the body of the late captain. His hands raised, "Perhaps we can come to an agreement." His scaly mouth pulled back to reveal an unnerving smile.

There was a surprisingly long pause, at least surprising to Hal, as he tightened his grip on his human shield until it stopped struggling. Up until now this scenario had been something he was pretty much designed to do, or at least to teach, to others. Seconds pass as Hal kept his phaser pointed at the final conscious member of the boarding party, but to him they felt like hours. "No." He said finally. "Retreat of be fired upon."

The Cardiassian's smile sunk into a frown. He tsked as he started pacing, getting ever so slightly closer to the professor. "It's a shame you aren't willing to compromise." He picked up a piece of a manifold, "This ship less important than your life." He gripped the rubble in his hand tightly, blood started gushing from his palm. In one swift movement, he lunged at Hal.

Naturally, as soon as the Cardassian lunged Hal fired. Unnaturally, at least to him, he missed due to many excuses he could likely site later. Luckily for him at least he still had his human shield which he was able to shove at the Cardassian and prevent his virtual neck from being sliced open, for now. The Cardassian phaser pistol now became a blunt swung at the back of the Cardassian's head as he sidestepped in an attempted to put some more space between them.

The Cardassian swooped around and picked up the Federation phaser from the captain. Hiding behind the center chair, he spoke again. "I was hoping you would be more hospitable. This is no manner to treat your guests." He felt back on his head, it was bleeding. He realized that he had little time before his unstoppable death. He turned around and shot fires in every direction in hopes of hitting the man.

Hal trained the stolen phaser on the Cardassian as soon as he could have, firing on him as soon as he spun around to fire. The final boarding party member fell to the deck as a shot from his final volley flashed right past Hal's head. He took another glance around the bridge as he only half lowered his weapon.

"Computer, end program Riley-Theta-3 Subsection 1," Riley said. The bridge disappeared and left only Hal and Riley. "If you were in my class, you would have failed." He grunted and shook his head, "But, for the purposes intended for you, personally, I would..." he paused, "give you a pass."

The phaser pistol slipped from Hal's hand and shimmered away with the program before hitting the ground. He straightened up his stance and folded his hands behind his back. "Perhaps if you have time you could program," he paused before adding, "or instruct me on the most preferred method on dealing with the complete situation demonstrated in the program. It would likely be most beneficial to those we are to train if we are on the same page." Hal needed to work on the personality bit of his programming, the colloquialisms kept working their way quite randomly into his impassioned voice, which he also supposed he needed to work on.

"I'll be sure to make time to do so," said Riley. He paced to the arch and pressed a few buttons. "I'm going to shut you down now, if you don't mind. Unless you would like to something else while your program is up." It felt odd talking to a grown-looking man as though he were putting a kid down for a nap. In all realness, the person in front of him was merely hours old.

Hal, decided it would be best to drone on about the particulars of his program later, or perhaps never, simply shook his head. "It was good meeting you, Professor Murdock."

Riley mumbled. "Likewise." And with a push of a button, the new combat instructor dematerialized.
Calibrations Deck 14 - Jefferies Tube 1402 MD3 - 0100 hours
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George day had seemed far to long spent the better part of torturing cadets and managing the upgrades to the warp core. Grabbing one of the generic engineering tool boxes George opened the Jeffery tube leading to the anti matter injectors. As he crawled through the tube George couldn't help but curse the civilian engineers for slacking off and forcing George to pick up the slack. After reaching the last injector that needed recalibration George sat his tool box down and began examining the injector.

“Stupid cadets, stupid engineers, stupid crap injectors” George mumbled to himself as he pulled off the access panel in the small access tube.

Pulling the tricorder from the tool box he scanned over the injector while simultaneously accessing the calibration screen on the panel attached to the injector. George looked the readings over and felt a feeling of intense frustration fill him as he realized the amount of time it would take to calibrate this injector. George pulled the hyper spanner from his tool box and began the adjustments while carefully monitoring the fluctuations as he worked.

Almost a hour had passed and George was still only half way through the calibration when intense boredom kicked in. Taking a moment to take a break and stretch George thought of something to keep himself entertained as he finished his work.

“Computer activate Hal at my location” the computer beeped in acknowledgment and Hal materialized in the Jeffery tub with George.

The computer responded with that angry-sounding negative beep. Despite its unwillingness to cooperate however, several seconds later Hal materialized opposite of George in much of a similar position. "Sorry for the delay. Only one instance of my program may be active at a time."

George was still a bit unsettled by the holograms attitude, it would diffidently have to be something to get use to.

"You were still active, what were you doing this whole time?" George asked as he continued to try and realign the injector.

"Since our last meeting I was activated by Professor Murdock after which I spent several minutes analyzing Cardassian boarding techniques before going into standby. About twenty four and a half minutes ago I reactivated myself when I decided to test the difference between analyzing ship specifications from the core and entering a compartment using my holographic body." Hal finally paused. "How was your day?"

George hesitated for a moment as frustration overcame him at the continuing failure to finish the calibrations, "A day of enjoyable cadet torture mixed with enraging frustration of this crews inability to complete simple task, how have you enjoyed your short existence so far?"

"I don't have much to compare it to." He confessed as he watched George work. It was interesting, he realized, that while what George was doing looks fairly simple and completely natural it would be an utterly impossible task for him to complete. "Who should I consider my direct superior?" Hal asked seemingly at random. "Is there anyone I should report directly to?"

"hand me that" George pointed at one of the tools in the box knowing that Hal would not likely not know the names of any of them.

Scratching his chin for a moment waiting on Hal to hand him the tool, "You are a tactical program but you know what your still a ship program and I have some plains for you so I'm gonna say me unless their is some tactical disaster which then you probably defer to the chief tactical officer."

The hologram picked up the specified tool and handed it to George. "I suppose I report to pretty much anyone with that in consideration. What might those plans be, if you don't mind me asking?"

George laughed as he monitored the changes in the antimatter mixture, "Off the top of my head I would say access to the ship weapons, access to more of the secured database to improve your knowledge base, and perhaps the ability to spawn in multiply locations at once... but these are all just ideas for the moment I still don't have all the time or information I need to accomplish it."

Hal nodded as George recited his list. He had no objections to being given access to more systems or information, he was intrigued at the idea of being in more than one place at a time. "It would likely double the buffer memory and processing power required to run my program." He said, assuming George knew which part of the list he was talking about. "That being said, there is a large excess of both at most times."

George was slightly surprised Hal knew anything about his program or its requirements "Yes but I think sizable partition of the secondary computer core could be use to allow you almost limitless data and processing power, so to be honest your potential is quite limitless with the correct programing."

"That would be the catch then. I don't suppose we have a programming specialist that was somehow not added to the crew manifest." He assumed he knew what the answer would be so he didn't wait for one. "I have faith in your human ingenuity Ensign George Lucas. Was there something in particular you called me here for?"

George took a moment to adjust his seating, "Sheer boredom to be honest and I would much rather talk to you then these good for nothing ensigns. George scanned the injector with his tricorder and let out a sigh of relief, "Actually looks like my work here is done, is there anything you needed?"

"It would be interesting to experience 'sleep' to see if it is anything like standby mode of being offline, however that's pretty low on the priorities list." Hal smiled. "If I can be of any use, feel free to activate me again, sir."

George laughed at the request of sleep, "I appreciate the company Hal, computer deactivate program Hal."

The computer beeped in acknowledgement and Hal dissipated into thin air. Gathering the last of his tools George began to make his way out of the tube.
Shuttlebay Rendezvous Deck 4 - Main Shuttlebay MD2 - 1625 hours
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Wandering the shuttlebay looking for the manager, Enalia finally sees him poking around towards the back control rooms. "Ensign N'Vak, do you have a moment? I thought I would stop by and check on the status of everything in here."

N'Vak had spent the better part of the settling into his new roles aboard the Hera but had not had the time to get a formal status report available, "Yes captain."

Stepping towards the Romulan Ensign, Enalia flashes one of her best smiles. "This is just informal so please relax. I really just wanted to meet you before we got underway. How are you settling in with the cadets? Any issues so far? Finding everything in order?"

N'Vak fought the urge to let his complains surface "Things are tolerable, I should have everything up to your standards by the end of tomorrows duty day."

Enalia smiles again. "Excellent. Well, if you need anything please let me know. These shuttles are a big part of third year training so they're going to see a lot of use and you'll be the one piloting a good part of those missions." With that, she makes ready to leave.

Finally getting to where she was going, Cadet Cho'ren still had Quentin in tow. She headed over towards the control rooms in the back of the large main shuttlebay. "Now we just need 2 suits..."

Quentin had been wondering where the hell Cho'ren Vara was leading him. The beautiful raven-haired Lagashi girl's bold proposition back in the Hera's gymnasium had thrown the heartbroken young Human boy for a loop. Stunned, Quentin had allowed the assertive young woman to take him by his taped-up hand and lead him away. Quentin's lovesick sorrow at being rejected by the woman he loved did battle against his intriguing attraction toward Vara ... with Quentin's conscience as the designated battlefield. Was it right to seek solace in the company of another girl, when he still had such strong feelings for one that had rejected him?

As he and Vara entered the Hera's shuttlebay, the oddly bemused expression Quentin wore, melted away from his boyish handsome features, as he laid eyes on the woman who stood near the Shuttlebay Control Room. She was still in her red-accented Starfleet uniform, her long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail the way it had been on the first day they met. Quentin allowed his hand to slip away from Vara's fingers, as his chocolate-brown puppy dog eyes gazed hopelessly at the soft brown spots that trailed down the woman's neck. He could feel his heart breaking all over again at the sight of Lieutenant Commander Enalia Telvan.

Feeling Quentin's hand leave hers and sensing him pause with her 360 cortical sensors, Vara glances back at him for a moment and realizes he was either staring at the Romulan Ensign or the Captain and since only one was a woman... In a split second, she decided to hide the two of them behind a shuttle until LtCom Telvan finishes her business here so she gently herds Quentin off behind an older type 6 shuttle. Looking deep in his eyes, her face again inches from his, she holds a finger up to his lips to silence him in case he decided to protest, her other arm wrapped around his waist. "Shhh... We need to wait until the captain leaves and then we can talk our way into a pair of space suits."

After a few minutes, Enalia finishes talking to Da've and makes to leave via one of the far turbolifts, hopefully not even having noticed either of the scantily clad cadets.

Silently, Quentin leans back against the Type-6 shuttlecraft next to Vara, her finger against lips doing nothing to quiet the emotional conflict inside him. Part of Quentin was glad that Cadet Cho'ren had dragged him out of sight, sparing him a confrontation with the beautiful Trill commanding officer. However, another part of Quentin wanted Enalia to see him, wanted her to have to look in his eyes and see the pain that her rejection had put there. It surprised Quentin to discover that there was yet another part of him that wanted a say, the part of him that flushed hot at the feel of the Lagashi female cadet's intimate touch, and yearned for more of the same.

Peering around the shuttle, Vara confirms that the captain had left the hanger. "Come on, it's clear now." Dragging Quentin behind her, she heads over to Da've as quickly as she could manage. "Hello, can we borrow 2 space suits? We'd like to see the stars from outside."

N'Vak had already dealt with enough ridiculous requests for one day, "You can view the stars through a view port, unless you can give me a official reason go away" N'Vak spoke with a hint of announce to his voice.

Vara had faced this challenge before and hopefully she had an excuse the shuttlebay manager would accept. "I have full zero G training for all circumstances including several live fire combat situations from both my home Lagashi government and Starfleet and Cadet Cross needs more actual space time in a suit to be the role model his position as second officer and chief of the boat demands of him. My name is Cho'ren Vara - you can confirm this with the database."

N'Vak didn't have the time or patients for the cadets lies, "You are obviously trying to deceive me but I don't have the time to deal with you" N'Vak turned back to the console tapping a few keys then turning back to the cadets "The EVA suits have been unlocked, file the proper paper work before you begin your walk."

Quentin felt at a loss for words as Vara took his hand again, and led him along to the lockers that housed the Shuttlebay's EVA suits. "Um ... why do you want to head out in the EVA suits, again?" he asked, crossing his arms as he watched the slender Lagashi girl quickly begin suiting up.

Running through her checks and making sure the seals on the suit were good, Vara explains it to Quentin. "You need some perspective on life and while i was doing my training for the Lagashi Navy and fighting Breen, this was the best way for me to gain that perspective. besides that, I'm tired of the people here. I had my certificates all up in his face with my datacloud but of course no one can even tell I even have it on." Having expertly put on the entire suit and checking everything on it within seconds, Vara moves to a nearby console and starts pushing buttons for the paperwork. "Hurry and suit up. The stars await."

Great, Quentin thought, a sullen expression washing over his boyish features as he . So instead of hot sweaty rebound sex ... I'm getting a hot, sweaty rebound spacewalk. Isn't that just special?. In moments, the young Human male had finished securing the last airtight seals on his EVA suit's articulation points, and turned face Vara. "Lead the way," said Quentin, he voice almost monotone in defeat.

"Excellent." Vara says with an almost vicious grin. She locks her helmet in place, checking that seal and takes Quentin's hand, leading him through the airlock, the door sealing behind them as they pushed through the air shield barrier. Now outside the ship, she began walking across the top of the hull towards the bridge module to get clear of the tactical module. After a few minutes of walking, she stops and just stares up at the stars, their twinkling glow filling her face with wonder and awe, a softness entering her features that few have even guessed at, let alone seen.

Sensing from her grip on his hand that she had stopped, Quentin looked up to see Vara standing with her helmeted head titled back, and her face turned upward towards the cosmos. If Quentin hadn't already thought that the Lagashi girl had a beautiful face, the expression he now saw upon her comely honey-tan features would have convinced him. Quentin turned his own gaze up towards the sea of stars that slowly wheeled above and around them. Quentin understood that the stars were beautiful, and had often found them to be so, on many occasions. But the 20 year-old Human did not seem able to appreciate them with same awe and reverence that Cho'ren Vara did.

=^= The way you look at them ... =^= Quentin said, his voice slightly distorted by the EVA suits' comms. =^= I don't understand. What do you see when you look at the stars? =^=

Not even disturbed from her reverie, Vara continues staring at them, speaking slowly. =^= I see infinity... spread out in front of me... any possibility, any combination... When I stare at the universe like this, it almost feels like the universe is staring back... and I have to wonder... when we see it, what does it see of us? Or are we just too insignificant for it to really care? Either way, it calms my heart. I hope you can glimpse a hint of that. =^=

Quentin lowered his head to look down at the Hera's deck plating in contemplation. 'It calmed her heart,' she had said. Quentin thought about that for a moment. What about him? Had his heart calmed? After a moment's reflection, the young Human cadet realized that, surprisingly, it had. Where the heartache had once been sharp and strident, there was now only the dull memory of a deep hurt. However, Quentin wasn't under any illusions about stars having anything to do with it.

Looking up again at Cho'ren Vara's face, Quentin Cross gently tightened his hold on the Lagashi cadet's hand. A slow wistful smile played upon Quentin's lips as he regarded the girl for long moment. =^= I can't figure you out, Vara, =^= he confessed, a tinge of his usual good nature seeping back into his voice. =^= Sometimes, it's like you want to kiss me. Other times, it's like you want to fight me. Am I missing something? What's your deal? =^=

=^= I just find you interesting, I guess. You looked as lost and lonely as I am at times and I just wanted to see if we could be friends. Me a predator that sees everyone as an enemy and you a cadet with insane responsibilities... =^= She looks over at him, her grip tightening just a tiny bit. =^= Is that OK? =^=

Quentin allowed himself his first real smile in what felt like a very long time. Nodding in the affirmative, he took a step closer to Vara, and looked back up the stars turning overhead.

=^= Yeah, =^= he said, with a deep soothing sigh. =^= Yeah, that's cool with me. =^=

Smiling softly for the first time in a long time, Vara turned back to the stars, her shoulder pressed against Quentin's.
Engines Complete! Deck 24 - Main Engineering MD3 - 2000 hours
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Walking into main engineering, Enalia looked around the place. There were a few cadets polishing the handrails and someone had their head buried in the intermix chamber electronics, but other than that, there seemed to be no real work being done. Hopefully, this meant the upgrades were actually finished this time, unlike the engineers said they were after the proper refit at the shipyards. Stepping towards the Ensign, She calls out to him. "Mr Lucas, How goes the fight? Are we winning for once?"

George turned around saw his fellow Trill walking towards him, "Hi captain" George said with a rare smile of happiness on his face. "It's been a tough little fight but we've won this battle, but still to see if we are gonna win this war."

Smiling and leaning on one of the rails, Enalia chuckles lightly. "As long as we can depart in the morning, I'm happy. I'm sure you'll want us at something slow like warp 2 for a while to finish tweaking and testing, but with any luck, this time tomorrow we'll be almost to the Arachnid nebula. Can she handle that?"

George laughed "Whats the fun in moving so slow, these cadets could use a challenge you should push it to the limit."

Enalia couldn't help but smile wider at that. "Excellent. What kind of speeds can we expect then? Warp 9.6?"

George propped himself on the railing next to Enalia, "I would say 9.4 for a few hours until I can get the warp core finely tuned, but i say warp 8.8 would be a easy cruising speed but I'm hoping to get that to at least 9.2."

"That is definitely the best news I've had all day so far. Thank you." Enalia smiled ear to ear.

"My pleasure, now I've just gotta teach these cadets how to maintain things around here... I'm not sure who's teaching these cadets but they don't seem to know the difference between matter and anti matter." George said as he watched the cadet cleaning the railing pass by them.

"That's why we're out here. They know theory and have been in sims but this is their introduction to reality. I'm sure you'll get them in line, though." Enalia said, smiling.

George waved the cadet away as he continued his conversation, "I'll get them in line but I don't know how many of them will make it I don't tolerate incompetence."

"I'm sure they're competent enough - they just need to learn the systems and realize that what they do can be life or death for everyone on board." The cadet cleaning rails glanced up at Enalia for just a moment with a worried look on his face but she just kept looking at George, a smile on her face.

"Your probably right perhaps this upcoming mission will show them the importance of quality work. What are you expecting out of these cadets?" George turned around and looked at the warp core before him.

Enalia looks at the warp core as well, a somber expression crossing her face. "I expect them to become Starfleet officers. That might be asking too much for a few of them, but I'm hoping..."

George thought for a moment, "Well I think with enough hard work will whip them into shape. So is there anything I can do for you Enalia?"

Smiling softly back at George, Enalia thinks for a moment. "No, as long as everything is ready to launch in the morning that's it. On that note, tonight I need to contact Starfleet command and let them know we're ready to go and get permission from the station to depart. Is there anything I can do for you?"

George laughed, "Unless you wanna replace these cadets I'm afraid not but I appreciate it."

"Well then get some rest tonight. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day." Enalia turned and headed out of main engineering, thinking about the call she was about to make.
Evening Relaxation Deck 2 - Junior Officers' Mess MD1 - 2000 hours
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It was another stressful day for Cadet Cho'ren. Hopefully she had a friend that wasn't busy that she could relax with. Wait... She really only had one friend on the Hera... Well hopefully HE wasn't busy. Tapping a few computer consoles, she brought up the current location of Cadet Quentin Cross and saw that he was in the mess hall. She decided to pay him a visit since she could use some food too, as bad as it was. Within a few minutes she had made her way to the mess hall and entering, she went straight for the replicator, ordering her customary tomato soup and steamed broccoli. Taking it, she went over to the table she saw Quentin at and took a seat across from him, wordlessly eating a piece of broccoli.

Cadet Cross had not seen Cho'ren Vara enter the Officer's Mess, and so he was surprised when the pretty Lagashi girl suddenly appeared in the seat across from him. The long day spent helping to oversee Hera's launch from DS12 had taken a toll on the sleep-deprived 20 year-old. In fact, the young man had been sitting at his table with his head resting against his fist, too drained to even take a bite from the plate of stir-fry subgum vegetables that cooled in front of him. Watching Vara take her seat, Quentin couldn't help the slow smile that began to break across his boyishly handsome face.

"What's up?" Quentin asked, with a nod, doing his best to play things cool. The Human male cadet didn't quite trust himself around Cho'ren Vara yet. She genuinely seemed to like him, and had been open and honest enough to admit to him that she was interested in him as friend. Still, though ... there was something about the way she looked at him, with those dreamy burnt-gold eyes and long black lashes, that bothered the young man. "How was your day in ... Security, right?" Quentin asked, struggling to remember the Lagashi girl's service occupation specialty from her personnel record.

"Horrible. I'm frustrated at every corner and even when the combat training classes start up, which I have to take more of, I won't be able to actually do much since I'm so strong. I should have gotten science packages rather than tactical augments. At least then I wouldn't break things at the gym..." Vara stirs her soup a bit before continuing. "You should see a report about that soon... So how was your day?" She looks back up at him, a spoonful of the red thick tomato soup on the way to her lips.

Quentin's chocolate-brown eyes lingered on Vara's lips, watching them purse as they softly blew on the soup in her spoon. It was enough of a distraction, that the 20 year-old cadet had to struggle to recall what he'd just heard Vara ask him.

"Oh ... uh ... yeah, it was cool," Quentin shrugged, sitting back in his chair and trying not to stare at the calligraphic tattoo that sat at the outside corner of Vara's right eye. "A little tired from not really sleeping last night," he admitted, "but nothing I can't handle." Cadet Cross nodded and fell silent for a bit, wondering what he should say to the young Lagashi woman next. Her sitting so nearby suddenly made it difficult for the young Human male to think straight.

"So ..." Quentin began, still nodding for lack of something interesting to say. "Two spouses, huh? A wife and a husband?" Quentin leaned forward in interest. "So how did that come about? What's that like ... having two?"

"It's normal..." Vara stares at Quentin for a moment, her face blank. "It's... it's... well, it's family... I'm kind of envious of the larger families. Oh, Larger families tend to be more important and more powerful and tend to have jobs that have a lot of income. Fleet officers, politicians, and heads of corporations normally. Smaller families like ours tend to be the workforce of society, which is why I'm here. I want to provide for my family and the kids." Taking a bite of broccoli, she realizes that would be a point of contention as well. "Oh kids... One male to every 3 women so the men are treated like latinum and are protected at all costs. Because of that, they can only get nice safe jobs. Chefs, bureaucrats, services... The Lagashi Navy is comprised completely of women and while we're used to seeing men as enemies and have no compunctions on beaming a pirate into space no matter their gender, our own men we're prepared to give our lives for. The same with our kids." With that, she blushes just a bit and looks down at her soup. "If I'm protective over someone here, that's why..." With that, she starts spooning some more soup.

Quentin nodded as he listened to Vara finish. He had to admit, what young female cadet had been telling him about Lagashi society so far was fascinating. Cross felt his defenses beginning to slip, as he asked, "So then ... you have kids? You're already a mom?"

Looking up a bit startled at Quentin, Vara lets her mouth open and close a few times. "No... Yes, I'm a mom, I'm not the one that gave birth to our two children. I've spent most of my time in space trying to make enough money to support the others. Lira is a lot more motherly than I am." She pokes at her broccoli for a moment. "She has all the motherly augmentations and implants." She may have said that in pure fact, but she couldn't completely mask the tone of regret in her voice. "If I wanted to have kids for the family, I would have to have a lot of augments removed and reversed first and I don't think I could take it. I just hope we can find another woman to join our family. Me joining Starfleet is one of the hopes for that. We're counting on it being glamorized and a desirable trait."

Quentin picked up his chopsticks to push around some of the stir-fry vegetables on his plate. Sitting in front of Vara, he suddenly didn't feel quite so tired anymore. As Quentin took a few bites of his lukewarm veggies, he became acutely aware of the soft purple sheen to Cadet Cho'ren's long raven-black hair. He wondered how he had never notice the purple tint in her hair before, and decided that he liked the way the color complemented her honey-tan complexion and golden eyes.

Running her left hand through her hair, Vara glances back up at Quentin. "So what about you? What's it like growing up with only 2 parents?"

Quentin went back to resting his temple on his fist as he studied Vara's face. "It was cool, I guess," he shrugged. "Pretty standard, as far as Human families, go. My mothers were in the Federation Merchant Navy & Marine Fleet. They owned and operated a civilian cargo vessel called the Khepri."

A slow smile played upon Quentin's lips as he began to recall his childhood. "I was born back on Earth," he continued, "but both of my little sisters were born on the Khepri, and it's where I was raised. Growing up on a ship may not sound that great ... but it was actually pretty fun, especially when you are a kid. Unfortunately, having small children aboard meant that my moms had to be very selective about the types of jobs they took. Most of the higher paying gigs are pretty dangerous, especially the ones with trade routes that head close to Breen space, or through pirate territory. So, when I got old enough to look after my sisters by myself, my parents moved us to our new home on Starbase 72."

"It sounds like you got to moved around a lot. I grew up in one of the smaller arcologies on Lagash. There wasn't much there, but it was home and my family gathered there. Then when I was 16, I applied to the Navy and trained for combat. During training, we sometimes had to defend against the Breen and pirates. Before the exchange program was offered I had killed 42 enemy combatants during my brief time in the Navy - 14 of which were EV. When I told that Romulan about my certificates, it wasn't a lie in any way." Vara finishes off her broccoli and stirs her soup a bit. "What brought you to Starfleet then? The Federation doesn't use money and humans don't seem to care much for the titles and such. Why join a military service of exploration?"

Quentin lowered his eyes to a spot on the table between him and Vara in a contemplative stare. "Well," he began, "I guess I wanted to follow the example of one of the people who helped raise me on Starbase 72. You see, not too long after me and my sisters went to live on the starbase, my parents died. They were both killed when the Khepri's warp core breached on a cargo run near Breen space. I was only ten ..."

Listening to the story intently, her golden eyes locked on Quentin's, Vara slides her hand across the table and takes his, barely squeezing it tenderly and giving him a soft smile.

Quentin looked up at Vara's hand upon his, and smiled. "Thanks, but it's alright," he said with a shrug. "I ... we had a lot of help getting through it, mostly from the Starfleet officers serving aboard the starbase, including its CO, Commander Jones. Without his help, I don't know how I would have done it, taking care of both my sisters like that. So, when it came time to decide what I wanted to do after high school, I figured I'd follow his example: become a Starfleet officer and wear command-red one day ... just like him."

With a shy smile at such a sentimental story, Quentin looked up into Vara's pretty face and shrugged. "So that's my story," he said, enjoying the feel of Vara's hand in his. The feel of her soft skin was electric. It thrilled him, confused him ... bothered him. Why did it bother him so much? What was wrong with admitting that he like the way she smiled at him ... that his heart skipped a beat every time he looked into her golden, almond-shaped eyes ... that her touch left him hungry and hurting and wanting more? Was it mistrust, the fear of having his heart broken again? Or was it guilt, the shame of betraying his unrequited love for Enalia Telvan?

Vara keeps her eyes locked on Quentin's, her soup all but forgotten as she spoke. "Two of my mothers were lost to a Breen attack group headed from Federation space. They had finished a raiding mission of some sort and taking a shortcut through a corner of Lagashi space when our defense fleet encountered them. It was 13 to 4 in their favor but no one flew away from that battle. According to the data we got from their wrecked ships, the Breen had hit quite a number of civilian ships, including the Khepri. Without Sora and Lapris we faced poverty if it wasn't for the life insurance payments. It was years after that before we could afford real food again." Vara slowly looks down at her bowl, her eyes moist. "Maybe that's why I don't mind replicated food so much. I had to live on it for so long."

At the sight of Vara's tears, Quentin rose from his seat, his hand still holding hers. He couldn't stand it any longer. Walking around the table, he lifted the Lagashi girl up until she was standing out of her chair as well. Quentin reached out to cup her chin with his other hand, and turned her face towards his. Before either of them could think, their lips met, as Quentin gave Vara the longest, most passionate kiss that the young man had ever experienced in his life. Guiding Vara's hand around to the back of his head, Quentin wrapped both of his arms around the Lagashi cadet's trim little body, drawing her so close that he could feel her heart beat against his own chest. The young Human cadet poured everything he had into that kiss — his pain, his fear, his desire, his hope.

And his love. His love. He loved her, Quentin realized, his body trembling at the thrill of the knowledge. In that moment, he had fallen in love with Cho'ren Vara.

Letting Quentin lead her out of her chair and pressing his lips to hers in an embrace was electric for Vara. Her mind was racing through so many old memories and so much data that she was honestly distracted into barely noticing him step around the table and lift her up. When he kissed her though... It was as if a switch had been flipped. Her thoughts silenced, her mind quieted, and it felt as if static were flowing through her, the electric tingles centering on his soft and gentle touch, washing through her, and crashing back. The feeling was wonderful and beyond anything she had experienced before, even with the rest of her family. This young man was special and she wanted more of him. Needed more of him. With that one kiss, she was addicted.

Finally breaking the kiss to come up for air, the young Human male took a deep breath, taking the opportunity to steal another series of smaller kisses upon the Lagashi woman's rose-petal lips. "I need you right now," Quentin sighed, his voice thick with desire.

"My quarters are full of other cadets. Let's use yours." With that, Era walks with him out of the mess hall, their meals left forgotten on the table.
Staff Meeting and Launch Deck 1 - Conference Room MD1 - 0700 hours
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Enalia stepped onto the bridge of the Hera. Her bridge. Knowing she was about to actually start the ship and crew on their journey finally gave her a sense of pride. There were surely tough times ahead, but she felt that this was her first actual accomplishment as Captain of the Hera.

Stepping across the bridge, she paused at the dedication plaque just for a second to check her reflection and make sure that her new commander's pips were on straight before heading towards the center chair. She had gotten a communique last night with the orders of her promotion and she was happy for it. It took a lot of work getting everyone in line for this ship. She only wished she could promote everyone that deserved it, but Quentin would just have to wait a bit longer.

Motioning for the cadet on night duty shift to stay seated, she pressed a button on the arm of the chair. "All hands, this is Commander Telvan speaking. We will be leaving station in 30 minutes. Prepare for departure. All senior staff, meet me in the bridge conference room ASAP."

Punching the button again, she pats the cadet's shoulder and continues on to the conference room. "Stay there Cadet. The bridge is still yours a bit longer."

Once in the conference room, she heads to the replicator and orders a raktajino, taking it to her seat at the head of the table.

George was on his way to main engineering when he received the message to report to the conference room. "Computer, Bridge" the computer quickly rerouted his turbolift to the bridge.

The doors opened and George proceeded to the conference room across the bridge. Arriving the doors promptly opened revealing that Captain Telvan had already made herself comfortable. "Morning captain" George said as he took the seat to the right of her.

"And an excellent morning to you Mr Lucas." Enalia beamed. Suddenly remembering something, she reached into one of her hidden pants pockets and pulled out some tiny black velvet boxes, setting them on the table in front of her.

Quentin Cross stretched and stifled a yawn as he strolled through the conference room doors. The bleary eyed cadet had been up most of the night with a bad case of nerves, too excited over the Hera's launch the next morning to sleep. Having overslept, Quentin had been forced to skip breakfast in order to make it to the staff briefing on time. He gave a nod and a tired smile to Ensign George Lucas, holding out his hand for the gold-shirted Engineering Chief to shake.

"Good morning, Sir," said the 20 year-old cadet in introduction. "I'm Quentin Cross, the Chief-of-the-Boat."

George gave a cold stare at the cadet, his intense dislike of the cadets showed every time he had to come close to one.

Walking up to take the empty seat directly to Enalia's left, Quentin gave a shy smile to the gorgeous Trill Commanding Officer. His dark-brown eyes lingered for the briefest of moments upon the soft brown spots that trailed down her neck. Quentin caught the glint of the shiny new pip on Enalia Telvan's red-accented collar and nodded. "Good morning, Ma'am," Quentin said, a grin masking the hurt he still felt when ever he saw her beautiful face. "I see it's Commander Telvan, now! Congratulations."

Smiling brightly at Quentin, Enalia nods to him. "Thank you. And good morning. I'm not the only one that got promoted last night, but I'm the only one that was that isn't out of uniform." She tapped the small black boxes in front of her.

George shivered at the thought of one of the cadets being officially commissioned, as far as he could tell or was concerned they all needed to go.

"So someone moving up the politically dominated chain of corruption today... that's always good" George said as he felt the resentment fill him, but slowly bleed away as he once again realized it was his own actions that keep him a ensign for so long.

Emilie was rushing to get to the Staff briefing after having to take care of Liam's breakfast. She ran across the deck and went up the ramp to the bridge, as she entered the bridge she immediately turned and jogged into the conference room.

She quickly slowed down as she entered, watching carefully and seeing everyone assembled. "Good morning everyone." she said with a smile on her face as she walked towards her seat beside the captain.

The slender Security Chief looked looked as if she had been tailored to fit the uniform she was in rather than the other way around. Her fit figure hid nothing for the imagination behind the tight fabric of her security uniform as she calmly walked through the room and gave everyone a smile. The young looking officer took a seat facing the windows and looked out of them with a contented smile.

Picking up the small boxes, Enalia stood and started making her way around the table. "A couple of you are out of uniform." She sets one of the boxes in front of Emilie Wolf. "Congratulations Lieutenant Commander." Moving on, she places a box in front of Jenny V7. "Congratulations Lieutenant JG." Making her way further, she places one in front of George Lucas as well. "Congratulations Lieutenant JG."

After distributing the boxes, each containing the rank pips they were missing, she sits back in her chair and addresses them more seriously. "We're scheduled to launch with station ops at 0730 and we'll be headed to the Arachnid Nebula. If all goes well, we'll get there tomorrow sometime and be able to start training cadets, checking all sensors, and everything else we hope to accomplish on this mission. Does anyone have any questions or comments?"

The Android shook her head. As Security Chief, there really wasn't much to do unless someone caused severe heinous screw'ery of the most-foul -- and that wasn't likely to happen with a handful of cadets. Suddenly her processor caused her to smile at the flawed logic of that computerized assumption. Sometimes her conclusion to her through process was 'who the hell programmed me?! Dumbass...' She kept her smile and shook her head.

Quentin shrugged as he tried to think of something to add. "Just that all the cadets seem super-excited and ready to go, Ma'am," he nodded, his eyes lingering a moment to long on Enalia before looking away, hesitantly.

"I'm sure they are. I am too, to be honest." Enalia smiles brightly with her response.

Emilie opened up the little box, smiled, and stared at the rank pip. She picked up the pip and put it on her collar. She then closed the box and looked at the captain. "Flight Control is ready for departure on your order." she said smiling at Enalia for a brief moment then turning back to the rest of the staff.

Waiting for a few moments and getting no questions, Enalia stands up smiling and addresses them all. "Ok then, let's get underway."

Scientific Studies Deck 6 - Science Lab 4 MD1 - 1200 hours
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Feeling defeated after her first class, Tara found herself taking her aggressions out on her studies. She had a Romulan conversation playing in the background as she was adjusting the radiation sequencer to define the series of waves that she was experimenting with. Every few moments, she would stop her work, repeat a Romulan word for memorization, and continue into her testing. She made sure that the Science Lab was empty, she didn't want to prove a nuisance to anyone, and have to move to continue working.

The door to the science lab quietly hissed as they opened and a young looking man in a science uniform stepped inside. He glanced over at the rooms only occupant as he noticed what was playing in the background. He gave her a pleasant smile. "Sorry, hope I'm not interrupting anything."

Tara paused for a second. She looked back around at the man. He wore the pips of a cadet, but a year ahead of Tara. She shook her head, "No, it is alright." Good thing he wasn't a Betazoid, like her, or he could see right through her lie. She looked up slightly, "Computer, pause audio. Please, use whatever you needed to. I was just practicing my Romulan." She smiled, "You're in that bridge simulations class, right?"

The Senior Cadet just smiled as he watched her for a moment. "Well please, don't let me get in your way. The study of language is a fantastic and beautiful thing. Yes, I'm in that class as well, that's where I recognize you from. Quiet the instructor, wouldn't you say?" He added with a quiet chuckled as he stepped toward one of the many consoles in the science labs.

"A targ, and nothing more," said Tara. She gave a crooked smile. "He knows his stuff, though. It would probably be best to keep some sort of respect towards him." She took to her radiation again. She felt tempted to read his mind, but restrained just before letting go. Meeting new people would be so much easier if you understood them. "Tara."

Volos smiled a bit more. "He does indeed. In fact, he comes with quite the recommendation." He didn't elaborate any more on this point but he did step closer and extend a hand toward the woman. "Tara, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Ryan, my focus is astrometrics and stellar cartography."

She shook his hand, "Xenolinguistics. I have been focusing on more general sciences for now, just in case the lingual adaptation matrix on the universal translator becomes infallible. Then I can serve as a standard science officer. Job security, I suppose," she realized her rambling and turned to her radiation again, "What brings you to the lab?"

"Doesn't sound like a bad plan to me. Though, if linguistics is your passion I'd say stick to it." He looked around the science lab for a moment before turning his attention back to her. "To be honest, it's my first time on a Nebula class ship so I'm still doing a little exploring. The layout is quite different than other ships I've been on, granted this has probably been modified for its particular use." Noticing his own ramblings, he wrapped that up. "How have you enjoyed your time in Starfleet so far?"

"It has been well," she nodded, "I find that it gets a lot easier when you're not an underclassmen anymore. This assignment, too. Not many cadets are viable for being allowed to serve on a vessel while studying. It's an honor to be apart of such a program. It makes all the hard work I put in worth it. Starfleet has been a fruitful, and I'm only 20 years old."

Ryan smiled and nodded in agreement. "Being an upperclassmen certainly has its advantages, but to have accomplished so much and only be twenty..." He playfully whistled. "I'm sure your parents are quite proud; already serving on a Federation starship."

"Oh, are they." Tara rolled her eyes, "My mother has been trying to get aboard this ship since I was assigned. She's one for adventure and she's envious of such an opportunity. However, her house called her back to Betazed. Hopefully, familial dissolution will keep her away for a while."

"One can only hope." Ryan agreed with a quiet chuckle. "I'm lucky enough to have enough siblings that my mother is thoroughly distracted with them, especially two of my younger sisters."

"Lucky, indeed," said Tara, "I only have two older brothers. I'm the girl of the family, so there's a lot of pressure on me to succeed. My brothers, however, can do whatever without affecting our family's merit. That's why I went to Starfleet. Since the attack on Betazoid, becoming an officer is held in high regards."

Alex grinned. "Perhaps you are the lucky one then, that means you're getting the attention. Don't get me wrong my mother is wonderful and I'm sure does her best she can, but there's ten of us and only one of her." He chuckled again.

"Well, we can't both be lucky," she giggled. She spun around to face him. She wish she could figure out what he thought of her, but she didn't want to impose on his inner dialogue. She did pick up one thing, though, "You aren't human, are you?"

"Oh we certainly can. In fact, if you want to get philosophical we're both lucky and unlucky, but I'm hoping you don't." He said as he grinned again. At her question Ryan nodded. "Partially correct. I'm only half human."

"I could tell," she said, "Humans tend to have a... harder psychology than others." She looked him up and down, looking for any distinguishable features, "If you're only half, then what is your other part? Angosian? Risian?"

Ryan shook his very human-looking head. "No, not quite. My mother was El-Aurian."

"I'm not quite familiar with them," said Tara, "But I'm sure it's quite an interesting difference, if you aren't classified as a human."

"Well the most obvious, of course, is that El-Aurians are from El-Auria, not Earth. I believe the Starfleet database lists people with an El-Aurian background as empathetic and good listeners." Ryan almost mentioned his age but he decided to keep it to himself for now. When he'd first started at the academy he had been more open with it and he found it had the tendency to make people treat him less as a peer and more as someone in a parental or supervisory role. "Nothing nearly as interesting as the ability to read minds." He said with a pleasant smile.

"Oh, not at all," said Tara. "I could read every thought that passed through your mind without you even realizing it. There's no point for empathy or listening because every resource that a person has is at a Betazoid's disposal. There's no secrets. However, with El-Aurians, I suppose that there's a mystery to people. That's why I try to keep your thoughts in your mind, and my thoughts in mine."

Ryan chuckled quietly. "Yes, I'm aware of how telepathy works. Just remember though, Tara, there are plenty of other mysteries in life."

She leaned back and giggled, "That's why I joined the science department. Nothing tells a better lie than a spacial anomaly."

"Perhaps you should have considered pursuing a posting to Stellar Cartography." The young looking man said with a smile. "Or if you want a truly sensory-defying field of study, temporal mechanics."

"It's just a joke I had with a friend of mine on Earth," said Tara, "Linguistics is definitely my field. The whole aspect of communication captivates me. I don't know how such a complexity could evolve."

"The real mystery of life is how an universal translator could actually work on such little data." He held up his hand. "Don't explain it, I don't want it to ruin the magic." He grinned. "Spacial anomalies though, are certainly at the top of my interests at the moment, but as you may have guessed from my bringing it up I do think I'll go into temporal mechanics sometime later. I'll probably have to take some leave to get another degree for that though, so maybe it's just a few years off." He said in a half-joking manner.

"I couldn't wait so long for a degree. I'm ready to be commissioned, and I'm only half way there," said Tara, "I want to have fun as an officer before I get too many responsibilities to do so. I guess I could do so as a cadet, here on the Hera."

At the thought of what he'd just said being "so long" he couldn't help but chuckle again. "There's more to earning a degree than waiting. In fact having my degree in physics greatly helped in my studies at the academy so far. Because of it, I was able to test out of several required classes and take elective like temporal mechanics, intro to linguistics, for my mother, and bridge command." The last one was a bit of a joke, as it was the class they shared. "Don't wait to have fun." He added on a slightly more serious note. "You'll need to practice it. Practice working it into your schedule to make sure you don't lose your damn mind." He smiled again.

"Good advice for a cadet just a year ahead of me," said Tara, "As for practice, if you ever need help with linguistics, let me know. I can get your tongue pronouncing 'serjakh' in no time."

"Gazoontite." He said jokingly but then remembered she was Betazoid and might not have any idea what he was getting at, so he moved on. "I appreciate the offer, I'm sure that situation will arise sooner than I expect. The same goes for you, should you need any engineering or astrophysics help. Just don't bother asking me for command advice, I think Professor Murdock would mark you down for even thinking about it."

"I bet he would," she said. The cadet stood up and took a padd in her hand, "I'm glad we met. For a while, I was thinking there was going to be no one who wasn't entirely caught up in academia. How about tomorrow, we meet up at the mess hall for our first study session?"

Ryan nodded. "That sound wonderful, I'll see you then." He finally made his way further into the science lab to start poking around at various consoles.
Lunch with a Wolf B Deck - Outside Classroom 3 MD2 - 1215 hours
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Cadet Cho'ren Vara wasn't liking the way the instructors treated her. They often used her given name, even after she politely requested they use her family name. They looked at her with distrust and anger, likely because of her implants. They often called on her when she didn't volunteer information. It often felt as though she was the center of their attention, to the exclusion of the rest of the class. It had been like this since joining the academy, but nowhere near as bad.

Sighing as she walked out of classroom 3 after being chewed out for using her implants to an unfair advantage over other students on a quiz, she wondered what she might have time to eat on the remainder of her lunch break.

Liam walked out of his class after a boring class with his few classmates. He was hungry and wanted to go eat lunch but he didn't see anyone to come and pick him up. He sat outside with his backpack until he saw a cadet come around. He stood up, "Are you here to pick me up?" he asked.

Stopping suddenly as she rounded a corner and a bit stunned at the question, Vara stares at the young boy blankly for a moment before replying. "No but I can help you if you want. May I ask who your parents are?" She says, approaching and kneeling in front of him.

"Well my mom is Emilie, someone was supposed to come to take me to lunch but no one did. I've been here for 15 minutes." Liam said sighing.

"Lieutenant Commander Emilie Wolf?" Vara's blood ran cold at the name. Someone obviously dropped the ball on this and being the only one around, it fell to her, it seemed. "Since no one else is showing up, can I take you to lunch then?"

"Sure, why not?" Liam asked, he put his backpack over his shoulder and walked next to the cadet, "So cadet, what field are you in? Im gonna guess either Operations, Engineering, Security, or Tactical." he said as he looked at the Cadets collar. He then viewed the PADD that she was holding, "Tactical." he said smiling. His mom had taught him to have a good eye for things and he noticed tactical totes on her PADD and the yellow collar she had.

Smiling at the young boy as she walked next to him, Vara taps her communicator. Computer, please inform LtCmdr Wolf that I'm taking her son to lunch." Hearing an affirmative chirp, she asks him a couple more questions on the way to the nearest mess hall while looking in her neural implants for data about him. "That's right. I'm a combat specialist. Your name is Liam, right? My name is Vara. What is it you're studying in school?

Liam looked up at the cadet, "Some Flight Control, some Tactical. I dont know yet. I want to do what my mom does but I also want to look at tactical a little bit more. I wonder if there is a mix of the two? Well my mom told me about the fighter squadron but then you have to become a marine and I want to join Starfleet." he said walking along side the cadet.

"You seem to be very smart. I'm sure you'll excel at anything you put your mind to." Smiling at the boy, Vara steps into the mess hall with him. "So what do you feel like having for lunch?"

Liam looked at the Cadet, his mother made him eat healthy all the time so he decided to take advantage of this opportunity, "I'll have chicken fingers with an extra large french fries and a cookies and cream milkshake." he said smiling at the replicator.

Nodding at Liam, she pulls his tray out of the replicator and hands it to him before entering her own order. "Tomato soup and a salad of brussel sprouts and bean sprouts with ginger dressing and a small cup of hot green tea." Taking her tray, she turns to him, the soft smile still on her face. "So where shall we sit Mr Wolf?"

Liam smiled and looked around at the empty tables. He saw a table in the corner by the window, "That one." he said pointing at the table he saw. He began to walk towards the table and placed his tray down, "You can have the booth." he said smiling at the cadet as he sat on the chair.

"Thank you." Slipping into the booth seat, Vara looks across her food. It didn't look too bad today. In fact, the salad actually looked appetizing for once. "Do you follow any pre-meal customs?"

"I dont and neither does my mother. But if you do I'm open to it." He said smiling and looking at the Cadet, "Do you follow any?" he asked.

Vara's smile widens. "just wishing i could see my family and for real food rather than replicated."

"Thats nice. But you have friends here dont you?" Liam asked as he took a sip of his milkshake.

Chewwing on a piece of her salad, she thinks for a moment. "I do have one. He's really special and doesn't look at me with the fear that a lot of people do. I seem to attract a lot of attention with my implants. What about you? I bet you have lots of friends already."

"Well there aren't many people my age onboard, mostly people like you. But there are a few kids I like in my class." Liam said as he picked up a chicken nugget and dipped it in ketchup. He then took a bite of it and placed it down to eat some fries.

"That's good at least. Everyone needs both friends and family. Without one or the other, it upsets the social balance within us." Vara chews on a bit more of her salad and spoons some soup to her mouth. Normally, the zen philosophies she learned as a child wouldn't be something she would bring up with one so young, but he seemed able to understand at least a little. It also felt good to be able to open up a bit more, as well. It had been over 3 years since she saw anyone from home in person and she was definitely feeling the strain of the loneliness. If it hadn't been for Quentin... Well, she felt she owed him her life right now and she intended to do her best to take care of him.

"So Vara, where you from? I dont think I know your species..." Liam said and smiled at Vara. He took another bite of her chicken nugget and ate some french fries.

"I'm Lagashi. My home is between Federation and Breen space. We're originally human but several hundred years ago my ancestors left Earth on long range cryo-stasis ships. To survive, they had to turn to genetic and cybernetic augmentation and now it's our way of life. One third of my brain is cybernetic and I have augments throughout my body. The implants on my face don't scare you at all, do they?" Vara was curious about this young boy because of how friendly he treated her. Spooning a bit more soup to her mouth, she thinks about this but compared to other reactions she had received, it made no sense to her. Maybe she should just count her blessings for now.

"No they dont scare me, so are you kinda like that 7 of 9 from the USS Voyager. Remember trapped in the Delta Quadrant?" Liam asked slurping a sip of his milkshake.

Vera was actually surprised at how calmly he made the correlation. He would definitely be a good officer some day. "Well, in the fact that we both have a lot of cybernetic implants, yes. That's where the similarities end though. The Lagashi use genetic augmentation as well, something illegal in the Federation. As for our culture, we're not too dissimilar to the Asian population on Earth." Her salad almost finished, she focused more on her soup now. Her thoughts turned to the chinese food she had tried when she got to San Francisco. It was ok but it lacked the spices she was used to and it just tasted like a mockery of her own cooking to her. hence why she ate such simple replicated food... She had yet to find a decent replicated version of anything from her home.

"So you are very smart then, I'm guessing you can do hundreds of calculations in a minute? Or something like that...?" Liam asked eating the second to last chicken finger and eating some fries, "Let me get this straight, you are a descendant of Asians?" he asked.

Vara nods to both questions. "That's right. I'm not as good with math as others but I can run simulations in my head easily. As for my ancestors, yes they were Asian when they left Earth just before the Eugenics wars. Thanks to radiation and other hazards of space, genetic re-sequencing was the only thing that saved us in those early days. What about your ancestors? Where are they from?" Vara smiled warmly, glad to be able to talk about it with someone without preconceived notions finally.

"Well I was born on a starship like my mother but my moms ancestors are from America, my dad was from Massachusetts I cant really ask him about his heritage anymore can I..." Liam said sighing, it was only a short time ago that they got word his father was killed.

Not wanting to pry further into an obviously sensitive subject, Vara decided to ask about something else. "What do you do for fun? Do you have any hobbies or anything like that?"

"Well I like holonovels, holo programs, I like to fly shuttle programs on the holodeck. I've never actually flown a real one before but I really want too. My mom doesn't think im ready." Liam said.

That same warm smile back on her face, Vara finishes her soup. "Well then the only thing to do is to keep flying holodeck missions and studying so that when you finally get to pilot a real shuttle you'll amaze her with your skill."

"What about you? What do you like to do besides tactical work?" Liam asked finishing his Chicken and fries. He took a sip of his milkshake almost finishing it waiting for Vara to respond.

Taking her time thinking about it, Vara realized she didn't actually have any active hobbies since joining Starfleet. In fact, other than the gym, she didn't do anything for fun either. "I don't really have any. I guess I'll have to start going to the holodeck or something. Maybe I can talk Quentin into suggesting a good relaxation program."

"Who is Quentin?" Liam asked, he was young and had not met anyone other than Vara, his new teachers, and classmates.

Blushing just slightly, Vara thinks of how to explain it. "He's a fellow cadet I've been spending time with."

Liam smiled he saw the Cadets red face and heard that they were spending time together, he had seen so many melodramas that he knew what it meant, "What department is Quentin in?" Liam asked.

Vara sips at her tea, the blush deepening a hair at the thought of what she and Quentin had done last night. "Command. He's also the second officer of this ship, Right under your mother."

Liam looked at the Cadet, "I take it you're older than him, right?" he asked he sorta knew about the second officer but only from his mothers duty PADD. "So are you too serious?" he asked being a bit nosey, when he said it he felt like it might have been out of place for him but he couldn't take it back.

Vara's blush turns her bright red at his last question. "Um... We... Yeah... Yeah I guess we are now."

"Thats good, at least now you wont feel so homesick right? Well at least not when your with Quentin." Liam said smiling at the Cadet.

Finishing her tea, Vara nods. "Yeah, I still miss my family and friends back home, but at least I have him now. If you're done, I could take you wherever. Do you have to go back to class?"

"Nope, I'll probably wait here for my..." Liam said as he looked at the entrance of the mess hall. "Speak of the devil." he said grinning as his mom walked over.

Emilie rushed to pickup Liam but she had so much work to finish first. She jogged into the mess hall and stopped as soon as she got it, she looked around the room for Liam. She found him and began to walk towards him. "Cadet Vara, thank you for taking care of my son." she said smiling at the Cadet, "I hope he wasn't too much of a problem for you." she said walking up next to him.

Standing up at attention, Vara saluted Emilie out of instinct. "It was a pleasure and an honor Ma'am."

"At ease Cadet, I'll be sure to put in a good word for your Advisor later today. Thank you very much for this." Emilie said.

Standing at ease with a smile on her face, Vara picks up the 2 trays. "Thank you Ma'am. Mr Wolf, thank you for lunch. I hope to see you again."

"I hope to see you again too Vara." Liam said as he stood up and put his backpack on, "Thanks for lunch." he said walking next to his mom. "So where are we going now?" he asked.

"I dont know, where do you want to go?" Emilie asked walking out of the mess hall next to her son.

"Can we go run some more piloting simulations again?" He said walking down the corridor towards the holodeck.

Taking the trays back to the replicator, Vara walks out of the mess hall and heads to her next class.

Post by

Cadet Senior Grade Cho'ren Vara (NPC played by Enalia Telvan)
Tactical Officer

Liam Wolf (NPC played by Emilie Wolf)
Family Member

Trust Me! I'm a Doctor! Deck 12 - Sickbay MD? - ???? hours
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Macheon wearing his pristine teal blue medical uniform was balancing himself carefully on a chair searching through the medical cabinets for the Andorian redbat saliva samples he brought with him from the Academy he was sure he had put there. "God damn it!" He said losing his footing and falling backwards onto the floor.

Walking into sickbay just in time to see her chief medical officer fall to the floor, she almost considered walking out and laughing her ass off, but Enalia's compassion was a bit stronger and she moved to help him up. "Are you ok? what were you doing?"

Mac looked up from his position laying on the ground and smiled "I'm fine thanks!" Picking himself up of the floor and dusting his uniform off before tugging it to once again sit perfectly. "I was searching for my sample of Andorian Redbat blood saliva but I cant find it anywhere and it's very hard to come by" he offered his hand "Lieutenant Macheon Dranias though most call me Mac"

Enalia shakes his hand, happy he's ok. "I'm Commander Enalia Telvan, captain of this flying academy. Do you mind if I just call you Doctor?"

"Of course after all that's what I am right?" Macheon proceeded into his office and moved towards the replicater "Can I get you something Commander?" He had already input the information for his black coffee and two sugars.

Enalia follows him into his office. "No thank you. I'm just here to see if you were settling in well and if there was anything I might be able to do for you."

Mac pulled the mug of coffee out from the cove in the wall and placed it on a coaster after taking a sip. "Actually I would have myself conduct your medical exam, I know you are probably up to date but I would like a more recent one on file. If you're not to busy of course?"

Glancing around the office, Enalia suddenly felt like finding an excuse to be too busy. "I'm always busy, but I'm here now. How long will it take?"

Laughing silently to himself to the obvious discomfort of being asked to do a medical exam he moved around towards the door "Only a few minutes unless of course I find something!" He gave a sly wink and exited his office and over to bed three. "Take a sit why I fetch some things"

Sitting down, Enalia calls after him. "You'll find that I have a slug in my belly. Other than that and not finding a single comfortable chair on this ship, there shouldn't be anything."

Mac returned with a tray of tools including two hyposprays and a tri-corder. Picking it up he began running the portable scan device over her body "So tell me commander and without sounding rude but you're very young to be a commanding officer"

Eyeing the small scanner, Enalia thought about it. "Yeah, I'm pretty young by most standards, though not the youngest by far. I'm sure Starfleet had their reasons though."

"I have no concerns for doubt commander" He put down the scanner and picked up the hypospray "I'm just going to inject some vitamins into your body you seem a little low, its nothing to be worried about its usually something I do for most my patients.

"All right..." Enalia leans her head away from the hypo to give the doctor a clear target to hit with it.

Mac pressed the hypspray gently against her neck "might feel a slight pinch" he pressed the hypspray and the familiar hiss as it injected into her before falling back to silence. Smiling and placing the Hypospray back in the tray "All done, You're perfectly fine as I suspected"

Rubbing her neck, Enalia stands back up. "Thank you Doctor. Is there anything else I can do for you before I head out?"

Mac tidied the tray and deposited it into the alcove of the medical replicater and watched it as it disappeared back into nothingness "That should be all, if you ever need anything please be sure that you're most welcome in Medical captain" he held out his hand "Its been a pleasure to meet you and I am sure we will see many wondrous things"

Shaking his hand, Enalia smiles at him. "Thank you Doctor, I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds as well." Finishing her visit, she leaves, her gait just a slight bit more stiff than when she entered.

Mac watched the commander leave before turning back to his search for the missing Andorian Redbat saliva samples. "Nice woman" he said opening some under storage cabinets.
Quentin and Vara make love Quentin's Quarters MD1 - 2230
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Finally making it to Quentin's quarters, Vara begins by unzipping Quentin's uniform still with her lips locked to his in a passionate embrace.

Being this close to her made it hard for Quentin to think straight. He had a hunger for her ... a desperate, aching need to be with her. He planted hot hungry kisses on her soft rose-petal lips, a series of chaste romantic smecks that soon devolved into a soulful open-mouthed embrace. The taste of her excited him, and his tongue explored hers with abandon as his big strong hands reached up to undo the jacket of Vara's gold-accented uniform.

Vara had never felt like this before. Quentin's very scent seemed to drive her wild and urged her onward. Pulling his jacket off, she pulled him towards the bed. The eyes on her face may be closed, but the sensory nodes were still active and she aimed them while in a passionate embrace as best she could while somewhat forcefully undressing him.

Quentin was forced to break off their kissing as he and Vara eagerly divested each other of their clothing. Once her jacket was gone, Quentin could not resist the urge to wrap a strong arm around Vara's slender waist and pull her in close. Quentin loved, wanted, needed the feel of her body pressed against his. His hands went to her girlish hips, then slid up slowly to grasp the hem of her security-gold undershirt. With another long deep kiss, Quentin tugged the skin-tight garment upwards, exposing the Lagashi girl's trim midriff.

As they broke contact momentarily, Vara reaches down and undoes Quentin's pants, quickly pushing them down as he pulled her shirt up. Sliding her hands back up his thighs, she kisses him again while he pulled her shirt over her head. Her tender C cup breasts bouncing into view, she pressed them against Quentin, her nipples poking into him like hard gemstones. She needed more of him and she fully well intended to get it.

Before Quentin knew it, he had been completely disrobed, while all that remained on Vara was a pair of boyshort panties. Her full magnificent breasts begged for the brown-skinned Human's attention, and Quentin brought up his big strong hands to cup and massage them. Reluctantly, he broke their kiss and lowered his mouth to her large pink nipples. Quentin licked and sucked eagerly, smiling at each gasp that escaped Vara's lips whenever he rolled them between his thumbs and forefingers. Quentin felt his manhood begin to stir against Vara's creamy smooth thigh, and he dropped a hand down from her breast, around her back, and down her spine to her pert round ass, pulling her pelvis forward to grind deliciously against his.

Mewing and gasping at the attention to her breasts, Vara feels her knees go weak, the only thing keeping her standing being the fibrous muscular implants throughout her body. Running her fingers through his hair and pressing his face into her excited bosom, she felt her breasts swell just slightly from the erotic stimulation, her sensitivity heightened and electric tingles shooting throughout her. Reaching down, she grabs her shorts and rips them off, the honey soaked cloth no match for her augmented strength.

Quentin closed his eyes and sighed at the feel of Vara's bare sex against his rock hard thigh. His strong brown hands began roam across her lithe athletic body, his fingers gliding gently over every curve. Her skin felt like heaven to his touch. She was fantasy made flesh, a dream come true. With every caress, she was mending his broken heart. In her kiss, there was hope. In her touch, there was salvation. And in her eyes, those gorgeous golden eyes, there was the truth ... a truth so pure, so clear, that the power of it struck Quentin with sudden, undeniable emotion.

"I love you, Vara," Quentin whispered, his dark brown eyes misting over at the realization that he truly meant the words. "I love you. I love you." Quentin took Vara's arms by the wrists, and guided them up to drape around his neck. "I love you," he repeated, feeling her hand on the back his head. He needed her touch so badly, needed her to claim him as her own, needed to claim her for himself. "I love you," he whispered again, drawing her into a tight embrace, and punctuating each declaration with another kiss. "I love you. I love you."

With every impassioned touch from Quentin, Vara entered new heights of love for the man. He was soft and tender and gentle with her and it made her feel special, as if she were the only thing in the universe that mattered to him. The feeling was more intoxicating than his scent. He was imperfect, weak, undisciplined... but in that she found she loved him too. He was like no other person she had met. Pressing her body against him in a tight embrace as he confessed his love to her, she whispered back to him, her emotions overwhelming her and filling her so full she felt as though she would burst at any moment. "You are the stars in my sky. I return your love and give myself to you. Take me and know me so I may know you." It was a simple declaration of love from her home, but for her right now it held meaning beyond words and it was the only way her mind would let her express herself. Nothing else could even hope to show her love for Quentin as those words did for her.

First Day B Deck - Classroom 3 MD 1 - 1000 hours
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Riley came no later than fifteen minutes early to his class. As soon as he entered, he sat onto his desk. He laid flat his PADD on the left side of him, and a stylus and tech-sheets on the right. They were set exactly straight, leaving at least a three-inch border to the desk's edge. He stood behind the chair, and his eyes gravitated to the door. Soon his new students would enter the room, and as soon as they did, he made sure they would want to leave soon after.

Through the doors of Classroom 3 strode Cadet Michaela Mercy, the tall Angelite female who would be serving as the Hera's Master-at-Arms in the ship's Security Department. A look of satisfaction washed over the girl's glamourous features at the knowledge that she was the first of her classmates to arrive. PADD in hand the amazonian brunette goddess strutted up to where Professor Riley Murdock sat on the edge of his desk, and put an adopted a striking dominant pose, with a hand on her hip.

"Michael Mercy," said the Angelite cadet, her eyes cold and calculating. "You the professor?"

"I don't know what they teach in basic anymore, but I do believe you are to be at attention when reporting to a superior officer or instructor," said Riley, completely disregarding what the young girl said. Before she could do so, he signaled across to the student desks, "Take a seat, cadet."

Clara Lucian, a six foot tall flight control cadet with sharp features on a lanky but beautiful body stepped through the doorway. The Half Deltan's straight blonde hair dangled forward slightly as she tilted her head to get a view of the room through oddly red, but beautiful eyes. Her freckles traveled an eighth of an inch on her high cheek bones as her slender lips gave way to a smile. She had conveniently forgotten to mentally control the intensely alluring Deltan pheromones that would soon be driving the men crazy. She didn't do it for the sex as much as she did it in hopes that class would get out early and they would be assigned their posts for the day; a devious plan was so crazy that it just might work. She dismissively waved the professor off with her pale slender hand and found a desk in the back of the class to sit at. She pulled a PADD from the zip-up pocket on her left leg and started typing away at it. It looked as if she were hard at work but she was really just updating her subspace FleetBook.

Right behind Clara came Kamal Kiritmani, a dashing young Kriosian male cadet who wore a slightly disaffected expression upon his noble, brown-skinned features. The princely Kriosian cadet walked over towards the student seating section of the classroom, and found the nearest chair he could, placing him in the front row.

Ryan strolled in nonchalantly and paused only briefly at the door to glance around at the seating before moving toward one of the tables in the back on the opposite side of the room from the tall woman. Before taking a seat he gave their instructor a quick saluted and ridged salute then he slipped behind his desk, setting his only item, a medium sized PADD, in the center of his desk.

Cadet Cho'ren Vara steps through the classroom doors, surveying the room like a vinecat on the prowl, her eyes going over everyone and everything as she made her way to one of the seats in the back.

Tara Kast swept into the classroom. The betazoid walked with shoulders back and her chin high and proud. She smirked as she felt a mixture of emotions emanating from the sexual tension of the premature adults, to the stress and anxiety of the first day of class. She sat in the middle, just so she could get clear contact with the teacher.

Last through the classroom doors came Alura Aeden, a silver-haired Edo female who hoped to serve as a nurse in Hera's Sickbay, and Quentin Cross, the lucky Human cadet who had been selected by Commander Telvan to serve as the starship's Second Officer. Upon seeing that most of the class had made it into the room before them, both cadets hurried past the exacting gaze of their new professor to their seats. Seeing as most of the other students were sitting towards the back of the room, Alura chose a seat towards the center of the classroom, and quietly folded her hands on her desk. Quentin, however, had quickly spied Cho'ren Vara sitting along the back row, and moved to occupy a seat next to the Lagashi girl.

As the other cadets took their seats, Riley took his PADD and pressed a button. The board behind him illuminated. Names popped up in two columns. In the first column, it read:

"Group Sagittarius
Cross, Quentin
Kast, Tara
Lucian, Clara
Mercy, Michaela"

To the left:

"Group Virgo
Aeden, Alura
N'Vak, Da've
Vara, Cho'ren
Volos, Ryan
Kiritmani, Kamal"

"I am Mr. Murdock, the professor for Applied Tactical and Operational Situations. Many students have simply referred to this class as 'Bridge Simulations.' The board should have all of your names on it. Take a good look at the other cadets that you are grouped with, because they will be your study partners and overall accomplices throughout the entire course. If you have a problem with any of the other cadets, get over it, there is no changing of this list. As well, you can only get high marks if your entire task groups gets high marks. Opposite, if one of you fails, all of you do. You will learn to be a crew, and you will have to act like one. There are no accidents on the frontier."

"By the end of my class, you will be able to think critically and be practiced in any and all situations that may occur on the bridge. I would give examples, but I, myself, have little knowledge of what you may encounter. All of the simulations have a goal in mind, but the means to that goal are entirely subjective to the computer's system generator. Your homework will be to use these programs in hopes of passing each simulation."

He pressed another button, and electronic forms appeared on the student's desk, "If you are taking this class, you are interested in becoming a bridge officer. However, some of you are in non-bridge fields. Which means, we have to find an appropriate place for you. The forms on your desk are to identify your proficiency. Your position for the bridge simulations, as well as your supposed rank will be based upon this test. Once your placement is chosen, there will be no changing it. Any questions before you take the test?"

Alura looked around at the other students, an engaging smile on her pretty face. She was so excited to be starting classes, that she could barely contain herself. If she didn't calm down, she would need to break her rule, and proposition someone for a quick sexual tryst, just to relax. Taking a quick look around, Alura's gaze fell on both Ryan Volos, and Clara Lucian. The Edo girl wondered with sly expression whether either of them would up for a bit of bother before lunch.

Kamal shrugged from his seat on the end of the middle row. Quentin was too wrapped up in intertwining his fingers with Vara's to think of any good questions to ask. Michaela merely sat in the front row with her arms crossed and looked up at Professor Murdock, a smug superior expression on her face.

Volos had failed to notice Alura looking his way since he was curiously looking at the form they'd just been given, though he was careful to keep his hands loosely folded in front of him. At the mention of questions he turned his attention back to their professor and slightly shook his head.

The lack of response lead Mr. Murdock to continue, "Alright. The first section of this test is preliminary protocol recognition. You are to match the protocol's name to its description. It is timed. If you have yet to memorize the Officer's Manual, Section 3 (the chapter about bridge protocol), then you better get to it. You have five minutes. Test begins," he checked the ship's time to end on an even number, "Now."

Ryan looked down at the form on his desk and glanced over it for a few seconds. Seeming to be in no hurry he started gently tapping the tablet as he answered the questions.

Tara simply minded her own and started on the test. Some of the non-science protocols passed her, but she pressed on. She hoped that her knowledge of her field would at least allow some recognition.

With a final squeeze of Vara's hand, Quentin let go of his Lagashi cadet girlfriend and focused his attention on the test in front of him. Match the name to the description thought Quentin to himself. Sounds easy enough. Quentin looked at the first protocol listed. It read:

1.) Blue Alert

Quentin thought to himself for a moment, then scanned the list of definitions that were available to choose from. With a smile, his eye settled on:

E.) The alert condition that signifies environmental hazards, main power failure, docking & separation maneuvers, and surface landing protocols.

After marking 1.) as E, the Human cadet moved on to the next question.

Michaela, who had been breezing through the first section of the test, was already on the ninth question.

9.) Priority 7

The beautiful brunette Angelite quickly scanned the list of descriptions for the right key word, and almost immediately found the right answer.

H.) The security code that signifies a hostage situation involving away team crew members.

Too easy, she thought silently, as she moved ahead to the next question.

Simple data correlation. This was easy for Vara and she was able to finish the test in a matter of seconds. Thankfully there was no critical thinking part to the test, otherwise she might be at it for the full time allotted. Having memorized the material prior, though... Well, her implants gave her an advantage in data retrieval and she saw no point in wasting time pretending to have trouble on this test.

After a full five minutes, Riley closed out the test. The desks flashed before the tests disappeared, "So it seems all of you got most of the proficiency quiz done before the time ran out. In the captain's chair, time is everything. You have to make decisions by the second, and not second guess yourself. This brings me to the next part of the test." Riley took the chair from behind his desk and placed it in the front-center of the room. "We are going to have our own captains' trial. I want to see what decisions you make, and how fast you make them. To do that, we are going to take turns sitting here, in 'the captain's chair.' I will give you a quick scenario, and you have to make your choice of action as fast as you can. If you slip up, you will be relieved by the next cadet. Who would like to go first?"

Turning to Quentin, Vara takes his hand and squeezes it gently before speaking a bit louder than a whisper, knowing full well that the instructor could hear her clearly as well. "Quentin, as the second officer of this ship you should volunteer to go first to set a good example for the rest of us."

Riley looked to the Lagashi, "Ship rank does not matter in this class, Ms. Vara. I insist that you be the first, since you are so quick to make decisions."

"Very well then." Standing and making her way through the class to the chair, she continues. "Also, my family name is Cho'ren. I request you use it and not my given name when addressing me in an official manner."

Riley's eyes inflamed with contempt towards the cadet, but soon receded to his normal, lifeless face. "I am unfamiliar with your species' formalities. I might have to read up on it." He cleared his throat and paced in front of the chair. "Your ship is adrift in space. To make matters worse, your trajectory is heading straight towards a planet with pre-warp civilizations. You need dilithium crystals, and the planet is rich in it, but transporters are down. In thirty minutes, the gravity will pull you into it's atmosphere, and hurdle you to the surface. What do you do?"

Instantly going over dozens of procedures, Vara quickly determines that the safety of the crew and the Prime Directive apply first and foremost and that given the scenario, any options she would be able to use would be futile. "Using a shuttle to obtain the crystals would likely take too long and would run the risk of violating the Prime Directive. Failing any other possible recommendations from the engineering crew, it may be possible to avoid the planet via a torpedo induced shockwave to knock the ship away from the planet without attracting attention from the local inhabitants. If all else fails, an emergency beacon buoy or a shuttlecraft would be deployed to signal for assistance, the ship would be abandoned, and then destroyed before entering the atmosphere of the planet - the antimatter alone could cause significant damage to the ecosystem."

Riley paced again. He looked down in deep thought, "Yes, that is a few of the options. Nearly all violate the Prime Directive. However, there is something you overlooked. You could have filled parts of the ship with plasma, and opened certain airlocks. The depressurization effect would have propelled the vessel far enough that you could get help in time before falling into the atmosphere. You may stand up now."

Vara stands and returns to her seat, knowing that filling any part of the ship with plasma and venting it into space would yield very little results, as the tests on Lagash had proven. It would have also been up to the engineers to determine if it was even a viable option, given the design of the vessel.

"Anyone volunteer next?"

With a shrug and a glance around the room, Ryan stood and made his way to the chair. He'd had a good feeling about the first part of the test, he'd even finished before the time was up. This part, however, he had a feeling he was going to do fairly terrible at.

"You're commanding a vessel on it's way to a diplomatic meeting with the Romulans. A segment of the Tal'Shiar intercepts your ship they tell you that the meeting is a fluke, and that separatists were planning the assassination of the Federation ambassador to start a war. If you choose to abandon the mission, you would never know if the vessel was telling the truth. If you continue to the meeting place, you may fall into a trap, and cause the death of an ambassador. What do you do?"

The Cadet made a quiet "hm" noise then sat there for a moment, presumably in thought. "Continue on the diplomatic mission." He answered simply.

Riley just shook his head, "No enhanced security? No affirmation from the Star Empire? No interrogation of the Tal'Shiar ship?" Riley swiped his hand to signal Ryan to get out of the chair. "Next."

With a simple shrug Ryan stood from the faux Captain's Chair and returned to his own seat.

"I'll go next, Professor," said Quentin Cross, raising his hand as he stood up from his seat. The brown-complexioned Human headed up to the chair at the front of the room. Performing a quick 'Picard maneuver' in tugging down the front of his cadet uniform jacket, Quentin took a seat and waited for Professor Riley Murdock to give him his scenario.

"It has been months since your crew has been in Federation space. Your ship has not run into any sentient life for your entire mission, but Starfleet won't allow your way back home until the completion of a year-long expedition. Morale is low, and rumors are starting to turn into adversities. Two officers are in the brig for starting a fight in the mess hall, and loyalties are drawing thin. Amongst all this, a capable officer commits suicide, completely out of the blue. How do you satisfy your crew in these dark times?

Quentin's eyes went wide as he listened to Professor Murdock's scenario. Why couldn't he have gotten a diplomacy question like Ryan just did? The brown-skinned Human brought up a hand cup his chin as he pondered the question.

"Well, my first move would be to get the Ship's Counselor involved," began Quentin, weighing his words as he spoke them, trying to think of all the things he could try. "I'd also meet with my Senior Staff and all department heads, to ensure that everyone was doing their best to make sure that none of their people were slipping through the cracks. To battle the boredom ..." Quentin trailed off for a moment. "... Um, maybe we'd come up with some side projects? Stuff to occupy people's time, and help bring them all together? As for the fights and things that have been breaking out, I guess I'd maybe find people an outlet, were they can expend their aggression and settle their differences constructively. Let everyone blow off some steam you know ...?" Quentin shook his head and shrugged, before snapping his fingers and adding, "Oh! Complete medical evaluations, too! In case its some weird alien virus that making everybody depressed and turning on each other, and stuff?"

"You are correct on some parts," said Riley. He paced around again, but didn't say anything. His thoughtful gaze struck just in front of the path he was walking, right on the classrooms floor. He called on the other students to come up and complete their trials. Before long, everyone had their own failure of command. After a few seconds of this, he looked to his class. "I will have your positions assignments listed tomorrow. Read Chapters 1-8 on your 'Starfleet Protocol Manual,' as well as the introductory section of 'Bridge Commands.'"

Ryan collected his few things and stood up, giving anyone a pleasant smile and nod as he left the room.
Organ donors put their heart into it.
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Mac sat on his recliner office chair that he had placed in his office whilst his legs were stretched across his desk. He was fiddling round with a cube with smaller pictures of squares that where different colours. He had been trying to complete the rubix cube ever since he had learned of it at the academy.

Emilie strolled along the corridor heading towards Sickbay, she wanted to do a check in to make sure everything was going ok. She walked through the doors and saw a few cadets getting things setup. She turned and walked into the Chief Medical Officers office, she knocked on the glass door of the office.

Placing the cube on table Macheon sat up straight, pulling himself under his desk and straightened his shirt "Enter."

Emilie put her hands together and walked in smiling, "So how is medical going, did you get everything you needed?" she asked stepping into the mans office.

"Ofcourse, I have found the Hera to be most accommodating!" Mac stood and held out his hand to the woman who could be none other than Commander Emilie wolf "Nice to see you Commander, how is your boy. Liam? He must be what nine or ten?"

Emilie smiled, "Its good to see you too Machaon, Liam just turned 10 the other day." she said walking up to shake Machaon's hand.

"I must make the effort to wish him a Happy Birthday then" He shook Emilie's hand before pointing towards the opposite chair "And what of his father Connor? Has he come aboard the ship with you both? I would share a few drinks with him if you would so allow!" He waited for her to take a seat as any kind gentleman.

"I'm afraid that wont be possible." Emilie said sitting down in the chair in front of his desk, "We received word the other day, Connor was just declared KIA when the ship he was serving on was destroyed. The rescue teams found no survivors..." Emilie said.

Mac wished he could swallow his words but the deed was done "Then let us drink in remembrance?" he stood and walked over to the replicater in his office. "Does Liam know?" He asked punching in the command for do andorian spritsus.

"He was there when the Officer came and told me." Emilie said looking at her hands, a tear ran down her left eye. "I wish Liam weren't there when he was." she said.

Mac brought the drinks but abandoned them on the table before taking a knee next to Emilie. He removed the tear running down her cheek before speaking softly. "Now now" He hugged her gently "You're not one easily brought to tears this must be weighing a heavy burden on your shoulders. One that I would see lightened by the aid of a concerned old friend"

Emilie's tears were like little bullets but she wiped them away as soon as they came out. She was able to stop, "So ah...ah whatcha been up to the past year?" she asked wanting to change the subject.

Mac Shrugged "You know just the usual stuff, Ive been moving from ship to ship and then applied for the Academy but instead was offered this and here I am" He moved his thumb under her eye taking away the last drop of tears of her face "You missed one" He smiled whislt meeting her eyes.

"Teaching, why would you want to teach?" She asked wiping the tears from her hands and wiping them on her pants. "I mean, your an amazing doctor so why teach? Why not continue with your Medical career?" She asked.

"Because we cant last forever, I just think that its a good call to give something back to starfleet and if I can train cadets to be as half good as me then it'll put a smile on my face. What about you? Why did you decide to teach?"

"I didn't, I wanted a quiet command position. My last few assignments have been very dangerous and with Connors passing I dont want to put Liam through that." She said, "So I decided to apply for this position. I dont mind teaching, although I'd prefer to work in the field." she said.

Mac smiled softly "I am sure you'll get some time in the field but hey! You've got Liam to worry about and well I am always here for you now to!" He said trying to sound convincing though the last time he said those words was back during their first posting where they dated for a short while.

"Thanks." Emilie said smiling and looking into Mac's eyes. He was even more handsome then he was when they were dating, she tried not to stare but couldn't help it.

"Dont do that emilie" He said avoiding her gaze but smiling secretly to himself "You always do that when you wanted something and it never meant anything good either"

Emilie blushed and looked at her hands. "Was I that obvious?" she asked cant helping to look back at Mac's beautiful brown eyes.

"As always!" He tried to ignore her look but he was pretty powerless when it came to this particular girl. "Damn Emilie!" He moaned, the two had a rocky relationship at best but he couldn't and feel as if they still had that connection.

"Uh so Mac, have you been seeing anyone lately?" she asked getting a bit nosey then she should have.

Mac laughed, "No not lately, though I dated an Orion a few years ago for a few months that was urm... exciting" He laughed, "Arnt you being a slightly nosey tonight" He winked, "Perhaps a drink?" He offered.

"I might be a bit nosey...but can you blame me?" she asked smiling and still glaring into his lovely eyes. "And I haven't had any drinks yet today, so sure, why not?" She said.

Mac stood up and walked over to his replicater "Whisky and coke on the rocks." Mac turned around and smiled "Whatcha having Em?" he asked.

"Uh, you decide!" she said smiling and looking as Mac ordered the drinks for them.

"And a vodka and tonic" He said and watched the drinks materialise. Picking them up he set her vodka and tonic in arms reach of her and sat down himself sipping at his own drink "Remember that time at the academy? I tried pulling that stunt climbing up to your window but fell?" He asked laughing slighty.

"Yea, my roommate didn't know what to make of it. When you fell on top of the tree then into the bushes we both laughed hysterically. The best part was when you got back up and you slipped in the mud." she said giggling and picking up her drink, "To old memories!" she said lifting up her drink.

Mac raised his glass and tapped hers "I know plenty of times like that though I also know the embarrising one about you" He winked before sipping at his drink, his lips parted into a smile.

Emilie blushed, "Oh there were so many of those...which one are you talking about, or do I not want to know...?" she asked taking a sip of her vodka and tonic.

Mac met Emilies eyes for the first proper time, she still had the same sparkle she had back when they dated and the way she presented her.

Emilie took another sip of the Vodka and Tonic but this time a larger sip, so much that it impaired her judgement. She finished the glass, stood up and walked towards Mac.

Mac watched Emilie finishing his own drink before standing up "Emilie what are you...?"

Emilie kissed Mac on the lips and began to devour his mouth and put her hands all over his body.

Mac was completely surprised but the movement but didn't resist, he placed his glass on the table missing it slightly causing the glass to fall to the floor and smash. He then placed his hands on her hips and smiled. "Emilie...." He whispered kissing to her neck.

Emilie hopped up on Macs waist and wrapped her legs around his waist. She also wrapped her arms around his neck and continued to kiss all around his face.

Mac walked hastily over to his couch bending down and dropping her onto it, "This is such a bad idea" He said still kissing her and caressing her waist.

"Oh no its not!" She said smiling at Mac, "Computer, Seal doors and dim lights." she pulled Mac down to the couch and kissing him again.