Death & Rebirth Guest Quarters on Deep Space 11 January 28th 2388
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For almost twenty years of his life, Kristopher Kerouac had devoted his life to the stars. It was through his career with Starfleet that Kerouac was able to achieve his dreams and reach his aspirations. However, in all his years with Starfleet during the Dominion War and since, Lieutenant Commanding Kristopher Kerouac had only been in the Gamma quadrant a few selective times. All of them had been when he was aboard the Denmark during the climax of the war with the Dominion. After the war had ended, he had remained on the Denmark for quite a bit longer before transferring to the Iron Horse. When the war ended, the Denmark was sent elsewhere in the galaxy, and the Iron Horse was even further away than the Denmark when it came to proximity of the Gamma quadrant. All the same was fine with Kerouac as he did not have particularly fond memories of the Gamma quadrant, losing friends and colleagues left and right during altercations with the Breen, Cardassians, Jem'Hadar and the few other species who constituted as part of the Dominion.

Why did he come back? That was a question worth asking a hundred times. Unfortunately, it would only result in a thousand or more answers as Kerouac himself did not have a true answer. There just was something about the USS Katana that drew him to request transfer to the recently repaired and refitted starship. The Intrepid class was not even that old of a design, and the Katana was even younger as she herself had not even hit her five year mark and already she had been pulled from service to undergo the modifications and upgrades deemed necessary. Kristopher had been rather excited to meet the crew and to meet his new Commanding Officer whom he had heard nothing but the best of, a career officer nearing retirement. Well, more so well beyond retirement but too damned stubborn to give up command.

Captain Roberta Sanchez. She was a moderately well known woman with a few highlights to her career, but nothing as of late. It was general knowledge that Starfleet Command had been pushing her to retirement. Rumor had it that they had even dangled a promotion to Rear Admiral in front of her a few times in the past, but she pushed the promotion aside offended by the gesture. It was no surprise really that Captain Sanchez was not commanding a Sovereign class starship or some other large, powerful recent class to come out of a shipyard. It was a blessing really that she was being given the Intrepid class Katana as opposed to an ancient Miranda class, a few of those were still serving in the fleet, primarily in the Alpha quadrant putting around well within Federation boarders.

The Katana was scheduled to depart within the next few days, Captain Sanchez was scheduled to have arrived already. Lieutenant Commander Kerouac thought little of it. Who was to expect otherwise from Starfleet Captain who was almost a century old. What he had not expected was to be woken up in the middle of the 'night' by some slender yeoman with a pleasant cooing voice informing him that he had been sent a Priority One message from Starfleet Command. At this hours? thought Lieutenant Commander Kerouac as he rolled out of bed, wrapping the off white sheets around him like a toga, trying not to disturb person that was sleeping in the bed with him. He was a bit surprised to wake up, roll over and still find them there in his guest quarters, and in his bed no less. Truthfully, he could not eve remember their name or much about the night that they had just had together. The Surian Brandy was blocking the memories of the evening before, or was it the Aldebaran Whiskey? Whatever he or rather they had drank together, the bottles were around the quarters.

Lieutenant Commander Kerouac groaned as he pressed his hand to his forehead. He had a killer headache, a hangover really. There was no need to ask for the computer to turn on the lights. He was fairly certain that turning those on would not make him feel any better. He departed from the sleeping section of his guest quarters, heading to the living portion and grabbed his portable personal computer, taking a seat on the sofa and flipping the screen up and turning the device on. Soon, the black screen was replaced with the Federation logo and then further replaced with the image of a dark skinned human male with white hair and a stern scowling face.

Kerouac cracked a smile at the man's stern emotionless face. “Ya look more void of emotion than even the best Vulcan, Admiral” jested Lieutenant Commander Kerouac. However, when the Admiral simply grunted, Kristopher knew that something serious had happened. “Admiral?” said Kristopher in an alarmed tone of concern.

“Morning, Commander. I wish I could say that I am the bearer of good news, but that I am not” said the Admiral without missing a beat. “You are about to be informed of something that is going to change everything as you know, Commander. It has come to our attention that the shuttlecraft carrying Captain Sanchez has been...” the Admiral paused for a moment. It was evident that he was struggling to word the situation properly. “Captain Sanchez and the young Lieutenant who was piloting the shuttle were killed. The shuttle was attacked on her way to her destination. The incident is being investigated by proper authorities as we speak. We'll know more as the investigation unfolds. However, that brings us to the matter of the Katana” added the Admiral.

Lieutenant Commander Kristopher Kerouac cleared his throat of the lump that was placed there upon hearing the tragic news. This was already turning out to be a rough start for the Katana. “I assume our departure will be delayed for at least another few days to a week as Command finds a replacement” said Kristopher grimly.

“No, Starfleet Command does not want to delay Katana any longer. The Katana's repairs and refitting have been completed and it is in their opinion that Task Force 9 needs her now more than ever. She's been out of the game too long, Kris. That said, you are to assume command until further notice. The Katana is your responsibility now, Commander...do not screw it up. You should expect to hear from the Task Force Commanding Officer in regards to your orders. As of now, you are her Commanding Officer and you will disembark as scheduled” said the Admiral with a firm nod as he ended the transmission.
First Day
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The USS Katana! Sabrina was finally here. Months of enlisted training done, and she was finally assigned. The USS Katana no less. Fresh from upgrades, the Intrepid Class Starship was a dream come true. She was way out at Deep Space 11 to boot. She wanted away from Earth, and she couldn't ask for anything further, well perhaps the Gamma Quadrant she hoped they would be exploring.

Her duffle bag was light. Oh, she’d managed to accumulate a lot of stuff in her eighteen years, but most of it was staying in her room, in her parents home, back on Earth. What she did have with her she treasured. Her ‘This is my too tired to function hoodie’ sweatshirt and her ‘Monday’s make me maudlin’ t-shirt. She’d had those two for years and wouldn't give them up, silly or not. The five pounds of real Costa Rican coffee was the true treasure of her duffle though. Her parents had gotten it in Costa Rica on vacation, and given it to her as a graduation present.

Sabrina got lost twice finding the Katana, but nobody needed to know that, now did they. She hadn't studied the layout of Deep Space 11, so she could be forgiven her lack of navigational skills. Security was thorough, checking her identification and her orders, but she got on-board with a minimum of fuss.

Her quarters were on Deck 5, adjacent to the Library. That was a nice touch. Unfortunately when she walked in, she realized she was the last to arrive. The only bunk available was top left. She’d never slept in bunk beds, and had never shared a room, outside the few weeks of enlisted training. There was never a need to go off to camp when you could just go camp on the beach. “Hello.” She smiled politely enough. She could do this, it wasn't like she had a choice. She wanted off Earth, she wanted to join Starfleet. These could be her new best friends. Well ok, maybe she at least wouldn't hate them.

A course of distracted “Hello’s” echo’d back to her. The other three obviously knew each other, they were gossiping quickly, while giving each other pedicures. Oh god, it was still high school. Sabrina found her foot looker and popped it open, tossing her duffle inside. She could deal with
room mates later, she needed to explore! Ok, eat then explore. The enlisted mess hall could be her first stop.

The aft lounge was on deck 11, right by Main engineering, which was perfect placement as far as Sabrina was concerned. She grabbed a sandwich, then sat near a group of engineers. She couldn’t help but butt into their conversation. They were talking about the Intrepid Class after all and she was fascinated by her new ship and its class. She was being condescended too, she could tell, but she didn’t care, at least they were letting her talk shop with them. When one asked her where her quarters were, she stammered and excused herself like some fourteen year old. Embarrassing! But it had gotten her back out into the corridors of the ship where she could explore.

She wasn’t due to report until 0800 tomorrow, so she was denied access to Main Engineering, and the Navigational Deflector, but just walking the corridors was enough. By the time she was done exploring it was getting late, and Sabrina decided she had better get some sleep before her first shift.

When she walked back into her quarters she was momentarily too shocked by what she saw to say or do anything. Her three roommates were sitting around the small common table in the center of the room, drinking coffee. Not just coffee, HER coffee. Her footlocker was open, her precious coffee was sitting open on the table, and they were drinking it!!

“That’s MINE!!” She screamed like any good kindergartner who hadn’t yet gotten the hang of sharing. She grabbed up her coffee, and carefully closed it. “How dare you!” She glared at the group.

“Jeez, calm down.” One of the roommates answered back. “You left your footlocker unlocked, we figured you didn't mind.”

Sabrina just gaped. Oh they’d told them at the Academy to lock their footlocker, but Sabrina had never had her privacy violated, and never so much as locked her bedroom door at home. “Well I do!” She placed her coffee back in her footlocker and made an exaggerated motion of locking it.

When she turned again, instead of seeing apologetic faces, they were all looking at her like SHE was the pariah. “Arrrrrrrg!!!” She let out a frustrated cry then stormed out of the quarters. She couldn't deal with them right now.

Once into the corridor, tears started to fall. She wiped at her eyes and looked for somewhere to hide. The library! It was right next to her quarters. When she walked in however instead of finding an empty room, she saw one couple trying to eat the other’s tongue.. She turned around and fled. When she heard people coming down the corridor she desperately looked for another escape. To her right was a Jeffries Tube Access Hatch, Bingo!!” She opened it up and stepped inside. It was a large junction, who’s upper tube would access some of the holodeck controls, The left fork accessed the main EPS flow through this deck. Sabrina knew all this even as her tears began to flow in earnest now that she was in private. She sunk down the wall to the deck.

“Hi Bob.” She sniffled, naming the Jeffries Tube Junction. “I know, I’m crying over coffee, don’t judge.” Bob did not seem inclined to judge, and Sabrina decided she like him a lot. She then spent the next hour telling Bob about her horrible roommates, the lascivious engineers she’d met at dinner, and everything else that came to her mind. She ended up falling asleep on the cold deck, but at least she had company in Bob.

Crewman Recruit Sabrina Corbin
Repair Specialist
USS Katana
Slave to the Rhythm Ferengi Mauraduer Hun & Unknown Planet January 2388
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"If you idiots are ready to acquire profit" said the Ferengi Daimon of the Maurader Hun as he stepped onto the small transporter pad of his starship. "Today you live as worthless scum without a single bar of latinum. Tomorrow, you'll awake up to your lobes in wealth and prosperity" added Daimon Marg with a shrilling squeal as he rubbed his long slender fingers with the long, chipped and yellowed nails. There was only one thing on Marg's mind as he stood ready on the transporter pad. Profit and more profit. He could smell the freshly poured gold pressed latinum that his findings would bring him. The discovery of this planet in the Gamma quadrant was more than worth the precious time it took to acquire the merchandise.

There were no peoples on the planet, no sentient life at all. The only life forms on the planet were creatures. Small insects, primates, and various other animals that parts of could be used such as tusks and horns. There was potential profit in these items as well as the culinary possibilities of the hooves of some of the creatures on the planet. There was also some delicious worms and grubs on the planet, enough that the Ferengi parties that were beaming down to the planet from the Hun could be substained for days or weeks on end with few feedings.

However, it was one discovery that Marg believed was going to make him one of the richest profiteers in the history of the Ferengi Alliance. They had only been searching the planet for five days for valuables when Marg himself spotted a strange creature in the planet's thick jungles. He knew instantly that what he had seen was a means to a fortune. It was a creature that was thin and wiry looking with gray skin and iridescent wings, but the creature got away from Marg the first few times that he caught a glimpse of one. He was not about to let that happen again.

This time, Marg was accompanied by two of his men. Plk and Skr, two brothers who were the greediest of Marg's small crew. However, soon they would be rendezvousing with their Nausicaan escorts. For now though, the Hun with Marg and his crew were on their own. Marg, Plk, and Skr beamed down to the planet's surface in a clearing that they had forcefully made with their ship's technology, creating a hole in the jungle's foliage. Marg and his men were on a personal mission to become incredibly rich from their 'expeditions' into the Gama quadrant. Though scientific exploration for Ferengi simply translated to profitable exploitation of the weaknesses of others.

Armed with relatively non-leathal weapons. They had energy whips on them as well as holstered Ferengi hand phasers should they need to resort to more powerful force. However, their whips were to be their primary weapons in this situation. They wanted to capture as many of these elusive creatures as possible. After hours of searching, Marg stopped suddenly in his tracks. “Shut up idiots and clean your lobes. Listen” barked the Daimon to his two goons. He had heard to harmonic vocalization of the creatures' song. “We've found them. They are close by. Put your lobes to good use gentlemen and we'll be making latinum in no time” said Marg with a look of pure greed.

The creatures of the forest flitted about silently in the dark, offering the occasional call as they watched the strange invaders destroy their homes. Homes could be rebuilt, trees could be regrown, but thankfully no lives had been lost when the odd structure had landed in the field it had created. Still, all those trees, all that hard work lost in their homes, gone... Such thoughtless brutes, what did they want? Why were they here?

One of the younger sprites was more curious than should be healthy and got closer, too close. A sharp trill from one of the guardians prompted her to turn back to the safety of the forest.

The trio of greedy Ferengi treaded through the jungle's thick foliage with determination to find the winged creatures. Following their lobes, the Ferengi covered as much land as they could in a little amount of time.

They finally came upon what a bunch of trees with some sort of structures build off of them, housing of some sort. It did not matter to the Ferengi how these creatures lived. Marg looked at his men and nodded showing his sharp yellowed teeth.

"Take as many as you can catch. We can always come back for the rest."

The creatures looked on curiously as the horrid little trolls continued to invade their homes. A song went up, the guardians began discussing what should be done about the invaders. Vile things, they had no respect for the forest!

Marg and his men stormed up the trees and broke off from each other, going after the winged creatures. As soon as the Ferengi invaded the 'homes' of these stupid creatures, they began to flee. However, the Ferengi were armed. Marg saw one of the winged creatures, possible a Fee-male trying to escape. He grabbed onto his electrified whip and slashed it in the air towards the creature.

The young sprite who had gotten too close, too curious, was now regretting her inquisitive nature as she felt the sharp, piercing sting of the energy weapon. She cried out in shrill agony. What were these monsters? She was falling, her wing paralyzed and unable to maintain her flight, but she heard the chorus of the guardians. They were not going to let this stand! The young sprite hadn't even hit the ground before several of the fluttering creatures swarmed upon Marg, throwing him back by some unseen force.

The shrilling cry of the creature was not only disgusting...it hurt. It was almost painful enough that Marg went to cover his ears. The creature attacked him, knocking him back. However, he did not waste time in responding. He lifted his arm and back handed the creature across the face "Shut your mouth creature. You are nothing. You are property of Daimon Marg of the Ferengi Alliance...until we find a buyer for you" said Marg with a snarl.

The fallen creature couldn't understand his words, couldn't comprehend what he wanted of her. All she knew was the pain of his weapon as well as the strike he had delivered. She silenced her wail, but continued calling for her kin with a soft, crooning sound as she touched the tender bruise forming across her face.

Again, the guardians responded, more of them gathering to deliver a stronger blow to the monsters that had hurt one of their young.

These creatures were not coming peacefully. They needed to be domesticated if they were going to be worth the trouble of collecting them for trade and sales. The creatures were now attacking him, but Marg was not about to leave empty handed.

"Next time, I'll come with my Nausicaan friends. See how easy it is to push them around!" snarled the Ferengi. He whipped the air back and froth violently, lashing his electric whip, sending bolts of pure energy at the creatures to heavily stun them. The creatures were thrown back and many fell prey to the stunning affects of the whip, but many did not. And now they were all angry.

He then targeted the smaller of the creatures, the one he wanted the most and used his whip on her once again with more pleasure than before. "I shall teach you how to perform Oo-max."

The young creature cried out again, tears streaming down her face. Why was this happening? Why was this awful creature hurting her? Her kin answered the call and the forest rang out with their song as more and more of the forest creatures gathered to drive out the monsters. Blood hit the air in the wake of another attack.

The shrilling songs of the creatures were disrupted momentarily by the screams of a Ferengi. It was not Marg but rather, Plk. Marg was not near the other two Ferengi when it happened but he was soon informed when his communication device sounded.

Marg fought off the creature with his whip. They had torn pieces of his flesh apart as if they had clawed him. Yet they had not physically touched him at all. On the communication channel came the cries of Plk's brother Skr "They killed my brother. Tore him lobe to lobe."

It was then that Marg made the call. "Get back to the ship. I'm not leaving here without one of these creatures" he said firmly. He then lunged forward and grabbed onto the small fee-male creature and contacted his ship. "Daimon Marg to the Hun two for transport"

The young female whimpered at the rough grasp, feeling helpless as he pulled her close. She cried out at the strange sensation of the matter stream whisking them away. When they rematerialized she blinked furiously at the light around them, recoiling in pain. It was so bright! She held her hands up to shield her face from the blinding light as she continued to weep helplessly in Marg's grasp. Why had she gotten so curious? Why, oh why...

Three Ferengi were there to greet them on the Maurader. All of them armed with whips and phaser riffles. One of them stepped forward and reported "The Nausicaans are requesting that we meet with them now. They cannot wait much longer."

Marg rolled his eyes. "Typical" replied Marg. He shook his head and pushed the creature forward "Take this savage animal to a holding cell. Maybe some time alone will do it some good...and inform the Nausicaans that we will get there when we get there."

Another monster grabbed her, tearing her hands away from her face as she dragged away. With no way to protect herself from the light she squeezed her eyes shut, sobbing softly as she was taken she knew not where. She found herself thrown to the ground after a while. And alone. She took the chance to peek her eyes open only to shut them again. Still too bright... Her heart was thundering in her ears as she felt around to try to learn about her surroundings. She was slow and methodical in her exploration, but all she could feel was smooth, hard surfaces, cool to the touch. She could hear something humming, causing a strange prickling sensation across her skin. She reached out to the humming sound only to recoil at the jolt rushing through her, numbing her fingers. What was that?!

One Ferengi stood guard of the precious cargo, erecting a force field to secure the holding cell. He studied the creature with beedy eyes. "You are going to make us all a lot of latinum."

She raised her head as though to look at him, but she never opened her eyes, too fearful of the dangerous light. She couldn't comprehend what he was saying, but she was intelligent to know it was trying to communicate. She didn't care what it had to say, it was a monster, just like the rest of them! She felt her way to a corner as she continued to cry and curled up as tightly as she could to stave off the shivering, not liking the cold, dry air of this place in addition to being so very afraid.
Serenity Runabout Narmada, En Route to DS11
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A soft, sweet melody caressed the atmosphere in the rear lounge as Jenni gently moved the bow back and forth across the strings of the violin. Her slender hand tenderly pulled and pushed the bow's heel, brushing the hair against the strings. Though she was not playing any piece in particular, Jennifer Matthews often found juxtaposing various melodies to be soothing, especially during periods of stress.

While there was little to be stressed about, Jenni had had enough of being stuck inside aging Danube Runabout. Three days ago, Jenni boarded the runabout as her last assignment, the USS Polaris, was unable to go out of her way to deliver the talented engineer to the USS Katana at Deep Space 11. Many would find three days free of the duty roster a welcome occurrence, as did Jenni.

It was her company aboard the runabout that made her wish there was a warp core to tinker with. (Had the Narmada a private engine room with better access to the warp core, she would have elected to hide there). Her best option was to stick to the dark hours of the night, finding solace in the strings of her violin. Three other passengers shared the runabout.

The first, a young Andorian ensign, was actually assigned to Deep Space 11, ferrying personnel and equipment back and forth between starships and starbases. Though she was friendly, piloting the runabout around spatial anomalies and dust pockets required quite a few course adjustments along the way. And, as a one-woman crew, the Andorian was constantly moving throughout the runabout, checking systems and diagnostics.

The second, a traveling salesman, was almost no better than a Ferengi. He wasn't afraid to ignore 'no' from anyone, offering life insurance to every person he met. What separated him from the Ferengi was that he respected personal boundaries, kindly leaving the other passengers to their business in his "off" period, which wasn't exactly as long as Jenni liked.

And then there was the Londoner. A boldly rash security officer transferring to a Saber-class starship. Their rank was equal, and woefully so. His efforts over the last couple days were focused on bedding either or both of the women. Even when intoxicated, he knew little of boundaries. It would have been one thing for Jenni to lock herself in her cabin until the trip had ended. She was no stranger to the peaceful thrumming of a warp core and power transfer conduits, but a cabin with no window that shared a wall with a power transfer conduit was an unfortunate combination.

Jenni was a child of the moon, born and raised on the lunar surface. She and her friends would constantly wander outside the colony, exploring the slate landscape in the comfort of their EVA suits. Once, when exploring a crater, the ground beneath her gave way to a small cave. The entrance collapsed just as she entered. Debris from the fall had also shattered the guiding lights on her helmet. For hours she was trapped with no way to move.

Her small cabin, though she knew exactly where she was, drove that unpleasant memory to the surface with every thrum of the PTC. Sure there was some soft lighting and a screensaver on the terminal to emulate the appearance and luminance of a starfield, it simply was not enough to break the psychological barrier.

For now, alone in the late hour of the night, sitting cross legged on the lounge table, and gently moving the bow across the strings of the violin while facing out the large aft windows would substitute for the serenity of rest.
Engineer on Deck USS Katana
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Doing her best to ignore the salesman and the annoying security officer's attempt at seduction, Jenni sat in the runabout's cockpit at one of the rear stations. As a thank you to the Andorian pilot, Jenni did some maintenance on the engines. The pilot wasn't wanting the ship to travel any faster (she quite enjoyed the multi-day journey in any direction), but the idea of improving efficiency in the aging vessel was welcome. In the last hour, Jenni had been able to raise that efficiency nearly twenty percent, thereby reducing the strain on the engines.

Though she was happy to bide the time she shared in the cockpit with the other passengers, she was running out of distractions. Even as she quietly put up with the security officer's advances, her eyes kept glancing at the door, wishing the pilot would hurry up and dock already so she could bail.

Yet, even as the runabout entered the shuttlebay and found an appropriate landing pad. Clearances for each person and piece of cargo aboard had to checked a final time. Once the massive space station was satisfied, the door opened and Jenni was the first person to step over the threshold. At a brisk pace she moved for the nearest turbolift, dodging both personnel and the security officer on her tail. The turbolift she entered was nearly full, and she could not have been more relieved when the doors closed and the lift began to move, leaving the security officer behind in the shuttlebay.

She shifted the duffel bag on her shoulder to bring it closer to her neck and then raised the violin case to her chest and wrapped her arms around it. With too many people in the turbolift, she didn't want it accidentally knocked loose and damaged. Replicating a replacement was one thing, but this had once belonged to her mother many years ago. As the walls closed in and the people inched closer to her position in the middle of the lift, Jenni closed her eyes.

In an instant, she was standing in the family home on Earth's moon, uniform and all. She watched herself, as a little girl, and her two brothers sitting in the den, listening to her mother play a family favorite on the violin. The serenity of the memory took over as Jenni's point of view changed to her ten year old self, sitting cross-legged on the floor and looking up to her mother as the sweet melody enveloped her hearing.


Jenni's eyes snapped open. She looked around, noticing the turbolift was empty and no longer in motion.

"Everything ok?" asked the voice again.

Jenni looked forward now, attaching ownership of the voice to a petty officer with a blue collar. Sheepishly, she smiled. Nodding to the petty officer, Jenni eagerly stepped out of the lift and into the bustling promenade. She casually walked along, taking in the sights of each one of the shops and restaurants, each one a sample of a different homeworld. It was the epitome of the Federation's ideals, having Klingons, Ferengis, Vulcans, Centurians and so on peacefully co-exist beside each other, offering to share their cultures. The Ferengis naturally would say, "For a profit," though their goal was similar enough.

Jenni found a public terminal where public docking information was shared. It was there that she found the location of the Intrepid-class USS Katana. She would relish in the excitement of the promenade after she reported aboard and left her effects in her quarters. The Katana was on the other side of the station, a journey not quickly achieved. The sight, however, of the Katana's airlock with the manned security checkpoint was a welcome one.

"Hello," she said with a smile, approaching the petty officer in yellow who manned the checkpoint. "Lieutenant JG Matthews reporting. Just transferred."

The Petty Officer did not return her smile, and instead looked down at the manifest on his screen. "The new Chief Engineer," he replied, seeing her name on the list. He gestured to an interface on the counter in between them. An outline of a five-fingered hand appeared, requesting Jenni to confirm her identity.

"Of course," she softly said, placing her right hand upon the screen as the man in yellow picked up a PADD and began to enter information on it.

It took a moment for the panel to shine green, indicating she was who Jenni said she was and that she was indeed destined to be aboard the Katana.

"Your quarters and other information," said the man as he handed her the PADD. "You'll want to see the boatswain and the quartermaster as soon as possible to have your security codes verified and any other details taken care of."

"Thank you!" With a smile, she accepted the PADD and wandered out of the airlock into the corridor. She had spent some time over the last few days studying the layout and schematics of the Katana. Her efforts had proved valuable thus far as she arrived quickly to her quarters without checking a corridor terminal. Jenni did not unpack, but instead left her duffel bag and violin on the bed. After a quick look in the mirror to adjust her uniform and hair, Jenni made her way to Engineering. Though it was customary to first report to the captain, Jenni wanted to get a quick assessment of the engine room.

What amazed her the most about Katana's Engineering was the unique warp core in the rear of the room. Most modern vessels featured a standard pulsing core, bringing matter and antimatter to a center dilithium chamber. The Intrepid used a cascading core, swirling and massaging the blue-colored energy of the matter and antimatter before combining with dilithium to create a stronger warp plasma than other cores.

Though she quickly focused on the core before entering, she also noticed that several of the engineers had turned to look at her. "Hello," she said. "I'm Lieutenant Matthews, and I'll be taking over as Chief of Engineering. Who's been in charge?" Noticing the Vulcan who raised his hand, Jenni smiled. She asked a few questions regarding how much of the engineering staff was aboard and any new updates to the ship since the last report she had received. Satisfied, she scheduled a briefing with the engineering staff for the afternoon and set off for the bridge.

It was time to report to the captain.
Light Torture Ferengi Mauraduer Hun January 2388
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In the corner of the holding cell, the strange creature stirred. She had lost track of how long she had been in this strange place, there were no day-night queues, no way for her to keep time. It felt like a small eternity. She wanted to go home so terribly, she wanted to stretch her wings and fly away from this place... She was slowly coming to the conclusion that she would never see home again.

She peeked her eyes open. Still too bright! Did it never get dark here? How did the monsters know what time it was if the light never changed? She curled up tighter into a ball. She was so tired. That strange weapon that had rendered her flightless left her feeling so drained. The light also made her want to sleep, but she dare not leave herself so vulnerable. She did her best to remain alert, but it was so difficult, she was just so weary.

From the other side of the strange humming sound that had numbed her fingers, she could hear footsteps approaching. Her entire body tensed in anticipation. The monsters were back! What did they want? She stretched her wings to test if she would be able to fly to keep away from them; on the ground there were few options for her escape, it had been her hope that maybe gaining some height would be an option, but the delicate wings were still slow and sluggish, unable to obtain lift. She was still grounded and still at a crippling disadvantage with so much light. The best she could hope for was another change of the guards, but these footsteps sounded different, there was something ominous about their approach. Her heart raced. All she could do was wait.

Daimon Marg had been alerted that his cargo had awoken. It did not take him long to make his way from the Bridge down to the holding cell that was housing the strange creature. When the doors parted, Marg stepped in and the Ferengi who had been watching the creature stepped out.

Marg headed closer to the holding cell, nearly pressingly his face against the force field, but kept his distance by a few inches. "So, you're awake" he said in a dry gruff tone of voice. "I would have thought you would be out after what you went through resisting us. You'll be best off learning not to resist ever again" he added with a toothy grin.

"I am Daimon Marg and you are going to make me a very large profit."

Her eyes remained closed as she followed the voice speaking to her. She recognized that voice, it was the one that captured her! She couldn't understand him, couldn't comprehend his language, but something about his tone felt ominous, dangerous. She lowered her head, pushing herself further into her corner. Whatever he had planned, she was not going to comply, she would resist!

"We have no interest in studying you, but I will have an appraiser come in here to estimate your worth to potential buyers. Maybe we could even remove your wings and sell them as a separate item."

There was definitely something menacing about this man. She fears the things he had planned for her, but more importantly she feared the unknown. She trembled. As much as she didn't want anything bad to happen to her, she just wanted him to do whatever it was he was going to do so she knew what was going on. She didn't like not knowing what he intended for her.

"We already know some things about you though. Misbehave and you'll experience them..." said Marg with a small snarling laugh. He then walked over to a control panel and increased the lighting in the cell by 10%. "Enjoy" said the Ferengi with delight.

Marg's captive whimpered. Even with her eyes closed, the small increase in the light's intensity filtered through her thin eyelids, burning her sensitive eyes. She buried her face in the crook of her arm as she sobbed softly. She wanted to go home!

Marg turned his back from the creature. He was tired of listening to it sob, the noises it made were painful to his ears. If it had not been so potentially valuable, He would have just killed it.

She was tired of feeling weak and helpless! The young forest creature didn't know what she could do, but she was tired of doing nothing but feeling sorry for herself! No one was coming to save her, if she was going to get out of here and return home then it would be by her own wits! She was not going to sit idly by and let this monster think she was helpless!

With strength she didn't know she possessed, she reached a hand out and pushed. If all he was going to do was hurt her, then she was going to give him a reason to hurt her. She wasn't going down without a fight!

The Ferengi Daimon stumbled forward with a staggering amount of pain. He recalled what happened on the planet's surface. This creature was attacking him. He regained his footing and turned quickly. "NO!" he shouted. "NO. You will not do that to me" he added with a stern glare.

"Computer increase lighting in this room by 70%" said Marg. He shielded his eyes as the room began to brighten to an uncomfortable level even for him.

The light burned! Oh, it hurt so terribly, but she couldn't give in or he would win! She covered her eyes as best she could with one arm and pushed against him again.

"95%" he barked back to the Maurader's computer. He backed towards the exit of the the Brig. "Learn your lesson and mind yourself while you are property on my ship."

She couldn't bear the light! She relented in her attack and turned her back to him to hide her face in the corner, shielding herself from the impossibly bright light. Even the day cycle back home had never been this bright! Her lesson had been learned; as long as he controlled the light, he controlled her.

Tears streamed down her face as she worked at the knot of the wrap tied around her waist. Her kind did not wear much in the way of clothing and what they did wear was mostly decorative rather than for any sake of modesty. She was glad she had worn her sash now, it would serve her well. She freed the intricately woven fabric decorated with beads of wood, stone, and bone, and carefully folded it so that the layers could better protect her, then she tied the delicate sash over her eyes. The gauzy material didn't keep out all the light, but it helped, enough that she was no longer in pain.

With a heavy sigh, she rested her forehead against the wall. The price for her curiosity had been high and now she was paying for it. What was she to do now?
Midnight Stroll Deck 10, Main Engineering January 29th 2388
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Lieutenant Commander Kristopher Kerouac was out for a stroll. He needed to clear his head. More so, he needed to visit his starship. And it was. It was now his starship with the recent news of Captain Sanchez's untimely death. The Katana was supposed to be her starship with Kristopher Kerouac as her First Officer. All of this had changed with one message from Starfleet Admiralty. Sanchez was dead, Kerouac was alive and that was just the roll of the dice.

The USS Katana was already behind schedule, way behind in fact. Her repairs and refitting had begun over a year ago. She sat all of 2387 in a Shipyard undergoing extensive repairs from a skirmish that damn well nearly destroyed the starship. All her crew was reassigned elsewhere, including her Commanding Officer at the time, and she was out of action until recently. Once the repairs had been completed, the starship was then refitted with state of the art systems.

From the shipyard, she was given a skeletal crew of engineering, science, and operations officers who took her on a test run to Deep Space 11 in December of 2387, arriving and docking at Deep Space 11 in January of 2388. There, she awaited her permanent crew.

Now, she was docked and ready to disembark. However, she would be doing so under the command of Lieutenant Commander Kerouac. He was an experienced Starfleet Officer with a mixed reputation and an even more diverse service record. But he still shined despite the few blemishes on his service record.

On deck 10 of the USS Katana, the commander entered Main Engineering which was about as lively as a Vulcan stand up comedy show. There was not even the harmonic humming of the warp core to liven the place up because they were docked. Minimal power was being used, the Warp core was off-line.

However, he did spot a young woman in uniform who appeared to be studying something at a console. He could not see the rank on the woman and was not about to make an ass out of himself by assuming she was too young to be the Chief Engineer. He himself certainly did not look like Commanding Officer material, not that anyone even knew that he had just been given command of Katana. However, with the facial hair he did at least look moderately command worthy.

He approached the woman from behind as her back was facing him. He peaked over her shoulder before clearing his throat. "You uh...you must be the Chief Engineer?" he said with his puppy dog eyes beaming through his shaggy overgrown hair. His smile noticeably showing as it was encircled by his prickly facial hair.

Sabrina had been deep in concentration, running a specific diagnostic on a repair she'd made earlier in the evening. She was still terribly worried that she would repair something wrong. Due to her focus she was completely unaware of the man entering, or even standing behind her until he cleared his throat. She jumped, and let out a squeak, her heart suddenly pounding. She quickly turned around to find a Lieutenant Commander well within her personal space. With her back now against the console there wasn't anywhere for her to go however. "Oh, no sir. Sorry sir. I'm just a crewman apprentice sir." She had no idea who the Lt Commander was, but the garnet uniform put him within Command. It suddenly dawned on her that she should go to attention, which she did, albeit nervously.

The woman let out a squeeky shriek when she turned around. Clearly she was startled and evidentialy, she was not the Chief Engineer. Kristopher could breathe easily now knowing that this child was not going to be the person he would have to depend on to keep his new Starship up and running.

"Well, I'm not used to making women squeak so soon" he said with an small chuckle to himself. She did not nearly look old enough to even understand that one. She's a young one, may not look like much but not too bad in this lighting he thought with a smirk across his face and that look in his glossy eyes.

"Crewmen apprentice at work at this hour? My oh my aren't we the eager one?" he said with a wolfish posture as he placed his hands on either side of the console station, nearly pinning her in as he stood face to face with the young enlisted woman.

"Oh at ease sugar, I ain't on duty yet" he added with a bit of an intoxicated snickering. "The nights young just like you."

Sabby's temper flared. She had just about enough of asshole men the last year. She wasn't about to put up with another one. "I'm not your sugar, sir. Please remove your hands and allow me to move." She spoke firmly and looked him stubbornly in the eye, ready to jam her palm into his nose if she had to, Lieutenant Commander or not.

Kristopher was not really himself when he decided to have a few too many, and tonight, he had indeed had more than just a few too many. There was someone in the bed of his guest quarters that he did not even know, name or otherwise. There had been empty bottles laying around his quarters, most of which he did not recall drinking but not that he cared.

The fact of the matter was, he drank to forget to feel. He drank so that the nightmares would go away, so that he could just get by another night without having to remember the pain. Synthehol did nothing, only the genuine stuff was good at making him numb.

He scoffed at the woman's assertive request for him to remove his hands from the console. "Yeah? So...uh where would you like me to place them?" he said with a flashing of his eyes and a curving smirk. "I've got a few places in mind."

The lascivious smirk on his face sent Sabrina over the edge, she raked the side of her boot down his shin and stomped on the top of his foot. She refrained from actually palming his nose, that could do real damage, but she did slap him soundly. Sabrina smelled alcohol, and was glad she hadn't done more. With a deep breath, she changed tactics, now aware that she was dealing with inebriation. "I think it would be best if you placed them in your bed, sir."

"Yes, Ma'am" he said staggering backwards from her stomping and well placed slap. He laughed a little as he lost balance and fell on his ass. He sat there a moment dazed and confused. "They think that they can just give me a starship and expect it to be alright, but it isn't. No, it never is alright. I'll find her ya know...I'll find her, bring her home and hold her again" rambled the Lieutenant Commander as he struggled to stand up.

Sabrina stood over him, shocked by his statement. Dear god, had she just slapped the Commanding Officer? She quickly grabbed him under the shoulders and helped him stand, almost landing herself in a heap with him. Even his 5'7" frame was a bit much for her tiny 5'2". "Let me get you back to your quarters." Her earlier anger dissipated. It was hard to be angry at a sad drunk.

He sighed with a killer headache coming on due to the alcohol's numbing effects waining. "No, no. I can't go back. I don't want to see what I've done" he said thinking about the person in his bed.

See what he'd done? What could he have done? Shit, she was not prepared to deal with this. She didn't want to try and force him back to his quarters, she wasn't even sure that she could. But she couldn't exactly take him to the lounge to try and sober him up, crew would see him. Then it hit her. Her new best friend. A private place where she could ply him with coffee. "Ok, I know where we can go."

Kristopher looked at the Crewmen recruit and smiled at her warmly. "Crewman Sugar, you lead the way and I'll follow" he said without hesitation. "You slapped me but I...yeah, I deserved that one" he added.

Sabrina let out a relieved breath. She actually hadn't been worried about that with everything else he'd thrown at her, but no doubt she would have soon. Now she wasn't worried she was going to end up in the brig. It wasn't like he could demote her, so all in all she was probably off the hook for the slap, and he did indeed deserve it. She took his arm and headed towards the exit of Main Engineering, stopping for a large mug of coffee and a pain killer. Bob was up a few decks, but the turbolift deposited them on the correct deck quickly, and Sabrina led him to the Jeffries Tube entrance hatch.

She struggled a bit with the mechanism, but soon had the hatch opened. Juggling him, the coffee, and the slight step up into the hatch was awkward, but they ended up in the large junction. She shut the hatch behind them, now safe from any prying eyes. "Bob, meet..." She stopped, realizing she didn't know his name. "Lieutenant Commander." It would do for now.

Kristopher bowed, folding himself halfway. "A pleasure" he said gleefully. "Lieutenant Commander Kris Kerouac" he said introducing himself, looking at the woman afterwards.

Sabrina handed him the coffee finally. Oh right, he didn't know her name either. "Crewman Apprentice Sabrina Corbin."

"Crewmen Corbin...Sabrina. I like that" he said pleasantly enough as he took the coffee. "I usually don't take my coffee without a little of this" he said pulling out a flask from his pocket. "Whiskey, the drink of champions" he added.

"Give that to me!" Sabrina didn't wait, but snatched it out of his hand before he could do anything with it. "They are going to take your ship from you before you even have her. Sit. Drink the coffee." And suddenly Sabrina had channeled her mother.

"Hey! Easy with that. That took me a whole days worth of Tongo spinning to afford" shouted Kris though not angrily. "I wasn' gonna use it...nah, I only use that stuff when I need a little extra medicine to dull the pain" he explained.

"I'll take good care of it." Sabrina sat down, hoping that he would follow her lead so she could get him settled and caffeinated. She sighed, not knowing what she was suppose to do with him now. She was no counselor, but she couldn't just sit there doing nothing. "So ummmm, do you want to talk about it?"

"What the hell are you doing in Starfleet?" he blurted out as a response to her question. "That's my question."

Ok, apparently that was a no, he didn't want to talk about it. "Keeping your ship up and running, that's what." She said with false bravado. Ok she was hardly qualified for all that, but she was mildly offended by his question, drunk or not.

He let out a small laugh. "I highly doubt you have the experience to keep my starship up and running. But I am sure that you will be a part of the crew and will be contributing to the work in Engineering, so thank you."

Not the best compliment ever, but not bad actually, even a thank you. "You're welcome. She's a great ship." She deserved a great Captain, but Sabrina held her tongue around the last part.

"That has yet to be seen. She has a short history already and I am waiting to see if the new modifications that she was given is going to be worth it."

Sabrina eyed his coffee, then eyed him with a little nod of her head, indicating 'drink up'. Though he seemed much better when talking about the ship.

As he drank the coffee, he seemed to calm down a little. Maybe it was the coffee or maybe it was the girl. Regardless of which it was, he was no longer making such a ass of himself.

"I don't know how this is going to work out for me and the crew. Katana was assigned a Commanding Officer and it was not meant to be me. Yet, I'm now to hold the big chair."

"What happen?" Sabrina asked. Must have been something big if the man in front of her was given a ship. But she wouldn't judge too harshly. One drunken occurrence was all she had to go off of.

Kris looked around, there was really not anyone around aside from them. He lowered his voice anyways as a precaution. "This is between us" he said in a hushed tone. "The Captain was involved in some sort of shuttle incident on her way here. I do not have much more than that. However, the debris of the shuttle does not look very promising and Command suspects she and the pilot were both killed. The investigation is only just beginning but in all likelihood this was not pilot error."

Sabrina's eyes widened. "I'm sorry to hear that." She didn't know the most likely dead supposed to be Captain, but still it was sad. "I'm sure you'll do fine." She put on what she hoped was an encouraging smile. I mean, wasn't it suppose to be the other way around. The Captain encouraging his crew to be all they could be, etc etc, not being sobered up by barely legal wet behind the ears crewman recruits. She was certainly getting the adventure she asked for, if not in quite the way she expected.

"You're right" said Kristopher with a small crack of a smile. "I'm not doing the ship or the crew any good drowning my problems with flasks of medicine. They need a Captain right now" he added. "I was to be Captain Sanchez's First Officer, in the event of her death or serious injury, command falls on me."

"That's the spirit. Finish off that coffee. Tomorrow will be better. When you wipe out you have to get back on the board. Unless you plan on resigning you better get your shit together." Oops, did she say that last part out loud? "Ummm sir."

"Hush" he said with a scoff. "As if I haven't said worse in the presence of my Commanding Officers" he added with a smile.

"Thank you." She smiled back, relieved she wasn't busted for mouthing off to her CO. He seemed to be sobered up enough now that she wasn't worried about him harassing any other crewman recruits, so it was time to get him to sleep the rest off. "Do you need me to walk you back to your quarters?"

Kris opened his mouth about to say something but thought better of it when he remembered that is quarters may not yet be empty. "On second thought, I'll just stay on the ship for a while longer. I may just crash here or somewhere for the time being."

Sabrina nodded. "I slept with Bob last night, I'm sure he won't mind. Have you not gotten your on ship quarters yet?" She asked, noting that he'd mentioned staying on the ship, which seemed to indicate he hadn't been sleeping on the ship when he came rampaging through engineering.

"Actually, I haven't. All my stuff is still on Deep Space 11. I was staying in guest quarters there until Captain Sanchez arrived...which is obviously not happening. I could go back to DS11 to sleep but I'm pretty sure that I left my bed occupied."

Sabrina crinkled her nose, and if she'd had something other than hot coffee and a medal flask, she 'd throw something at him. "I didn't need to know that." Well that explained why he didn't want to go back to his quarters, and she doubted the quartermaster would appreciate being awoken in the middle of the night to assign the Captain his quarters here on the Katana. "Alright, well good night."

"No, I suppose not" said Kris with a smirk. "Good night" he added.

Sabrina was about to crawl up into her bunk when she thought of the cold ground of Bob. "You owe me." She whisper mumbled under her breath, then grabbed her blanket off her bed and marched back to Bob. She carefully opened the hatch, then covered the now passed out Captain with her blanket. He would sleep with pink dolphins and purple starfish and rainbow sharks and like it, it was one of the few items she'd actually brought from home.

Lieutenant Commander Kris Kerouac
Acting Commanding Officer

Crewman Recruit Sabrina Corbin
Repair Specialist
Engineer Reporting In USS Katana, Bridge January 29th 2388
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The turbolift ride was the most peaceful one Jenni had experienced today. Once it stopped and allowed her to exit to the bridge, she placed a smile on her face. The bridge was unlike anything she had experienced before, wider than long. The long MSD at the rear of the bridge impressed her the most, revealing any of the ship's details at a moment's notice.

In all of her time spent reviewing the ship's information, she hadn't spent much time with the manifest. Jenni did, however, know the captain was a woman, Captain Sanchez. A survey of the bridge told her that Sanchez was not around. She did spot a gentleman in red with three pips on the collar. "Excuse me, Commander," she said, approaching the man, "is the captain in her Ready Room?"

Captain Sanchez had been working on assigning the crew to her starship. She had accepted a few requests to transfer to Katana from Deep Space 11 and other starships that were nearby or personnel who were on transports vessels in the quadrant. However, she had not been able to finish the work before her untimely death. This left a stack load of work for Kerouac and more personnel files to review.

He had already rejected two applicants seeking request to serve as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Tactical Officer respectively. No he thought to himself when he saw that the Chief Medical Officer was an Efrosian with the rank of Commander. The man was older than Kerouac, held a higher rank and his personnel file was plagued with disciplinary problems. The last thing Kris wanted to deal with was a pain in the ass Chief Medical Officer.

Security/Tactical was the entire opposite problem. A young inexperienced Benzite who had just made junior grade lieutenant. There was nothing on the officer's file to suggest any disciplinary problems. In fact, his file was glowing with notes from his current CO. Wet behind the ears and a brown nosing kiss up. Please, by all means keep him thought Kris as he sifted through alternative options with such scrutiny that he took the PaDD and threw it across the Bridge.

"How about some actual candidates and applicants" he muttered it a low voice.

However, he was slightly alarmed when the voice of a woman broke his frustration. Sanchez he reflected. He had not yet informed the crew as a whole because...well, at this point there was not nearly a full crew compliment. "Lieutenant" he said as he attempted to put a name to the face. He had just gone over her personnel file an hour ago. "Matthews" he added with a nod.

"The Captain is not in her Ready Room. In fact, she won't be. There was an incident a while ago. I received word last night from Starfleet Command. Captain Sanchez has been killed in what may or may not have been a shuttle incident pending investigation" explained Lieutenant Commander Kerouac.

Kris shook his head. "I was to be her First Officer. As a result of the incident and the need for Katana to be out there, I have been appointed temporary command of the ship until further notice. "Whatever you had to say to Sanchez.... I'm afraid you'll have to say to me, Lieutenant Matthews. What may I help you with?" asked Kerouac stroking his chin.

Jenni could not stop her mouth from falling open. She quickly realized this and attempted a reply, only to stutter and stammer over words. "My... my apologies, Captain." Her last two assignments had a commanding officer with the rank of Captain. Though the man before her now did not hold the rank, it was clear he held the position, and protocol demanded that the title be used in place of the rank. "I'm sorry, sir, I... I simply did not expect to hear that news."

It was obvious to her now that she was not making a good first impression. She clasped her wandering hands behind her back and quickly said as a feeble attempt to collect herself, "Lieutenant Matthews, reporting for duty, Captain."

"Lieutenant, relax...we're still docked and not going anywhere any time soon. I'm no medical doctor but I do not think tensing yourself up like that is going to be beneficial to you" responded Kris with an even keeled tone of voice.

Regardless, he appreciated the lieutenants actions. "Believe me, I too was not anticipating the news. One does not expect to be woken up the middle of the night and informed that they have inherited command of a starship because the assigned Commanding Officer had a 'fatal incident'" added Kris Kerouac gently.

"Was there something in particular that you were hoping to discuss with Captain Sanchez?" asked Kris with a small smile.

Jenni unclasped her hands, allowing them both to fall by her side. "No, sir," she replied, returning his expression with a small smile of her own. "I just came on board a few minutes ago and I wanted to follow protocol, sir."

She glanced over at the MSD behind them, thinking of the many checkpoints throughout the ship she wanted to familiarize herself with. "Is there anything you would like for me to take care of, sir?" Jenni expected very little, assuming from the pile of PADDs that the Captain had enough on his plate as it was.

Kris nodded "Yes, actually" he said moving towards the woman. He held the PaDD in his hands, tapped a few commands and then handed over to her. "I do not know a damn thing about engineers. You'll know more about who you'd want to work with than I would. Go through the options and find me those you'd approve of" he said with a smile.

Jenni hesitantly accepted the PADD, not just because the invitation itself was a surprise. In her few years of service, her prowess had put off many of her peers. Most of them were men who were not eager to be outdone by a woman. Jenni had taken it in stride, coached and trained closely by both of her former Chief Engineers who recognized her potential as a skilled and worthwhile team player. The chance to build her own team, one that could be favorable to her as she fostered an environment that would bring out the best in everyone was both exciting and daunting.

"Thank you," she replied, collecting her composure from the second bit of surprising news. She glanced down at the PADD, immediately noticing a couple names from previous assignments and the Academy. Jenni smiled, then looked back up at the Captain. "I'll have this back to you by the end of the day, sir."

Lieutenant Commander Kerouac flashed the young lieutenant a small smile and gave a slight nod. "I am sure that you will take each and every possible engineer into careful consideration. I may not be an engineer myself, but I have worked closely with engineers in my past. Operations and helm were always more my stations on a starship" he added.

"Take your time, Lieutenant Matthews. We need a full engineering crew soon but I would rather that you be certain of their abilities than be stuck having to train a weak bunch."

"Of course, sir," Jenni replied, lowering the PADD to her side. "Anything else I can do for you, sir?"

Kris snorted and sighed. "No, Lieutenant. I think I have everything else under control for the time being. Is there anything that I can do for you though?"

Jenni paused for a moment, then said, "Nothing I can think of, sir. If I do, I guess I know where to find you."

"In my office or somewhere banging my head against a bulk head" joked Lieutenant Commander Kris Kerouac.

With a smile, Jenni nodded. She brought the PADD back up, clutching it with both hands and returned to the turbolift. "Engineering," she requested, looking down at the PADD once more to begin a more thorough examination of the names. It was an impressive honor for her to handpick her own crew. No more dealing with those senior to her that were jealous of her abilities. Hopefully she had learned enough from the Chiefs before her to become a good leader.

Lowering the PADD, she learned back against the turbolift wall and began to assemble a mental list, tasks to perform if the Katana was to meet her launch date.

Diplomatic Invasion DS11 - boarding the Katana January 28th 2388
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Sipping at the glass before her, Maica sighed heavily. If she wasn't an android, she could get drunk. As it were, she was barely even noting the contents of the glass as she at least pretended to drown her sorrows. This was her 5th assignment in 2 years and though she didn't expect this one to last much longer, she hoped she could at least settle down for a little bit in one place so she could make a friend or two. She was only 9 years since activation... she should have at least some friends by now... At least she can help the people she mediates for, right?

She finishes her drink and sighs again, picking up her bag and heading out of the starbase bar. She still had some time to board the Katana, but she might as well get it over with so she could settle in. She made her way past people in the commons area to the nearest turbolift, having to share it with a pair of arguing Ferengi. That was one race she had yet to understand... Eventually it got to her docking bay and she got off. The ramp was a new way for her to board a ship. Every other time she had used the transporters, but the ship was actually physically docked right now for some reason.

Stepping up to the duty officer, she hands her orders to him and a moment later, he handed it back, welcoming her aboard and giving her her room assignment. At least they were proper diplomatic entertainment quarters. A bit of a waste, most would think, but she was sure they would come in handy. Thankfully, her quarters were easy to find.

Setting her bag on the bed, she flopped down on the long couch and looked around. Sterile as she was used to - perfect for not offending people she might have to entertain. On that note, she might as well report to her latest commander. Maybe she could get them to come here to meet her...

Tapping the table computer, she looks up her new CO's location and glanced over his file so she could at least recognize him. A male human... Lieutenant Commander Kristopher Kerouac... Could be interesting... Tapping her combadge, she speaks to the air. "Ambassador Maica to Commander Kerouac. I'm your new diplomatic officer. May I meet with you at your leisure?"

Lieutenant Commander Kerouac was sitting behind the desk of [i]his[/i] Ready Room. Finally, he began to accept the fact that the Captain's Ready Room was actually his now. He was at least for the time being, Commanding Officer of the Katana albeit not because he was top choice for the position. It was out of necessity for a Commanding Officer and it was just easier for command to give the job to him.

He was a little startled by the communication interruption. However, he smiled nonetheless as he sat his cup of tea down. "Ms Maica, a delight to hear from you" he replied as if he were expecting her. In fact, he was not even aware that a diplomat had been assigned to the small Intrepid-class starship.

Kris Kerouac leaned back in his chair and plopped his feet up on the desk before him. "You may meet me at anytime. I can make room to see you now if you would like?" he asked over the communications channel. Kris took his feet off his desk and leaned forward. He scrambled to find Maica's personnel file.

"Thank you. Shall I meet you in your ready room or would you prefer my quarters?" She couldn't help the seductive tone to her voice as it wormed its way in towards the end. It was a holdover of her original programming that just wouldn't go away and she cringed at how inappropriate she sounded.

Is she coming onto me? pondered Kris slightly taken aback by the tone of the woman. Regardless, he needed to meet with her as she was apparently his Diplomatic Officer. "Uh...how about you come here and have a seat. Just mind the mess. I have PaDDs stacked all over the damn place. It looks like a pigsty" he explained.

"Thanks. i'll be there momentarily." Silently kicking herself, she heads out of her quarters, almost bumping into a slightly stunned crewman as she headed down the corridor to the turbolift. Soon she was on the bridge and heading the short distance to the Captain's ready room. There seemed to only be a token bridge crew on duty - not uncommon for being docked like this, which made her a bit less self conscious at least as no one really looked up at her. She pressed the door chime, heading in and taking the seat offered when the door opened.

Kris watched as the woman walked into his Ready Room and taken a seat across from him. From the outside, the woman appeared to be an Orion with the green skin and all. Honestly, Kris knew nothing about his diplomatic officer. He had not been able to locate her personnel file in the short amount of time it took her to come up to his Ready Room.

"Hi" he said with a pleasantly broad smile. He looked her over once and raised a brow "So, Ms Maica..." began Kris nervously struggling to make conversation. "You're an Orion" he said completely ignorant to the fact that the woman before him was actually an Android.

Oh the tension. He didn't have her file. She momentarily went over the fun she could have, but the look on his face made her decide against it, handing him the PaDD she thankfully still had with her. "I'm actually a Maddox type android styled after an Orion sex slave and built by a Ferengi using stolen Federation data. If you want more spoilers and stunning revelations, including my full technical specs, they're all in my personal file on this PaDD."

"Oh" said Kris with his mouth hanging ajar for a few moment before he caught himself. That explains some things he thought to himself privately. "My apologies. I am actually still trying to sort out this mess. So, an android modeled after an Orion and built by some Ferengi pervert with Federation data. Wow, that's a lot to take in at once" he said with a smile.

Nodding with a small smile on her face, Maica giggles harmonically with her perfectly synthesized voice. "Yeah, most people have a similar reaction and I've seen it a lot. This is my fifth assignment since my graduation from the academy not even 2 years ago... I tried to be a counselor at first, but someone thought it better that I be a diplomat that transferred a lot. On the bright side, I've seen 47 worlds already."

Two years service already promoted thought Kris with the pros and cons flowing through his mind. Android as a diplomatic officer? Well, that's interesting he continued to think privately. "Well, 47 is not a bad start. You'll be seeing a lot more and I do hope that you remain on my starship a lot longer than your previous assignments. Are you uh programmed with different languages?" asked Kris.

Maica looked away a bit nervously. "Yeah I have a built in full function universal translator. If I can't speak it now, it doesn't take me long to pick it up. One of my few useful original bits..." She could feel that seductive variance creeping back into her voice because of her nervousness. She just hoped the Captain didn't notice it.

"Wonderful" he said with a slight smile. "Our Science department is currently lacking someone with a specialty in Xeno Linguistics. I know a few languages myself but I'm not sure how well they would do out here in the Gamma quadrant" explained Kris briskly. "In a way I guess it makes perfect sense to have an Android as a Diplomatic Officer. You can acquire vast amounts of knowledge and retain that information more or less indefinitely" added Kris.

"Yeah, I could easily help with that and that data system does come in handy. If I can do anything to help, I'll do it. I just have one favor to ask. Please don't let any Ferengi in this area know I'm anything but an Orion. They might trace me back to my creator and try to return me to him for a reward." Maica was sure her old vocal processing subroutines were taking over. She could hear them plainly as they put an erotic pleading tone in her voice... She reset her synthesis unit by clearing her throat real quick. "Excuse me..."

Little did Kerouac know that his next statement would turn out to bite him in the ass in coming days. "I sincerely doubt that we will be crossing paths with Ferengi anytime soon. They have strong trade relations in this quadrant, but they tend to keep to themselves" said Kris entirely unaware of where his first mission as Commanding Officer would take him and what it would result in.

"Rest assured, Lieutenant that if one of those giant eared crooks comes near you in any inappropriate manner...I'll personally drag them away from you but the lobes if necessary" said Kris assuringly.

Smiling warmly, Maica looks her new CO over with new respect. "Thank you sir. I really appreciate it. I barely have the strength of a normal Orion so i'm no good at fending people off."

This caused Kris to raise a brow. He had always thought Androids were built the same. Incredibly strong. "Did they not build you with abnormal strength?" he asked.

"Sadly no. It wasn't deemed appropriate for a service android... Instead, I have elegance of movement, excellent eye-hand coordination, and a perfect vocal synthesis system that can reproduce any sound set in the known universe perfectly. The later comes in handy when speaking with several races in their native tongue. As for an upgrade to my musculo-skeletal system, about 68% of my body would have to be replaced and I'd weigh an extra 80 pounds... Not worth it to me since i'm already perfectly balanced to match a normal top heavy Orion..." Blushing green, she looks away. "Sorry, that was a bit too much info, wasn't it?"

Kris scoffed "No, not at all. It is nice knowing what any officer's strengths and weaknesses are. You are going to be a valuable member of my crew regardless" explained Kris. "I am just lucky to have a Diplomatic officer, Android or not."

Maica nods and smiles, standing to leave. "It's a pleasure to be aboard, sir. If you need anything at all, please let me know. That includes my bed, too. I tend to not sleep so please feel free to put someone in it if you need to."

It was obvious that some perverted Ferengi constructed the Android. However, Kris did not hold anything that the officer said or did accountable. She could not help herself sometimes and he understood that, much like him and drinking. "The pleasure is all mine" he replied.

Nodding again, Maica took her leave and as soon as she was back safe in the turbolift and realized the things she had said, moaned and hung her head in shame. She was too nervous in there and it was making her a walking euphemism. Thankfully, her new captain didn't seem to rise to the bait she was apparently hanging out for him the whole time.
Into The Light USS Katana Corridors January 30th 2388
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Despite the threats, the day had finally come. Jhu was free of Section 31... at least as far as her assignment postings were concerned. She knew they still lurked somewhere in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity to strike, but for now it was better to deny their existence. She wasn't sure how many people on the Katana knew about her "shady" previous assignment, and she certainly wasn't going to draw any attention to it this early.

She hadn't exactly been cleared to board the Katana yet, but she easily weaseled her way past what passed for shipyard security and ventured into the quiet ship, where not even the hum of a warp core echoed from the walls. It was strange being inside a starship that lacked those ambient sounds, and she found herself nearly clinging to the bulkhead, as if she were afraid to be caught there. Don't be ridiculous. They posted you here. It's your bloody ship too, she told herself sternly, cautiously venturing a few steps into the open corridor.

Lieutenant Commander Kristopher Kerouac was paying little to no attention in regards to where he was walking. His eyes were stuck on reading personnel files of the crew that Captain Sanchez had assigned to the starship before her untimely death. It wasn't as if there were many crew members on Katana yet. She was docked at DS11 taking on most of her crew compliment from there as starships and transports docked to let off those transferring elsewhere.

Kris made a rather sharp blind corner while navigating through one of the many corridors of his first command when he found himself coming to a sudden stop, preventing himself from a collision with another officer. He was never known to have the politically correct words at unexpected times. This showed rather quickly when he came face to face with the strange looking officer with the facial structure of some sort of Romulan or Vulcan but had spots trailing down from her face to who the hell knew where.

"What in the hell in the great galaxy are you?" he blurted out in a bit of shock and awe. He quickly recomposed himself "I mean, Welcome aboard the Katana, I'm Kristopher Kerouac the ship's well... actually I'm the Commanding Officer" he said trying not to stare.

His first comment immediately earned him a sharp glare, and if he hadn't introduced himself as the ship's commanding officer, Jhu might have considered an equally rude response. Instead, she settled for casually crossing her arms and regarding him with a cool gaze. "Someone you might not want to piss off." She almost called him sir, until she noticed that he was wearing the same rank pips that she was. "Commanding officer? With that rank? How in the world did you pull that off?"

Kris let out a good chuckle in response to the officer's snide remark and sense of humor...if it was humor. "Well then, I'll make a special note of that Commander...?" He said having not received a name in return. "Oh honestly I don't know. I woke up in the middle of the night after being posted here as First Officer only to receive news that the Commanding Officer died in a shuttle incident. So, here I am. That's my story, now what in the hell is yours? Transporter accident?" he responded matching her.

"Interesting how you said 'incident' and not 'accident.' Seems you think it might have been intentional." For a brief moment, Jhu considered leaving him in the dark as to who she was, but she quickly thought better of it. "t'Dharvanek, and my mother is Romulan. So I'd suggest you refrain from the snide comments about my heritage, Commander." He might technically be her boss, but she afforded him no courtesy beyond what she'd offer to another officer of the same rank. "And before you ask, yes, I do work here. Intelligence. Check your last update."

"I have nothing against the Romulans aside from the fact that we never know what the hell there are doing. They hide behind their boarders and cloaking devices. It makes me damn nervous is all" he said crossing his arms. "Incident, accident. They say accident under investigation and I say incident perpetrator to be identified. That's what I see. Shuttle accidents don't just happen with a experienced pilot and a career Starfleet Captain aboard" he added sharply.

"Ah so you're the one" he began shaking his head. "I have your file on my desk in my Ready Room. However, I cannot open the damn thing. My new clearance codes have not come through. I don't know what you did in your career but it disturbs me to even think" he added.

"Oh yes. I'm the one." She gave him what could only be a cryptic smile. "Though if your clearance isn't through, you wouldn't be able to open any intelligence officer's file. Above your pay grade... special processing takes ages. Should be fun for me until that paperwork clears." The cryptic smile faded to a smirk. "As for the Romulans hiding behind their borders... I don't like it any more than you do. But the Federation doesn't exactly leave them much choice. Don't you realize it's a crime for a Romulan ship to cross that border uninvited? Not exactly fair, now is it?"

Kris shook his head and smirked. "Yes, because it is all too easy for us to cross into Romulan space. We come anywhere near their border and we'd be encircled by Warbirds albeit we wouldn't be able to see them at first" countered Lieutenant Commander Kerouac. "I'll get that clearance, Commander t'Dharvanek and when I do, I'll know all your dirty little secrets...or at least as much as I'm allowed" added Kris.

Jhu snorted at him. "Not Navy ships. Tal Shiar, and they're a different game entirely. Needless to say, they don't exactly have permission to be there... they do what they want. Even you must know that. As for secrets..." She openly laughed at him, shaking her head. "Not likely. Intelligence sanitizes the records before they're sent. All you're going to see is a big sea of black lines. Bunch of redacted missions. It won't tell you a thing."

"I've been known to get what I want" he said with a flash of a smile as his cheeks flushed with a rosy hue. "I have my ways, Commander. You may just find yourself whispering that information to me" added Kris shamelessly.

Jhu gave him a distasteful look, beginning to wonder if taking this assignment might have been a mistake. "Not very likely. You're not exactly my type." Choosing not to elaborate on what she meant, she casually moved to step around him.

Kris scoffed at her remark. "Neither are you" he said shaking his head adding "At least not when I am sober." He then extended his hand towards her "Welcome to the Katana, Commander t'Dharvanek. I know that I'm not much to look at when it comes to Commanding Officers, but I think you and I are going to make for interesting colleagues" added Kris with a polite smile.

"My First Officer should be arriving soon but I am still in need of personnel in essential areas like Science, Medical and Flight Control" he said making conversation with the woman.

Jhu sighed at him. "Commander Kerouac, I am an intelligence officer. Not a scientist, not a doctor, and most certainly not a pilot. More to the point... I know a dozen ways to kill you without leaving evidence."

"Splendid" he said mockingly with a glare. "Excellent skills for an Intelligence officer. More importantly, I am concerned with what you are not but will be soon" added Kris softly.

"I have no intention of being anything besides an intelligence officer." Giving him a studious - and rather serious - look, she took a step backward to increase the distance between them. "If you need help finding people to fill the empty slots on your roster, I suggest you wait until your XO arrives. I have no experience in such matters, and frankly... you wouldn't want my suggestions."

"Doesn't matter" quipped Kris Kerouac as he tapped away on the PaDD in his hand. "Yes, let's see..." he said as he continued tapping away with a series of beeps after every action. Lieutenant Commander Kerouac then pushed the PaDD toward her. "Congratulations, Lieutenant Commander, you are going to make an excellent Second Officer." announced Kris with a smugness.

She stared at him for a moment, her expression a mixture of shock and disbelief. "You've got to be kidding. I haven't done a single bit of administrative work in my entire career. What makes you think I'd ever make a good choice for that?"

"Oh relax" scoffed Kris. "It isn't like you have to do anything out of the ordinary. Maybe have command of the Bridge every once in a while, a little more foot time on Away Missions, but aside from that you are going to be performing your normal duties as if nothing has happened. Honestly, it is not like The First Officer and I are just going to kick the galactic bucket and command will fall on you any time soon."

"It happened to you. And bridge command? Really?" The very idea of being trapped on the bridge, in charge of the ship, was worrisome. "No one trusts intelligence officers. That's just asking for trouble."

"Honey, trouble is what I love for" quipped Kris with a boyish smile. "How do you think I went from being a young Helmsmen to Commanding a starship? it wasn't by playing it safe" added Kris Kerouac. "Also, It did not happen to me quite like that. I was next in line. There's a little extra cushion for you" finished Kris smoothly.

"That really does not make me feel any better," Jhu muttered under her breath, forcing a smile anyway. "I suppose I'm not being given a choice in the matter, then. So I'll do it... but I don't like it."

"That a girl" he said with a tight lipped smile. "Well, I'll let you get yourself settled in, Commander. Please feel free to explore the starship and mingle" commented Kris.

"Mingle. Right. I'll... do that."

"Or spy on your fellow officers whatever it is your type does" said Kris as he turned away from her and carefully walked away, keeping himself at a personal level of yellow alert.

Arrival USS Katana January 31, 2388
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Tul leaned over his pilot's shoulder, gazing out the forward window. The USS Katana seemed to hang in space as the runabout slowly approached her. A sleek jewel among the stars. The corner of Tul's mouth curled slightly, he was impressed.

The Katana's soon-to-be XO straightened up, stretching his back and shoulders. This action didn't help much. The runabout's cramped quarters had infected Tul's muscles with a constant ache the moment he stepped aboard three day's ago. Since he was traveling straight to the Katana from his leave on Andoria, a more comfortable flight hadn't been available to him. For him, the runabout couldn't dock soon enough.

Tul left the cockpit as the shuttle's comm system sparked to life with docking directions. He gathered his belongings and stacked them near the runabout's hatch. As he worked, he thought briefly about changing out of his black jumpsuit and into his uniform. Tul dismissed the idea, though, as a slight shock -probably the shuttle bay's force field- rocked the runabout. If he wasn't in uniform , no one would immediately recognize him. He'd have the opportunity to see the ship and settle in before beginning his new XO duties if he so chose.

The pilot's voice filtered to the back of the shuttle as she ran through final docking procedure. As she continued to speak, Tul let his mind wander.

His old ship, the Rio Grande, appeared first in his mind. Even in favored memory, the Oberth-class ship looked ancient. She had been held together solely with refits. The heavy ship loses elsewhere in the fleet kept her in the field. Tul had felt very little surprise when she was finally decommissioned six months ago. But the Grande had been where he had spent the last ten years of his life and the brunt of his career. He missed his old ship. More than the Grande itself, though, Tul missed her Chief Helm officer.

Tul reached up and gently scratched his right antennae. He forced himself to pry his mind out of the past. He'd given himself the last three months to get over El's choice to return to Earth. Tul's own choices had brought him here, to the USS Katana. He didn't have the time or opportunity to regret his decisions now.

"You've been cleared to board, sir," the pilot had appeared in the doorway behind Tul. As if to accent her words, the runabout's hatch gave a pneumatic hiss and began to lower.

"Thank you," Tul answered. He'd spent the majority of the three day trip keeping to himself so he hadn't learned her name. He picked up his dufflebag and slung it over his shoulder. He only had two other boxes full of his personal possessions and clearly marked with his name. Because of this, Tul trusted that someone from the crew would find them and transport them to his quarters. He did, however, take the time to move both boxes out of the shuttle so his pilot could get on her way.

The corridor outside the shuttle bay was warm and alive with activity. The nearest turbolift was just around the corner so Tul made his way in that direction. Busy crewmen swirled around him without giving the black-clad Andorian a second glance. He even had to wait in line for the turbolift. This was why he chose to stay out of uniform for the time being. Tul wanted to see how the ship and crew worked without him interrupting things with a red uniform. He observation was cut short, though, as the turbolift arrived. His quarters were on deck four.

After three months spent at his family home on Andoria, Tul felt like the temperature in his new quarters was going to boil him alive. He altered the room's controls to a much lower degree and cut out the humidity. When the temperature didn't drop fast enough, he stripped out of his jumpsuit and hit the shower. Almost an hour later, Tul reemerged dressed in his command uniform. He felt better, the shower had washed out most of his lingering muscle aches from the long shuttle ride.

"Computer. Time," Tul commanded as he pinned two gold pips to his collar.

"The current time is 1445," the mechanical, female voice answered.

Tul checked his appearance in a mirror and ran one hand through his white hair. It was earlier than he'd expected. There was plenty of time to track down the captain and introduce himself. He glanced once around his empty quarters then headed for the turbolift.

Who? USS Katana January 31, 2388
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Very few things made Lieutenant Tul Zanaar nervous. But there was something about meeting his new CO that made him just that, nervous. The problem was, Tul simply didn't know what to expect. When he had received his assignment three days ago, the captain's bio hadn't been included. In fact, very little besides the Katana's name had been included at all. Being under-informed and nervous combined to make Tul a little agitated. More so than was usually attributed to his species.

The Andorian reached out and pressed the door chime.

The incredibly recently promoted Commander Kristopher Kerouac had just finished a quick briefing with Star Fleet Admiralty, and it resulted in him being given an immediate field promotion to the rank of Commander. He was furthermore no longer listed as Acting Commanding Officer in the eyes of Starfleet Command, but now the official Commanding Officer of the USS Katana and her orders were due to arrive within the next few hours despite the fact that Kris had yet to receive his First Officer, his Chief Flight Controller, his Chief Science Officer nor his Chief Medical Officer. These were essential positions and Starfleet Command was breathing fire down his neck already, threatening him with orders to leave immediately without them.

Kris abandoned his desk after opening the tiny box that had been placed on his desk with a pip inside. He had done as instructed and approved to do. He had removed the 'hollow' pip from his uniform and replaced it with a 'solid' one. Three gold 'solid' pips now shown about as brightly as the eyes of the inexperienced field promoted Commanding Officer of the USS Katana. He had just been about to exit his Ready Room when the door came open swiftly and Kris walked right into and bounced off of the stern chest of a tall blue skinned, white haired sight of an officer.

"Baaah!" screeched Kristopher as he flailed his arms, startled by the Andorian. Commander Kerouac walked backwards like a Argonian Firecrab and nearly tripped over himself. 'Who-...Who the hell are you?" he asked trying to recompose himself and regain sturdy footing.

Tul wasn't at all prepared for what happened after the door opened. A screeching lunatic of a yeoman came barreling out of the room, running into Tul and almost mowing him down. Surprised, irritated, and sore in the gut, Tul treated the man with the best glare he could muster. He refrained from answering the man's question to identify himself.

"Watch it, Yeoman," Tul growled, "do that again and you'll be on report faster than the winning worm in an ice race."

Tul looked around the clumsy man, trying to spot the captain in the ready room behind him. "The computer said the Captain was up here... Or is it just his policy to sic attack dogs on all his visitors?"

Mildly offended, Kris scoffed at the Andorian and stood as tall as he could manage given his shorter height and overall small stature. "These three pips on my uniform out rank you" countered Kris, straightening his uniform. "So, you better be careful about calling me a worm" added Kris.

"The computer was correct, the Captain was in [i]his[i] Ready Room, Lieutenant. I am [i]Commander[/i] Kerouac. However, according to Starfleet protocol in situations such as this, you may call me [i]Captain[/i] or hold your tongue. I assume that you have orders to be on my starship?" asked Kris with a small smirk.

"Oh," Tul said, his tone losing its previously aggressive edge. A commander in charge of a ship this size? Possible. Tul didn't remember checking for the man's rank at the beginning of this unfortunate conversation. Oops.

Tul's arrogant nature never absent for long. He drew himself up to attention, standing a few good inches taller than the captain himself. "Lieutenant Tul Zaraan reporting for duty, Commander."

"Tul Zaraan...Tul Zaraan" said Kris, fumbling around with the name. "Yes, I do recall your name was on the manifest" added the Commander.

"Ah. You're the one they sent to replace me. I was First Officer as of a few days ago. Captain Sanchez was involved in a shuttle incident and I was promoted and assumed command" explained Kris.

"Ah... I hadn't been told any of this. Hell, I wasn't told much of anything. Simply to get myself out here..." Tul paused, searching for the right words, "I empathize with your lose, sir. I will strive to be as much as a first officer as you might have been."

Recalling his drunken debacles throughout his career, more so in recent years, Kris cringed. "Do me a favor and don't, just don't. Be yourself and strive to be the best First Officer that you can be, Lieutenant. I have been a terrible First Officer in my own personal opinion. You'll do fine. But effective immediately, Lieutenant, I do not want to see you looking like that again" said Kris handing the man the pip that he had just recently removed from his own collar.

"You need this more than I do or else that spotted, pointy eared pain in my ass will try to exert authority. Congratulations, Lieutenant Commander."

Tul took the pip and let it roll in the palm of his hand. He felt completely bewildered as he looked at it. He didn't know what to think or say. The little piece of metal carried a lot more weight in meaning than its size allowed. Tul swallowed hard and stuck the pip in his pocket. If he didn't have to look at it, he didn't have to think about it.

"Erm, pointy eared pain in the ass, Captain?" Tul asked. He turned slightly to scan the bridge for the described perpetrator.

"Oh you'll know when you see her" said Kris sharply.

Mystified, Tul merely nodded. Once his access codes were registered with the ship, he might try to find the answer in the ship's manifest.

Tul had other questions. Some about the ship, others about the captain himself. During their brief conversation, Tul left even more in the dark than when he came aboard. But Kerouac seemed to want to get going.

"Good day, Captain," Tul finally said, simply. He turned around and made for the turbolift.
Short Evening Interlude Bob
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Sabrina stepped into Bob and deftly closed the hatch behind her. “Good evening Bob.”
She tossed her pillow on the deck and took a seat. “Oh don’t give me that.
I’m not afraid of the witches of deck five.”

Yes, she was talking to an inanimate object, or more specifically area. But ‘Bob’ as she named him had become her personal haven. “I was coming in to go to sleep, I really was. Only to find Heather, well let’s just say she should have put a sock on the door. I grabbed my pillow and scrammed. Remind me I need to get my blanket from the Captain. How do I go about doing that exactly? Umm sorry sir, but do you remember getting really drunk, making inappropriate remarks to me and passing out in Bob? Yeah about that, could I have my blanket back?”

Bob didn’t seem to have a good answer for that one. “I’ve been replacing bio-neural gel packs and resetting isolinear chips all day.” She sighed. “I mean I know I’m low, like low low on the totem pole, but mix it up just a little, ya know? Pretty soon if you prick me I’m gonna bleed bio-neural gel.”

It went like that for about an hour, Sabrina sharing her day with Bob. Yes she realized how lame it was that the only one she had to really talk to was a Jeffries Tube junction down the corridor from where she was suppose to be sleeping. But she hadn’t warmed up to any of the other crewman recruits quite yet, and as an only child, she was quite use to being alone, and actually appreciated some alone time. Maybe not quite so much, but she was slowly
working on it.

She finally yawned, and fluffed her pillow. “Night Bob.”

Crewman Recruit Sabrina Corbin
Repair Specialist
Corridor Mishap USS Katana, Deck 11
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Shortly after leaving the bridge, Jenni had stopped at the Mess Hall to pick up a mug of coffee. Her nights of restless sleep aboard the runabout had suddenly caught up with her. The Katana was behind schedule, and with a small crew, she had to pick up a few weeks of slack in a matter of hours. And then there was the matter of filling out the Engineering crew. Given the time frame, her options were limited, having to pull from available personnel from the current sector, and those names were on the PADD given to her by the Captain.

It was this PADD she was studying intensely as she blindly navigated the corridor on the return trip to Engineering. Jenni turned a corner, only to slam into a bulkhead. The mug was knocked backwards, spilling the coffee over her uniform jacket. "H...hot!!" she gasped, her nerves overwhelmed by the liquid seeping through the jacket to the yellow shirt.

Even with a small crew, the Engineering corridor was certainly busy, a person walking by here or there. Great... Jenni thought. So much for a first impression. She had called to Engineering from the bridge, wanting to meet with her staff to get a full handle on the Katana and then get a jump on getting her ready for shakedown. Undoubtedly they were waiting on her, and she certainly couldn't show up like this.

"Yes I know I have 5 minutes to get to engineering. SHUT. UP." Sabrina yelled at the computer voice, reminding her in that brain numbing monotone that she had a meeting to get to. But she was this close to getting the LCARS access panel repaired, she didn't want to stop mid fix. It was a simple fix, just a fried bio-neural gel pack. It was a small price to pay for their usefullness that they had to be regularly changed out. She heard the small commotion behind her and immediately turned around. The coffee on the uniform didn't phase her, but the small bit that had hit the bulkhead did. liquids and electronics were never a good mix. She was just about to open her mouth when she saw the two pips. One full, one hollow. Certainly a high enough rank that Sabrina came to attention. "Ma'am"

Jenni looked up with an expression that was momentarily quizzical, wondering who was just talking to her, only to quickly turn into embarrassment when she noticed the voice belonged to someone very much her junior. "Oh, relax," Jenni said, referring to the crewman's formal stance. She looked back down to check her PADD. It's dry! she thought. At least something is...

Seeing the open panel, Jenni quickly assumed the young crewman was either Engineering or Operations. The lieutenant handed over the PADD and unzipped her jacket, not wanting the coffee to seep further into her uniform. "Do you know of a replicator nearby? Something that can do clothing, Crewman...?" her voice trailed off, not knowing the crewman's name.

Sabrina took the PaDD, no longer at attention, but still standing there rather awkwardly. "Yes ma'am." 30 meters down the hall on your right hand side.
"Corbin ma'am." her brain finally caught up to the fact that she hadn't given her name.

"Matthews," Jenni replied, noting the level of crewman rank on her collar. Her eyes caught the open hatch, then the fried gel pack. Forgetting about her mess at the moment, Jenni commented, "I can't believe we're replacing those, and we're not even out of port yet."

Sabrina nodded. "I know. I didn't expect to be doing this so soon, but this is the third one since I arrived. I believe they forgot to put fresh ones in when they did the upgrade." She teased.

"There's a lot they forgot," Jenni muttered. "So it seems, anyway. I haven't had much chance to look around, but rumors are pretty strong. Have you been here long?"

Jenni suddenly snapped her fingers as the warm, wet jacket in her other hand beckoned. "Hold that thought." Jenni moved down the corridor to the replicator. She inserted the empty mug and wet jacket, and a moment later a fresh, dry jacket materialized. She returned the way she came, quickly putting on the jacket in the process. She knew Crewman Corbin still had her PADD, which was unlocked, and though Jenni had a meeting to prepare for, she was more interested at the moment in Corbin's opinion of the ship.

Sabrina did just that, closing her open mouth and refraining from answering the question. She wondered for a moment where Matthews had went, leaving her standing next to an open panel with the officer's PaDD in her hand. When Sabrina saw Matthews return with a new uniform jacket, she understood. "Two days ma'am."

Jenni knelt and picked up the new gelpack, offering to help the crewman finish her task. "And I take it this is your first assignment? How're you coping being so far from home?"

"Oh, I have it ma'am." Sabrina quickly chimed in. All she needed was for her supervisor to come by and bust her for supposedly needing help. "Yes ma'am this is my first assignment, I'm doing just fine." Sabrina flat out lied. Her roommates were heathens and deserved a spot on the 2nd level of hell, she was sure, but she knew better than to complain. She wasn't a xenophobe or anti-social, and didn't want to be labeled as either just because her roommates where bitchy socialites.

Jenni couldn't help but smile. Corbin's actions stroke the cord of one freshly minted Ensign Matthews starting her first assignment on the USS Chimera. There her peers felt nothing but threatened by Jenni and did what they could to push her aside. If it weren't for the intervention of the Chief Engineer at the time, Jenni would have found herself stuck in the lower decks of some rusty Oberth monitoring waste extraction.

And, as much as she wanted to assist Corbin in helping the task along, Jenni chose to leave it alone for now. In the meantime, Jenni would keep an eye on her. She held out the gel pack, hoping to get her PADD back in return. "Ninety-seven percent," she commented. "Specs say to keep energy flow at one-hundred, but that's what cause these to fry so quickly. Designers really should spend some time in the field with their tech."

Sabrina did indeed switch objects, taking the gel pack in exchange for the PaDD she'd been temporarily entrusted with. "Thank you." Sabrina offered the officer a sincere smile. See, that is the type of stuff she needed to be learning! "Still within safety guidelines to pass the regularly scheduled and automated level 4 diagnostics." She spoke out loud as the realization hit.

Jenni gave a polite nod, adding, "Carry on." Looking up as she resumed her trek to engineering, Jenni smiled. "Oh!" she blurted, spinning around. "If you ever need anything, Corbin, don't hesitate to drop by."

"Umm, where ma'am?" Sabrina poked her head out from the open panel as Matthews address her from a few feet away.

Stopping herself before she lied about having an office, Jenni answered, "The engine room, of course." Beside her, the large doors to Main Engineering opened, revealing the engineering staff that was starting to assemble inside. Smiling once more to Corbin, Jenni turned and entered Main Engineering, asking immediately for status reports.

"Oh crap." Sabrina commented out loud, though to no one. Had that been the Chief? Maybe the Assistant Chief? Sabrina hurriedly finished up her repair, she had a meeting to get to!


LtJg Jennifer Matthews

Crewman Recruit Sabrina Corbin
Repair Specialist
What You Hold Close Captain's Quarters MD 1: February 1st 2388, 0100 Hours
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Commander Kristopher Kerouac would be turning in soon, he was not due on the Bridge again for quite a while. He needed the sleep but it just was not happening. Tonight was more painful than most because of the significance of what would be tomorrow. Kris sat on the edge of his bed, bare chested and in his bower short styled undergarments. He certainly was not dressed to report to the Bridge anytime soon nor was he dressed for the company that he was about to have. He was dressed for bed and was in his bed, at least he was sitting on the edge of it, arched over forward and glaring at the picture on his night stand, a young man in a Starfleet uniform with departmental accent trim in a golden yellow, the three pips on his uniform standing out like his prominent facial features, cleanly shaved face and curly brown hair.

Kris let out a sigh as he shook his head and ran his fingers through his thick jungle of hair. There was once a time when Kristopher Kerouac was always clean shaven and his hair was a short as those baby faced teenagers at the Academy. Things change thought Kris trying to excuse himself for being rather untamed these days. Things...people we care about go missing and we cannot always keep ourselves together he continued to swim around mentally, battling the guilt and despair.

The silence was broken with the chime throughout his quarters. Someone was outside his quarters and they were apparently not leaving after one chime turned into two more. Who the hell is bothering me? thought Kris as he reached over to the small panel beside his bed. "Come" he said gruffly. He did not care who it was, they would see him as he was. It was their own fault for bothering him in his quarters. The doors to his quarters opened and Kris spoke up "I'm in here. Proceed at your own risk" he added.

Sabrina stood outside the Captain's door, unknowing of the heavy thinking that was going on behind the doors. Her thinking wasn't quite so heavy, but it was frenetic. She had expected the CO to just have some yeoman deliver her blanket, or let her know he'd left it in Bob, or well....something. But she'd
spent two nights without her childhood blanket, and now she was having fears that her blanket too was an alcoholic. She was tired, she was cranky, and she was pretty sure she was going to have to find a chiropractor. Bob wasn't exactly comfortable, she might have to cheat on him and try the couch in the library. When her first chime went unanswered she almost left, but forced herself to hit it again. Maybe he just didn't hear it, maybe he was on the toilet, maybe he was passed out drunk. There were a number of options, only her persistence would get her the answer, and her blanket.

Finally a gruff "Come" filtered out to her and she stepped into a semi dark main room. Proceed at your own risk? This couldn't be good. "If you have puked on my blanket.." Sabrina headed straight to the bedroom, but the sight that greeted her had her quickly turning on her heels and blushing. Oh she'd seen men with less clothes on, she was raised in spitting distance of the Pacific Ocean after all. But they were never almost naked, on a bed. The context was entirely different, and very uncomfortable. "Ummm, sorry sir. I just wanted to get my blanket back." She spoke to his bedroom door, her back to him.

"Oh I'm sorry, Crewman...I wasn't aware that Starfleet reverted back to a sexist mindset. Have our uniforms too gone back to not being unisex?" mocked Kris with a shake of his head. "Don't let my lack of a six pack and good strung pecks scare you away. I can assure you, many species have found this body to be rather pleasurable in times of great need. However, you do not appear to be in a time for great need" jested Kris as he stood up and slid his pants on.

He continued by sliding on a shirt to make the Crewmen more comfortable. "It's alright, Crewmen, you can turn around now" he said with a small smirk. She's so fragile and young. I cannot believe they gave me a child to take care of when I can barely take care of myself let alone this starship he thought to himself.

He turned and stripped her small blanket from his bed. "You came for this?" he said tossing it in her directions. "I should have known that you'd need it soon" he said a bit firmly. "If Bob's sent you for my number, just tell him that I make it a habit not to sleep with anything twice" he added.

Sabrina did turn around when he mentioned it was safe, and was indeed relieved to find him suitably clothed. She should keep her mouth shut, she should keep her mouth shut..and yes again she should keep her mouth shut. She didn't. "I am not a sexist sir, or an anything, and you are correct, I am in no great time of need." Now that she'd cleared that all up. "I hope Bob isn't too disappointed." She smiled at the end, gently taking her blanket from him. "Thank you." She then took the time to look him over. He didn't appear drunk, just..empty. "Is everything ok sir?"

"It was a joke, Crewman. I was not really calling you sexist...just commenting on a time way before us when Starfleet oddly held a belief that women and men should have very different uniforms. It was an incredibly strange period" explained Kris.

She's perceptive he thought as he looked at the picture on the stand. "No, but that's alright. Nothing has been okay for a long time, Crewmen" he added as he took a seat back on the bed. "I keep trying to do good but all that I ever manage is to screw up over and over again" he said looking into her eyes.

"I know the feeling." Sabrina followed his gaze to the picture, and put the puzzle pieces together. She wasn't sure if the picture they formed in her mind was correct though. Besides, it wasn't her place to be playing counselor to her Commanding Officer. "Could you not screw up this though, I'd kind of like to stay alive long enough to finish my EPS class, maybe get promoted, etcetera."

Kris let out a small chuckle. "Crewmen, if you stay on Katana long enough and manage not to get yourself killed or screw up too much, I may just have to see to it that you get those promotions. Hell, stay with Starfleet long enough and I'll personally recommend you for officer training" he added with a small smile. Something about her he thought just slightly.

"I'm having trouble sleeping...again. Usually, I'd just go break into my private stock and drink myself to sleep but that doesn't work out too well in the eyes of those serving under me. The last thing I need is that Andorian or pointy eared princess costing me this command" added the Commander, not too fond of his Chief Intelligence Officer but he knew she was good and he knew that he and Katana needed her. It was him that gave her the position of Second Officer.

Sabrina smiled. "I'll hold you to that." Then she placed her blanket next to him, headed to his replicator and brought back a mug of tea and a chair. She handed it over with the orders of "sip" then pulled the chair close to his bed. "Give me a foot."

Kris accepted the tea but was reluctant to give a foot. He raised a brow and looked at her nervously "You don't have a laser scalpel or anything, right? I get to keep my foot on my leg..." he said as he slowly offered up his foot.

Sabrina chuckled. "Yes, it's just reflexology, and don't you dare laugh, it works." Sabrina took hold of his foot, but instead of giving it a general massage, she put pressure on a specific pressure point. When he didn't howl in agony or anything she tutted a "Good, your liver isn't fried at least." Then she just went to massaging the ball of his foot. It had always worked when she was little, tea and a foot massage.

Kris tried his best not to laugh, which he did okay with. However, he could not at least toss out a comment or two. "So, are you trying to switch departments and go medical? Aiming for Captain's personal nurse, maybe?"

She smacked his foot, and put pressure on a particular point in revenge for the comment, then let go of his foot. If he was going to be that way about it, forget it, he could get to sleep without her help. "No and no." She picked up her blanket again. "No drinking." she scolded, channeling her mother. "Good night."

"Ouch!" he said, pulling back his foot and rubbing it. "Don't go. I'm sorry, Crewmen. I honestly have trouble sometimes with what I say or do" he said nervously.

He patted the spot on the bed beside him. "Don't worry, I do not have any sinister plans. I'm not in that kind of mood" he quickly explained.

She eyed him carefully, judging his level of sincerity. Then she sat down. "There's no hope for me then." She chuckled. "Sometimes my mouth runs off without me. I was hoping that was something you outgrew." She had meant to just get her blanket and run. But she was oddly intrigued and concerned about the Katana's unlikely CO. He was not at all what she had pictured in a Commanding Officer. In fact she had never imagined even running into said Commanding Officer, not in her lowly position as repair specialist. Yet here she was trying to help him sleep? Life was strange.

"Nonsense" he scoffed. "It usually is something that one outgrows with years of experience under their belt. However, I lack the years of experience and well, being a good pilot and ship's helmsmen really is a whole different world. In a way it was my resistance to mature and harden myself that earned me promotions and praise. Doing incredibly dangerous shit but doing it so well that the dangers and risks were ignored or forgotten" he explained as he remembered his earlier years with Starfleet.

He patted her on the shoulder. "Do not let me be an example of a good Starfleet Commanding Officer because we both know that I'm not fooling either one of us. I'm just not" he added. "I could have been a great Commanding Officer if my life went differently. I used to see myself as a cold steely eyed, battle toughened CO with that Captain pips and everything in my 40s or 50s, hair speckled with notable grey streaks" Kris explained.

Kris then removed his hand from her shoulder and took a deep breath. "My life started to unravel shortly after I graduated from the Academy. The Dominion War was in full heat and I was in love. The war ended but so did my life along with it."

"Oh. The War ended when I was four." And there was her mouth running off on her. He already knew she was young. She hadn't felt young when she joined Starfleet, she'd felt incredibly mature and ready to tackle the world. The actual tackling was turning out to be quite a bit different however. She refocused. "Did she die?"

Kris wanted to laugh at that question but instead he just looked at the Crewmen and smiled. "He'd be a little to ugly to be a woman" commented Kris with a shake of his head. He then pointed to the picture. "His name is Uri" Or should I say was? Can I say was?. "Uri and I were engaged to be married but that was a long time ago."

"Oh." She actually had to roll that around in her brain. He'd made those inappropriate comments to her, so she'd just assumed. "I'm sorry." Now she was curious. He'd said is, not was, so not dead. "What happen?"

Kris looked at the crewmen and shrugged. "Officially, Starfleet listed him and the starship he was serving on as Missing in Action. In short, nobody knows what happened" explained the commander.

"His birthday would have been tomorrow...is tomorrow, but once again we're not together for it" added Kris. "This is why I drink, Crewmen. I drink to numb the pain of not having him in my life. I share my bed with different people each night just to feel something but in the end, I feel nothing" added Kris gently. "If he had been killed...I could accept that. I'd have closure. But this? I stare out at stars and planets, look at his picture and pace back and forth wondering where he is and if he is even alive. It's the not knowing that hurts the most."

"Yeah, that would really suck." She had nothing to offer him. Her life experience, well it just didn't add up to having anything wise to say on the subject. She'd have to wing it. "I mean if I was missing in action and years and years later came back to find my true love an ex Starfleet Commander because he'd been given a court martial, and now he was on his third fake liver and had actually managed to contract the once thought irradicated syphilis, I'd be totally thrilled." She looked at him. "And if I was dead, I wouldn't give a shit." Ok that was way harsh, Sabrina mentally scolded her run away mouth.
"Sorry. I just mean." She sighed. "Hell I don't know what I mean, but there has to be a better way to deal than this. Have you tried crochet, I hear crochet is really soothing."

Kris winced. It was as if the young crewmen were channeling Uri. "Don't worry about it. Honestly, you are just saying what Uri would say to me if he were to find me like this. He would be ashamed of my behavior these past few years. He would also be standing right there, arms crossed lecturing me about my disgusting facial hair" said Kris with a small chuckle.

"Crochet was never really my thing. I've tried it a few times. I sucked" he said with a smile.

Sabrina smiled. "I dunno, the facial hair isn't bad, for an old guy." Sabrina suddenly stopped, it hitting her that she'd been sitting there basically bashing on the CO. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to go off on you. You're the Captain, it's your life, I'm just the lowest engineer on the totem poll who has deep personal conversations with a Jeffries Tube Junction."

The commander smiled at the crewmen. "You are more than just a lowly engineer, Crewmen Corbin...you are my only friend on this ship" Kris said standing up from the bed. "You have conversations with a JT junction. I drink myself to sleep. So, we may not be the most mentally stable members of the crew. At least we might have each other?"

She was his only friend on this ship? That was incredibly sad. Not that she could talk, when she thought about it, the longest conversation she'd had outside of Bob was with him. "Well, drink yourself to sleep with the tea, and I'll spend the night without Bob." She stood up too. It was a bit uncomfortable to be sitting on his bed alone. "You know, you can call me Sabrina, or Sabby, when we are off duty. I hear Corbin and I keep looking for my parents."

"Sabby" he said with a small smile. "Kris" he added with a softened tone of voice. "You can call me Kris when we're alone" he added.

He sat back down on the bed then laid himself out, setting the cup on the night stand. "Going back to your quarters to sleep? You're more than welcome to crash here."

"I was going to try the library, now that I have my blanket, but uhhhh thanks for the offer." She was about to just scurry off, but he was never going to get to sleep like that, just sprawled there. "Geez Kris, you could at least attempt to get comfortable first." She tried out the name, then pushed him in the side, forcing him to roll a bit then grabbed the comforter and sheet, pulling them down as much as she could. "Good night."

He rolled over and put his head down on his favorite pillow, the one that was cold and lumpy but not too lumpy. "Good night, Sabby" he said as he made himself comfortable.

She smiled. He looked like a little kid lying there, and she was tempted to ruffle his hair. She refrained, and just grabbed her blanket before quietly walking out of his bedroom, and out of his quarters.

As soon as she stepped into the corridor she almost ran into her three roommates. They were apparently just going out, though it was time for bed for those who actually wanted to function at work the next day.

"Oh my god." the trio sounded like a bad valley girl harmony. "Sabrina why didn't you tell us you had an in with the Captain?"

She didn't remember them ever being this nice to her, suddenly when they think she is banging the guy in the big chair, they want to be her friends?
"Ugggg." She spat at them. "I am not sleeping with the Captain!"

"Says the blanket."

"It's not what it looks like." She immediately defended. "Just, never mind it's none of your business." She wasn't about to go blabbing about the mental state of the CO, certainly not to the likes of them. She stormed off down the corridor, in search of the solitude of the library. If she went to her quarters she'd just be woken up in a few hours when the three of them came in smelling of men and booze.

Crewmen Recruit Sabrina Corbin
Repair Specialist, USS Katana

Commander Kristopher Kerouac
Commanding Officer, USS Katana
Performance Tomerela IV (Wadi home world)
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The Ferengi Daimon and his property, or rather his merchandise were transported down to the planet's surface. Marg had the creature in a contraption that kept her from going too far from him. A shock collar around her neck and two more around the creature's legs were used to discipline her should she try to fly away or run. He allowed her to try and escape just to show her that she could not go anywhere without getting an immobilizing jolt of energy through her body.

"Stupid creature" he grunted as he connected a chainlink leash to the collar around her neck and began to drag her through the cobbled stone walkway. "On your feet, now!" he shouted, yanking her chain again and again. "Move it, slave!" he shouted yet again with a snarl.

The girl of the forest whimpered softly as she was dragged along. She was not accustomed to walking, her kind did not do it often. They often crawled and climbed through trees, but walking was something done by the land creatures. Unfortunately, the collar the monster had put around her neck made it impossible for her to fly. The painful jolts left her muscles too tense to fly. Add to that, she couldn't see where she was going, she felt so lost and helpless. Still, she did her best to keep up with the monster, trying hard not to cry as she was led about on the chain.

Marg continued to yank and yank, forcing the creature to fall over and fall down continuously as it attempted to stand. "You are as useless as my Brother-in law" the Ferengi quipped as he tried to drag the creature further and further. It was slightly arousing to Marg though. The creature chained up like this. It reminded him of the many Fee-males that he used to enjoy on his many visits to Orion. Soon, he began to entertain the concept of trying out his merchandise before making a sale.

She managed to flutter her wings enough to get herself on her feet, but could manage no more than that so she continued to stumble along behind the monster. Where was he taking her? Why did she feel so afraid of what lay ahead?

The Ferengi turned around and pulled the creature close to his body. He drew himself upon her and grabbed her hands placing them on his large ears. "Perform" he said with a toothy grin.

The poor girl stiffened at the unwelcome contact, uncertain what was going on. She blinked against the fabric guarding her eyes, confused as she felt around to discover what her hands were touching. Ears? Why had the monster put her hands on his ears? Why was he holding her this way?

Perform you useless imp the Daimon thought as he raised his hand to slap the childlike creature across its face. "Rub them like this" he said taking hers hands and directing her how to touch him. He let out a small groan "Oooh that's it" he added leaning his head back in pleasure.

"The Ferengi have had a long standing trade relations with the Wadi. Maybe they'll have some interest in you" Marg said in a pleased tone as he continued to use the creature's touch much to his arousal.

The tiny woman massaging Marg's ears grimaced at the sounds he was making. He was making her massage his ears and he was enjoying it? And not just enjoying it, but... She was disgusted by what he was making her do, but she dare not stop. She did not want to be struck again or for him to use the dreadful collar. Her deft fingers continued to massage Marg's lobes, but she wanted nothing more than to get out of his arms. What other disgusting things was he going to make her do?

Marg soon felt as though the strange creature was beginning to learn its place. He let go of the creature's hands and let the creature continue on his ears on her own. He began to touch the creature in return trying to find some place where it too would feel pleasure in an exchange, not because the creature deserved to feel pleasure but it would be more likely to continue performing oomax if it too were receiving pleasure. At least, that was Marg's belief.

She whimpered softly, her hands stilling. She didn't want him to hurt her, but she didn't want him to touch her like that either. Her eyes grew hot with tears as she began to tremble. She made a crooning sound, soft and low, pleading for him to stop.

The prooning sound was rather pleasing to his ears. It sounded as much of pleasure as it did perhaps pain. He continued to touch her where he was and did it so more forcefully. "Is that was you like, creature? Does it hurt you so that it makes you want me? Oh yes, Marg is your master...for now at least" Marg said groaning passionately.

The creature began to struggle against Marg, trying to wriggle away from his vile touch, sobbing softly as she continued to beg him to stop. She didn't want him to touch her there! Her body was not meant for him and his touch was not meant for her! This was wrong, he shouldn't be doing this! She pushed at him, trying to double her efforts to get away from him. Why was he doing this?

The Ferengi let go of her instantly and folded over in pain. He returned the favor by sending three large shocks to her. Stupid creature! I'll have you if I want you Marg thoguht as he quickly grabbed part of her 'clothing' and ripped it away. He was going to have her and she was going to enjoy it.

She fell to her knees with a keening wail, clawing at the collar causing her so much pain, then she crawled away when Marg made another advance on her.

However, before he could give the pleasure that she deserved the Ferengi stopped when two glowing figures materialized beside the creature. Two Nausicaan guards who were armed with large weapons glared at the Ferengi and grunted.

Marg stepped forth. "Welcome my Nausicaan associates to Tomerela IV, home to the feeble minded Wadi people" Marg said greeting the two large Nasicaan raiders.

More? There were more things now? Did they want to touch her as well? The tiny creature of the forest gathered her knees to her chest as she whimpered helplessly.
Paging Doctor Engineer Main Engineering
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Riding the turbolift down to deck 10, Maica checked her PaDD to make sure she had the right one. It was, thankfully. Her medical records mostly consisted of one entry - "Synthetic being - engineering officer required for medical care." Because of that, she had to manually take her technical specs and repair manual to whomever the Chief Engineer was at each assignment. Thankfully, it seemed there was a full engineering staff on board, if the number she had seen so far was any indication.

As the turbolift doors opened, she headed out, smiling at a passing crewman as he boarded the turbolift behind her. The corridor was amazingly busy for being docked, but then again, she had no idea what engineers do at times like this. Stepping over a tool box that a crewman had scattered in front of an open panel, she headed straight into main engineering, where she hoped she could find the Lt Matthews that the computer said was her new 'physician'.

"No, no, no..." Jenni said, kneeling at the bottom of the warp core where she and an ensign were taking a look at the coolant tanks. "You can't overtighten," she warned, taking her spanner and demonstrating once more. "We hit a subspace pocket or turbulence, this seal could pop and we'll all find ourselves losing our skin... literally."

She looked up to see the frustrated ensign nodding in response, then starting to back off on the seals. Over his shoulder, Jenni spotted an Orion sporting a uniform trimmed in a color that wasn't support gold. "Be right back," she told her crewmate, setting down her spanner. She was careful standing up, making sure not to hit her head on the railing that surrounded the warp core. "Can I help you?" she asked the Orion, who seemed to be either lost or looking for someone.

The face matched the picture the computer showed her, so it seemed that the person she was looking for had found her. She was taller than she expected - at least 5 inches taller. Smiling mischievously up at the attractive woman, Maica offered her hand in greeting. "Lieutenant Matthews, I hope. I'm the new diplomat on board, Lt(JG) Maica. Congratulations on becoming my new physician." Offering the PaDD she carried, she continued. "This has my technical specs and repair manuals. If you need any help, I'll do what I can." She intentionally left out the part about her being an android to see how the chief engineer would react to her.

Jenni took the hand politely and returned a quizzical look at the comment of being a physician. "Call me Jenni, Maica," Jenni replied, cautiously accepting the PADD. Not looking down at it immediately, she looked at the Orion with narrowed eyes, trying to make sense of what she just said. Finally, she looked down and gave the materials a cursory look. The narrowed eyes quickly widened. "Oh..." she gasped. Instantly, her gaze snapped back upwards to her fellow officer. "You're an android." Jenni smiled. "That's wonderful!"

With her smile still beaming, Jenni closed her eyes, suddenly very aware of how she came across (at least in her eyes) to Maica. "Forgive me," she said, opening her eyes again. "I simply had no idea you were an android. You're quite lovely, you know?"

Giggling musically with a bright smile on her face, Maica shook her head. "Don't worry about it. And thank you - you're quite beautiful yourself. I thought it would be better to let you know now rather than after some Nausicaan barbarian tears my arm off again. Not that I want to repeat any such experiences... Other than that, I just need a checkup twice a year for routine maintenance and the occasional tuneup."

Maica looked around a bit at the silent room. "I'll try not to need surgery while the ship is broken, though. It looks like you might be abundantly busy with these engines." Leaning in a bit closer, she continued in a whisper. "Are they normally this quiet?"

"We get to be quite noisy at times." Jenni surveyed the room herself, taking note of her fellow engineers. "We all have a large task in front of us, getting a ship that spent too long in drydock back into service." Jenni then turned back to Maica. "Do you mind if I give you a quick checkup? I don't mean to offend, but with the pressures of getting this ship ready, I don't want a lot of time to pass should something happen to you and I'm not prepared..." her voice trailed off, not really wanting to say anything unpleasant.

Maica nods at the request, still smiling warmly. "Of course. Do you have a diagnostics workstation you want me to lay on? There's no cybernetics lab on board that I know of, so where ever and how ever you want to do it is fine by me. And please don't worry about offending me. I have yet to find anyone in Starfleet as crass or abusive as my asshole creator..."

"Fair enough." Jenni looked around Engineering, taking inventory of what was available to her. Though she had no office in the room, she had her own dedicated station overlooking the warp core. Jenni pulled out her tricorder from its holster and gestured towards the chair behind the console. "Have a seat and I'll run a couple quick scans."

Jenni activated the tricorder and began to run a scan. "Any recent damage or mishaps?"

Sitting in the offered seat, Maica clasped her hands in her lap and waited. "Nothing recent. My left shoulder is stiff now and then, but nothing bad." Thinking back to her escape from Ferengi space all those years ago, she unconsciously tenses her left arm. It had been ripped off by a Nausicaan assigned to keep her in line. She still wasn't sure how she piloted that shuttle with no experience or knowledge, let alone with only 1 arm. Her voice now dead flat from the memories, Maica continues. "You'll note in my maintenance logs that my left arm had to be completely replaced when I got to the Federation starbase that I asked for amnesty from. It's as close as they could make to the original."

"Then I take it you weren't exactly built as a piece of art," Jenni commented, moving her tricorder to focus on the shoulder. Even in her unfamiliarity with androids, Jenni hoped she could find a way to repair the issue. "How..." her mind wanted to say long have you been in service, however, Maica's actions and speech indicated that her programming was far too complex for anything remotely close Jenni had read before about androids. "How old are you?" she asked instead, placating to Maica's personality.

Looking up at Jenni in surprise at how she asked that, Maica took a moment to respond. "I... I'm 9 years old... And no... I wasn't created as art... My original purpose was for sexual gratification." Looking back down at her hands, she blushed just a bit. "I was a very profitable tool for my creator, designed to placate any fetish easily."

Looking up and taking a deep breath, Maica smiles warmly. "But now I'm a Starfleet officer and a successful diplomat. I can follow my own path and make my own decisions in life and that alone is worth living for."

Jenni smiled, amazed at Maica's words. "Spoken like a true life form." For another minute, she waved her tricorder around Maica's body, choosing not to speak because she was uninterested in conversation, but more because she was fascinated by the readouts on the tricorder.

Finally, she deactivated the tricorder and returned it to the holster. "Well, I'm no doctor, but I would say you have a clean bill of health. Don't hesitate to call if anything is out of the ordinary."

Standing and turning to the chief engineer, Maica looks up at her, smiling as wide as she could. "Thank you Doctor Jenni. I'll let you know as soon as I have any issues. In the mean time, I'm sure your other patient needs you more than I do." As she said that, she motioned around at the warp core and main engineering.

"Just Jenni," the engineer asked, looking over towards the warp core. "My brothers are doctors," she added, doing everything she could to not shudder at the thought. Looking back to the Orion, Jenni smiled, attempting to brush the thoughts away. "If scuttlebutt is true, we haven't long before launch, and the core certainly isn't ready. Pleasure to meet you, Maica."

"It's been a pleasure meeting you as well, Jenni. Thank you and good luck." With that, Maica set off for her next destination, heading out of Main Engineering with a glance to the silent warp core and a confident sway to her hips.

Jenni stood by her station, watching Maica leave the room. Up 'til now, her only knowledge of androids was a class in cybernetics at the Academy where they were able to study Commander Data's schematics. It was incredibly beautiful, seeing how far others were able to take the design, even if it was for the wrong intentions.

A loud clang from the upper level snapped Jill back into reality. "Oi!" she called out, her gaze looking upward to see a couple male engineers by an open hatch who had just knocked over a toolkit. "Keep your eyes on task. We've got a ship to launch!"

Lt. JG Jenni Matthews
Chief Engineer

Lt. JG Maica
Chief Diplomatic Officer
Departure USS Hyperion, Sickbay Prior to Arrival of Lt Cohen at USS Katana
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<< OOC: This is the departure post of Cohen from the other ship he was in, it will be followed up with his arrival on the Katana hopefully later today.

Background Info: Lt Commander Brennen MacTaggart is the CMO of the USS Hyperion, where Cohen served as ACMO, the two have a past and were previously a romantic item, IC Brennen has recently lost his current lover. >>

Liam entered sickbay and gave it a solemn look, he was due to leave the ship in less than an hour, his transfer had been rushed due to his new ships mission. He gave a smile and exchanged pleasantries to a few of those he encountered before coming to a stop at the door to Brennen's office.

"Hi," He said, smiling slightly.

Brennen looked up, Liam could tell he was still sleeping poorly, he knew how hard Zach's death had been, but he knew Brennen was strong, he was already doing better and in time he would be able to move past it. He wouldn't forget, he knew Brennen well enough to know that's not the kind of man he was, it was one of the things that attracted him to the other man all those years ago.

"Your transfer just came through. Congratulations." Brennen said getting to his feet.

"Thank you, it seems like a good ship, being in the Gamma Quadrant will certainly be a change of pace." He said, awkwardly trying to make small talk, it felt forced, and unnatural.

"I'll be fine Liam." Brenn said, moving closer and leaning back against his desk.

"I almost turned it down, but I figured you'd kick my ass if I did." Liam replied with a small laugh.

"Yup, then boot you off the ship. Chief Medical Officer of an Intrepid Class on the frontier isn't a token assignment. It's going to be hard, you're going to lose people." The taller man said, his voice trembling slightly at the last few words.

"We always lose people, it's about saving the ones we can, and honouring the ones we can't. Someone said that to me a few years ago."
Brennen smirked. "Who knew you actually listened to me."

"I always did, you know that." Liam said. "I was pissed when you got this assignment, I didn't want you here, much less taking my job, but, I forgot how much I care about you, how much I always will, I know we never worked and we both know why, but you're a good man Brennen, I'm glad you reminded me of that."

Brennen gave a small laugh. "Stop being a sappy little bitch and get to your transport."

Liam shock his head and smiled, "Dude, I'm trying to be sincere and you go an ruin it."

Brennen pulled the other man into a hug, "Stay safe, keep your crew safe and healthy, keep your Captain in line, don't break too many hearts, trust your gut, know I love you, I always will, you're a good man Liam Cohen, and a good doctor, don't doubt that and don't forget it."

Liam relaxed into the hug, there was something warm, and familiar, he had forgotten what it was like to be in Brennen's arms. He felt safe, like nothing bad could hurt him, even though they were just friends it was nice to feel that way again, even for a moment. "Good bye Brennen."
"Bye Liam, stay in touch." Brennen said pulling back. He gave Liam a smile as he turned to leave, heading to the station where the transport would soon be waiting for him.
Arrival USS Katana, Transporter Room
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Liam stepped off the transporter and nodded to the Bajoran PO1 at the controls. The Kantana was a tight ship, smaller than his last few assignments it may be starting to age but she had recently been refit which brought her back to the edge of advancement. He entering the lift and ordered it to the quartermasters office, wanting to drop his bags off and get a quick shower before checking out sickbay and reporting in.

Within 15 minutes he stepped into his quarters, dimly lit he ordered the lights up to get a better view of the place. Standard officer quarters for a department head, the suite was three sections long with a two segment living room, dining area, work space, and a separated bedroom with a double bed and attached bath. Roughly the same as he had had on the Hype, his lower position balancing out with the larger ship. He tossed his bags into the bedroom and settled down on the couch, it was a tad low for his liking but he could always look at having that changed in future. For now it was home.

=/\= Nurse Onolla to Doctor Cohen. =/\=

The comm call caught the new CMO off guard but he tapped his badge as he got to his feet. =/\= Cohen here, go ahead nurse. =/\=

=/\= Sir, we have a bit of a situation down here, we could use the help. =/\=

=/\= On my way. =/\= He replied, tapping the channel closed and breaking into a jog to the nearest lift. Within in 30 seconds he was in sickbay, a nice feature given he would likely be making that run many times in coming month.

“Report.” He barked as he pulled off his civilian clothes and pulled on a scrub top from a storage unit and began scrubbing his hands. The half naked CMO seeming to have caught the Nurse off guard.

“Doctor we have a pair of engineers who were injured when the relay they were working on overloaded, Doctor Cates already has the more serious one in OR 1 but he’s the only surgeon on board right now. Ensign Do’Tak needs surgery as well.” She said.

Liam moved to the bio bed and began assessing his first patient of the his new tour. “Ensign, listen to me, I’m Doctor Cohen, you’re in good hands, I’m kind of awesome at this stuff.” He said flashing the young woman a smile. She tired to nod but the plasma burns caused her more pain. “20 cc norellazene and then transport to OR 2. I’ll meet you there.”

“Sir, I’m not a surgical nurse.” Onolla said looking slightly embarrassed.

“Well you are today.”

Within minutes the Ensign was sedated and Liam was fully scrubbed and gowned for surgery. The injuries luckily were mostly superficial, but the large surface area they covered meant they had to resort to a combination of grafts and dermal regeneration. Do’Tak would be left with minor scaring, but she would be survive and be able to return to duty within a few days.

“Good work in there Onolla….” He trailed off, once surgery was complete and they were back in the main ward of sickbay monitoring the two post op patients.
“Onolla Reya.” The Bajoran replied. “And thank you sir, I’ve observed surgery before, but never assisted.

“Well we’ll have to change that now won’t we.” He said with a grin.

“Doctor Cohen?” A voice asked, Liam turned to face the voice, and see the petite Atarian it belonged to. “The Captain called a senior staff meeting while you were in surgery. It began 10 minutes ago.”

“First day and I’m already late.” He turned to Doctor Cates who nodded that she would monitor the patients, he was glad his staff, albeit short handed, already seemed to work well together. With a pat on the shoulder to Nurse Onolla he quickly headed to the briefing room.
Charting a Course Astrometrics Lab MD 1: February 1st 2388, 0840 Hours
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Kristopher leaned forward on the sturdy railing as he observed the massive holographic screening which had previously been nothing more than an empty grid, quickly change to complete blackness void of anything remarkable. Then, after his instructive commands, the whole room came alive around him. Star systems, planets, suns and various spacial anomalies encompassed him. I guess asking to see the Gamma Quadrant was a bit too much he thought to himself. Despite the extensive beauty around him of billions of specs and spots, glowing and shimmering, it was way too much to take in all at once.

He sighed slightly. "Okay, then computer...let's narrow this down a bit. Computer, display the Morray nebula" the young Commanding Officer said as he watched at the images around him shifted and whirled around. The room felt like it were spinning. In a way it reminded him of playing with a primitive globe, spinning it as fast as he could until the planet Earth was nothing distinguishable.

Suddenly, it all came to a stop. The Astrometrics lab was quiet and before him was a massive region of space. A crimson colored blob pulsating before him. The silence was quickly interrupted by the ship's computer.

"The Morray Nebula is class nine nebula in the Gamma Quadrant. The nebula spans multiple sectors and is located between the Finnean Corridor and the Gothe Field. A class nine nebula is is composed of various properties which may cause inaccurate sensor readings due to sensor deceiving properties..." the Katana's computer began.

"Computer halt the informative lecture" said Kristopher, interrupting the computer before it could continue. Thanks. The last thing I need is to be educated on the dangers of nebulae. I may not be a science officer but I've spent my time navigating through a nebula or two he thought to himself. Commander Kris Kerouac continued to further study the nebula and the region of space in quiet, having muted the computer.

It was evident that raids were happening. However, the reports were inconsistent at best. Kris knew how to chart courses, but this was more than a matter of charting anything. It was a matter of knowing where these pirates would be and when. It required someone with an extensive knowledge of the inner workings of things, people with a backgrounds in Intelligence thought Kris cringing at the thought and in Tactics.

"They would have to be incredibly stupid to hit New Bajor Colony or Finnea" muttered Kerouac to himself. "However, I cannot put it past them. The Dosi and the Wadi have both reported incidents of theft from their planets. The Morray Nebula and the Gothe field would provide ample cover. They practically can sit an wait for a convoy on the trade route" continued Kerouac talking to nobody but himself.

He moved from one side of the room to another, using a control panel to open a communications channel to two of his new officers, Lieutenant Commander t'Dharvanek and Lieutenant Sirigh. "Commander t'Dharvanek, please report to the Astrometrics lab."

Naturally Kerouac was going to involve her in something science-related. Jhu didn't know why commanding officers never seemed to understand when an officer held certain specialties and had no talent for the rest. Still, she dutifully left her small office behind and consulted a bulkhead panel on the location of the astrometrics lab. She could always claim unfamiliarity with the ship and show up later than expected, but despite how much she already disliked Kerouac, she had no desire to start looking like a shoddy officer.

The astrometrics lab proved easier to find than she had expected, having made every effort to avoid such places on her previous assignments. Since she'd never set foot in any similar lab, she was floored by the size of it, stopping just inside the doorway to look around. Science gets this and I get a closet? That didn't seem at all fair. Didn't these 'normal' Starfleet types understand how hard it was to gather intelligence when they packed three or four people into a space one person didn't fit comfortably in? Somehow she forced a smile on her face as she approached the captain, hoping he didn't pick up on what she was thinking. "I thought I told you I wasn't a scientist."

Kris turned around and glared at the woman with the odd heritage. Partially Romulan, and partially Trill. Pointed eyes and spots. It was a sight that made her rather distinguishable from both of those species and certainly made her distinguishable from the officers in Starfleet. "You can tell me whatever the hell you'd like, Commander. It does not mean that I'll ever believe it. Besides, with as many unknown and questionable spots on your service record...there is no telling what you can or cannot do" countered Commander Kerouac.

"Also, had I wanted a science officer, I would have called for someone more qualified. What I need right now unfortunately is for you to stop being a pain in my ass and come assist me" added Kris. "This is in regards to our current mission. The piracy happening near the Finnean corridor on the Federation trade route" explained the Commander.

"Suppose you might have a point about those 'questionable' spots." Jhu shrugged, as if she didn't quite care what he thought of that. She still didn't like him much but joined him near the console anyway, where she would be better able to interpret the activity he had picked up. "There haven't been any reports of piracy in that sector, but I'm not surprised. Trade routes make tempting targets, and the Federation has a very nasty habit of not providing armed escort to those trade vessels. And trade laws prohibit arming the cargo vessels with anything that would make a difference." Her tone made her distaste for that particular set of laws very clear. Curious about the pirate ships, she tapped the console to bring up sensor images, gradually enhancing them until the ships were clearly visible. "I expected Nausicaan. Maybe Cardassian or Orion. I'm not entirely certain what that is."

Kris nodded in response. "Nausicaans were my thought as well. However, if it is them, they are not operating alone in this. The Dosi and Wadi supplied us with scans of a vessel leaving their systems and it was not a known Nausicaan design" added the Commander.

"Can we pull that scan up? I want to take a look at it." As much as she despised 'science stuff' the puzzle was quickly becoming intriguing, and Jhu couldn't resist puzzles for long. "Even if it's not familiar, it's a lead to follow."

Commander Kristopher Kerouac went to work at the console, tapping a few commands and moved aside so that the woman beside him could look over the readings. A Dosi starship engaged one of the fleeing vessels but it escaped. The Dosi reported that their deflector shields were hit by a single shot that drained them completely and rendered them momentarily defenseless. As you can see, sensor scans of that area by the Dosi indicated the use of an electromagnetic pulse weapon. The Dosi attempted to pursue but could not match the speed needed to pursue" commented Commander Kerouac.

"I'm going to guess they didn't take that well," Jhu commented dryly, familiar with the Dosi's reputation for aggression. "I've only seen a handful of ships that moved that quickly, all Jem Hadar attack ships. But that is not Jem Hadar... the shape of it is wrong." Curious about the unusual ship, she froze the repeating video loop and expanded the image, trying to see if the vessel had any identifying marks. "There are some Reman scouts that look similar, but last I checked there weren't any of those in the Gamma Quadrant... they like to stay close to home."

Kris sighed and nodded. "Agreed. The Jem Hadar have the necessary speed but theft doesn't go along their their usual modus operandi. Plus the Dosi more or less supported the Dominion...though not by choice. The Remans are unpredictable. They could have done this but again, they stick to their areas of space. I don't think we're looking for a species native to the Gamma quadrant. Some of the reported items stolen from some of these worlds apparently are of little to no value on their respective planets or are in abundance in this region of space. It sounds more of an outside job" added Kris looking at the woman beside him.

He raised a brow "Know anyone who'd fit the bill of taking worthless items?" he asked with a small smirk.

"Well." Jhu snickered slightly. "One species does come to mind. A short one, with big ears. But it doesn't look like a Ferengi ship either." Frowning slightly, she shifted the image of the ship between the different sensor angles the Dosi had been able to provide. "At least, not one I'm familiar with. There was a report that they'd been testing a new design, but we never got any scans of it."

Kerouac smiled and nodded. "Ferengi vessel or not. These little raids do fit their style of operating. We could visit the Wadi and the Dosi personally, maybe come up with some answers" commented Kris.

"Pattern fits," Jhu agreed, nodding slightly. "And I think we might have to make a personal visit. Neither species is likely to tell us the truth over comms... they may lie to our faces too, but at least then we'd be better able to tell."

"Then we'll make a personal visit" commented Kris in full agreement.

Kris opened a communications channel. "Lieutenant Verak, lay in a course to Tomerela IV and stand by" commanded Kris. He looked back to Jhu "We'll pay the Wadi a visit first."

"If they beam me into a Chula game, there will be hell to pay," Jhu muttered under her breath, forcing a smile on her face. "If there's nothing else for the moment, I think I'll brush up on the rules of Wadi games. It's the only way they'll talk to us."

Kris nodded. "You do that" commented the Commander. Though in his mind he was thinking You're not going anywhere until I know who the hell you really are

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Ray: Okay, ladies and gentlemen...So, all of the Task Force 9 Commanding Officers (As Andrew/Matthews knows) have been sent the following email from TF9CO. I would like your opinions on this because it is you guys who make Katana possible and I do not do much without consulting my friends.

TF9CO: "First and foremost this is entirely voluntary. Myself and Leam have been discussing a situation which would require a ship to be transferred from TF72 to TF9 and vice versa. This would require me to ask if someone would like to volunteer to go to Task Force 72.

Now which ever ship volunteers wouldn't have to contain themselves to the TF72 Area of Operations for a while, as they would obviously be mid-mission in TF9. This gives you as much time as you need for an adjustment to a new AO. You would be TF72 only in name if it takes you 6, 8 or 10 months to finish your TF9 mission. Even then, you may continue your missions in TF9s AO, the only thing being you would not be allowed to participate in canon building for TF72 while you do this.

If no one wishes to answer the challenge, we will need to discuss other options."

Ray: Task Force 9 where we currently are operates in the Gamma Quadrant. Task Force 72's area of operations is an area of the Alpha Quadrant that according to Bravo Fleet's Mapping (*cough* not a fan) deals with part of Cardassian space, the Ferengi Alliance, Talarian Space, Breen Confederacy, and the Tzenkheti Coalition.

Basically, I am just looking to see if anyone is interested in moving to TF72 at some point or if we are all generally in favor of remaining in the Gamma Quadrant.

James: I'm not against a move, granted, part of the reason I did choose this game was the AO, I haven't played in Gamma in about four years. Oddly enough, when we left Gamma we moved to the Cardassian Union area, however we used a different map, so there were no other powers in the immediate area, the Breen and Tzenkheti were close, but not right in the area. Basically I'm good either way and now I'm rambling.......any who.....

Ray: I too like having the Gamma Quadrant to play around with. In a way TF9 is like a Playground, TF72 is like a sand box...a sand box that someone may have peed in (It is not looking too good and I am honestly surprised TF72 isn't closed yet).

Nicole: Booo Hissss I won't go. Oh wait, tell you how I really feel. I hate the Alpha Quadrant map even more than Ray, so am beyond thrilled to be out in the Gamma Quadrant, can we stay, please???

Ray: Monoui has voiced that she would want to remain in the Gamma Quadrant.

Matthew: I am new here and new to Bravo Fleet in general, but I welcome staying in the Gamma Quadrant. I have never been on a sim that explored that part of space and to me it would seem like a great way to be creative and come up with more original stories. So my vote would be staying in the Gamma.

Azmaria/Maica: is it ironic that i just resigned my commission in 72 for health reasons? either way, i vote for staying here.

Ray: You most likely are partially to blame, Azmaria :p

Az: yes, i am... though not solely, i'm betting i was a major contributing factor. i blame myself for the failure of the USS Hera often enough - now i can blame myself for the failure of TF72... damn i'm awesome...

Ray: Oh please, Az ;) TF72 has been dying off for as long as I can remember. Besides, we love you here with us anyways.

Az: so you're saying i'm the last nail in the coffin? ^_^ seriously though, i love this crew so far. i know i asked for light writing, but i think i'll be writing even when i can't move out of bed.

Ray: That's okay, even when you cannot move from bed, we'll make you laugh :)

Chris: Well I just joined, literally and am brand new to Bravo Fleet, but I have never played in Gamma Quadrant and so I vote for staying here as well.

Crysta: I'm cool with staying in the Gamma quadrant. It's different, and I kind of like that. Besides, who wants to jump in a sinking ship? ;)

Andrew/Matthews: Broke my promised silence to 1) confirm that the TFCO did indeed send said email, and 2) cast my vote for staying in the Gamma Quadrant. Now returning to the silence....

Hil: ^ Don't do that :P. I'm not the biggest Bravo Fleet player, I don't know the politics or anything... But I'd also prefer to stay in the Gamma.

Chirs/Kyle: Sounds like we are pretty much in consensus then

Andrew: *shrugs* Hil, it's just until Wednesday. :)

Ray: Thank you, all of you. I reported to the TFCO that we are pretty much strongly against Katana going to TF72 which is fine because he does not want to send us or any sim who has a long history with TF9.

Chris: Cool with me

James: Woot woot. haha
Doctor, Doctor Sickbay, USS Katana Following the Staff Meeting
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Kyle was officially off duty for another few hours so he was dressed casually; grey khakis and a black and red short sleeved rugby shirt that fit his taut torso rather snugly. On his feet was a pair of well worn, but still in good shape cross trainers. He was going to meet Noah in a couple of hours in the lounge for drinks so he had some time to kill he'd decided he might as well take advantage of that by taking a tour of the ship and get the lay of the land. He'd start the tour by getting his physical. If the doctor was on board.

He found Sick Bay easily enough, after all the last ship he had been on was also an Intrepid and he had already downloaded the spec to his and Noah's PADD. The doors swished open and he walked inside, looking around

Liam looked up as the doors opened. He stood from his desk and crossed the compact office to lean on the door frame as his eyes fell on the new arrival. "Lieutenant Evans right? What can I do for you?" He said, dressed in a pair of navy blue scrubs.

Kyle smile gave him one of his infamous winning smiles. The one that had gotten him out of and sometimes into trouble in the past. He bit back a smart ass reply and said,"Yes, it is Evans, Kyle Evans. I'm just here to get my boarding physical."

"Sure, grab a seat on biobed 1." He said gesturing to the end of the line bed along the wall. He ducked back into his office for a moment and return with a PADD in on hand, and a stethoscope around his neck. "Any preexisting problems I should be aware?" He asked as he entered a few commands and started a full bioscan.

Kyle hated moments like this, it wasn't that he disliked physicals, or doctors. Gods knew he was married to one, but there was always the off chance that questions would be raised. Questions he didn't like answering. "No, no preexisting problems, I think I'm in pretty good health."

Liam began the scan, his eyes pouring over the reading scrawling across the screen. "Vitals look strong, BP slightly elevated but well within normal." He said muttering half to himself and half his patient.

"Shirt off." He said putting the stethoscope to his ears.

Kyle nodded and he pulled his shirt off over his head. His torso was toned with well defined pecs and a nice six-pack, but he didn't look excessively muscular like a body builder.

"So how does that look?" he asked.

Liam's hands ghosted over the man's chest as moved the stethoscope. "Sounds good." His hand stilled on the other man's shoulder as he pull slightly indicated for him to lean forward. Again his hand moved fluidly over the spooks back.

"Well the basics look steady, but I notice you don't have a DNA pattern on file. I'd like to take one." He said, slinging the stetho over his neck again. "It's surprising how often things like that save our asses."

~Or get them in a sling~ "I really don't think that is necessary doctor, I've managed to survive this long without one, I think I'll survived a little longer."

Liam raised an eyebrow, "Very well, it's your prerogative." He said entering a few commands on the tablet. "Well I do need to run a quick blood test." He said applying the the hypo the man's shoulder. "You can put your shirt back on, unless you prefer sitting half naked." He said with a wink.

Kyle chuckled as he slipped his shirt back on "I guess it depends on whose company I'm in how naked I get."

"Your husband might have something to say about that." He said turning to the bio bed controls. He entered a few more commands as the blood sample ran. "Is there anything else?"

"That is what I meant. He's the only one that I get naked with."

"Mhmmmmm." Liam said. "Any other, medical concerns?"

"None that I can think of Doctor. I guess I'll be going now, but we'll have to have you over for dinner sometime I'm sure you and Noah would have a lot to talk about."

"Sounds good." Cohen said, "Well you know where you can find me." He said gesturing to the humble sickbay. "Have a good day Lieutenant."

"You too, Doctor.

A Joint Post By:

Lieutenant Liam Cohen, MD
Chief Medical Officer
USS Katana

Lt. (J.G.) Kyle Weaver Evans
Asst Chief of Intel
USS Katana
Dog Hair is Bad for Machinery USS Katana, Sickbay
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Sabrina held up the Padd and double checked the quarters. This was the place with the repair billet, Code 793, non-functioning door mechanism.
The door seemed just fine, it was shut. Sabby palmed the sensor and the door slid right open. Well whoever lived here didn't lock their door.

"YAP YAP YAP YAP!!!!" Sabby looked down as this tiny ball of fur proceeded to bit her ankle.

"Ow!!!!" She stepped back, only to be chased by the yapping over grown Tribble.

"Hey stop that!" She was bit again, then the yapping thing went running down the corridor.

"No, no no no." Great, not only had the poor person's door not been broken and she just basically broke but didn't enter, she was going to
lose their annoying dog, if it even was a dog.

Sabrina went running after it, skidding around a corner. "YAP YAP YAP" It wasn't hard to follow, how something so small could make such a high
pitched noise, she wasn't sure.

They approached sickbay, and just as luck would have it, somebody was leaving. That left the doors wide open just long enough for the yapping, running fur bowl to make an agile 90 degree turn and dart inside.

Sabby was right behind it. "Stop running you little..." Dog hair, sickbay, she was going to be in sooo much trouble. In an act of desperation
she did a flying tackle, landing herself ungracefully onto the deck, but with the furball safely in hands. Hands that were now being bitten.

"OWWWW!" Sabby squirmed, trying to get a better grip on the dog, so she could properly carry it out of the sterile sickbay.

"Are you alright Crewman?" Liam asked staring down at the young woman from where he'd been recalibrating the sensors on a biobed.

Sabrina looked up, still struggling with the small dog. For such a small ball of fur, he sure had a powerful wiggle, and some dang sharp
teeth. What she saw was a tall blue eyed hunk. She stared, okay she flat out goggled. The doctor looked like he should be on the beach, with a surfboard, preferably in a speedo. Sabrina had to literally shake her head to snap herself out of it. For god sake he was a vastly superior officer,
and probably close to twice her age. Get it together Sabby! "Ummm yes yes I'm fine. I'm sorry. OWWWW!" She yelped as she was bit harder. She finally managed to get the small dog into a type of football carry, where all he could reach was her sleeve. It was better than him tearing up her hand.

"Well your ankle would say otherwise. You're getting blood on my carpet." He remarked gesturing to her furball inflected wound.

Sabby looked down. Oh crap, she was indeed bleeding on the floor. "Oh geez, I'm sorry. I'll come back and clean it up, I promise. I just need
to get this thing back to its quarters, he escaped when I tried to fix a door that didn't need fixing, and then somebody was leaving
and he ran in here, and I tried to catch him in time.." Sabby rambled on, then finally realized she was rambling. "Sorry."

Liam leaned down and helped the Ensign up before taking the furball out of her hands. "What exactly is this?" He asked holding the furball that rolled over nuzzled into the Doctors arms and began to quietly coo.

So he was drop dead gorgeous and dogs loved him, figured. "A dog?"

"Grab a seat on the bio bed and let me take a look, don't worry about it, we have a knack for getting blood out of things. Have you ever tried to clean up Vulcan blood, that green stuff is a pain." He joked, setting the furball down on another biobed, the creature now seemed content to quietly sit and watch the the two.

Sabrina gave the turncoat dog a glare then took a seat on the bio bed. It wasn't until she sat that she actually noticed how much her dog bites stung. She stuck the side of her hand between her lips where the little demon had managed to make a small puncture.

"Mild anaesthetic for the pain mixed with an antibiotic just in case the little guys mouth isn't the cleanest." He said touching the hypospray to the Crewman's neck. He grabbed the dermal and began treating the would. "So besides breaking into quarters and stealing pets what do you Crewman?"

"Wait, I'm allergic to cillins." But it was too late. Well hopefully whatever he had given her wasn't penicillin based." She immediately removed her hand when he mentioned the dog's mouth. Good point, probably not the most hygienic idea, to be sticking her hand in her mouth. "I didn't mean to." Sabrina quickly defended. "I'm a repair specialist. He just ran out!"

He laughed, "I did read your file before treating you Crewman, no penicillin. As for the pet kidnapping, I was kidding." He said running the dermal over the area. "There, that should take care of it."

"Oh, sorry." Of course he did. "It was just really not fun when I was given it once. I'm paranoid." She looked over at the fluff ball, who immediately started growling. "Why you little..." She sighed. "Can I borrow the replicator?" She didn't want to pick the dog up just to get bit again, a carrier would do nicely.

"Sure." He said gesturing to the far wall.

Sabrina replicated a small dog carrier, and went to grab the ball of fluff. She received a fresh growl. "Ummm, would you?" She asked.

Liam laughed, scooping up the furball in his one of his large hands. The creature cooed again, and slide it into the cage. "Here you go," He said handing the case to her.

"Thank you." Sabrina grabbed the carrier and headed out to return the dog to its proper quarters.

A Joint Post By:

Lieutenant Liam Cohen, MD
Chief Medical Officer
USS Katana


Crewman Recruit Sabrina Corbin
Repair Specialist
USS Katana
Meeting Of The Minds Captain's Ready Room MD 2: February 2nd 2388
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It was a strange yet welcome feeling to be on the same ship with Noah, but with all the boarding requirements they each had to attend to, things were a little hectic. They had barely seen each other. The good news was that he had at least gotten his physical done, taken a tour of the ship and had partially unpacked some of their things.

He was getting a little bored with that and wasn't sure where Noah would want to put somethings and he wasn't around. So he put on a fresh uniform and decided to check in with the Captain. So he took a quick shower, put on a fresh uniform and made his way to Bridge.

there was a flurry of activity there. People going in and out as they helped prep the ship. He could think of all sorts of things he could have done posing as a worker, to sabotage a ship and he just hoped that Security was doing their job and that there wasn't anyone as good as he was playing games.

Ensign Pruitt who had the Conn, told him the Captain was in the Ready Room The thanked the woman pressed the chime on the door.

Commander Kristopher Kerouac had sought out shelter from the hustle and bustle on the Bridge. Departure would be very soon, and he had just got off from having a rather lengthy conversation with a very chatty Bolian, the Admiral in command of Task Force 9. All appeared to be in order, Katanawas clear to disengage from the docking clamps whenever ready. All Senior Staff positions and advisory roles were filled. Finally, thought the young Commanding Officer as he took a small sip from the flute styled glass containing the golden-orange morning boost.

The door chime went off just as the Commanding Officer was about to relax to some music. The first visitor of the morning he thought with a small chuckle.He sighed as he responded "Come" and pressed a control for the door to open. The blackened uniform gave the man's department away easily, but Kris could not remember the man's name. He had been one of the last minute additions to the crew, an intelligence officer at Commander t'Dharvanek's request.

"Lieutenant," began Kris looking the officer over. "....Something that I may help you with?" asked Commander Kerouac.

Kyle gave him a disarming smile, "Yes sir, I'm Kyle Evans, I just thought I should report into you sir. Being an assistant chief is bit new to ma and I thought it would be a good idea to meet you. I hope it's not an intrusion."

Kris let out a glowing smile, breaking the shrouded lips encompassed by the bristly facial hair. I need to shave soon. "It is no intrusion at all, Lieutenant. In fact, my door is always open to any member of the crew if they wish to see me. Though I may start to get busy and start a waiting list. However, I am free now and you are here...so, have a seat if you'd like" said Kris gesturing towards the few chairs in front of his desk.

The Commander reclined in his own chair for a moment. "Assistant Chief is an important duty in any Department, one step away from taking the Department on yourself at a moments notice. It is a lot to take in and yet I strongly believe that any officer who has shown themselves worthy of being named an Assistant Chief must be naturally inclined to lead. So, you must be a rather impressive officer, Lieutenant Evans" commented Kris as the name sparked a memory of his Chief Science Officer.

Kyle picked one of the chairs near the Commanding Officer and sat. He was somewhat nervous, but did his best to mask that. "Well I don't know how impressive I am sir. I am good at what I do, but frankly I'd rather be flying under the radar. As to being a good leader, I don't know about that. I do have a glib tongue though and am pretty decent at getting people to listen to me. it is still a big step for me."

Kris nodded "Personally, I would rather be flying than commanding. However, I cannot because... there comes a time in every Starfleet Officer's life when they are met with the inevitable, Lieutenant. They have done so well at what they love doing that their own passion takes them away from their love... and well... apparently puts them behind a desk. In your case, I am sure you were a talented Intelligence officer and perhaps a skilled operative. However, it was time to advance your career. Thus, you are here" explained the Commander.

Kyle looked into the other man's eyes cocking his head slightly. He looked like he was about to say something, but stopped himself. "I'll do my best sir, you can count on that. Was the transition difficult for you."

"I'm still learning to adjust. I was mostly a helmsmen through my career in Starfleet, but I did a stint in Operations before moving up to Command. Serving as a First Officer was really as far as I ever wanted to go...but now I'm here and for the first time in my career, I am concerned that I am not the man for the job. However, I have to be."

"Well I guess we're in the same situation but if I can speak freely, if Star Fleet knew what they were doing when they picked me, then surely they knew what they were doing when they picked you. You must be quite impressive yourself for them to pick you to command a brand new ship like this."

Kris scoffed. "Oh they didn't pick me. I was assigned at First Officer under Captain Sanchez. She was involved in a shuttle incident while on her way here. Katana was already behind schedule and Command could not wait any longer. Task Force 9 was in dire need of Katana to be back out there. Command simply feel upon me and so here I am" explained Kris with a shrug.

Kyle had to wonder at the reluctance of the Captain to command. He put a hand on the other man's knee. "But you're here now and you're the Captain. All due respect but you better start acting like it."

Then realizing he had probably stepped way over the line said, "I'm sorry sir, I shouldn't have said that."

"So I have been told and further reminded" replied Kris flatly as he leaned forward. "I appreciate the bluntness, Lieutenant but you may want to leave that at the door next time" added Kris sharply.

He pulled his hand back to his side, "Yes sir and my apologies. It won't happen again sir. My mouth has a tendency to get me in trouble sometimes. I'll show more respect next time."

Kris shook his head "I like the mouth, Lieutenant" Kris commented with a sigh. "There's nothing wrong with speaking your mind. However, it will not get you very far on any other starship. So, be mindful of your environment" added Kris as he rummaged through a stack of PaDDs on his desk.

"Here" announced the Commander after he had located the PaDD that he was looking for and tossed it over the desk towards the intelligence officer. "Consider this a special assignment. This is off the record and you will be reporting to me and only me, nobody else regardless of rank or position. Starfleet assigned me Commander t'Dharvanek. Most of her personnel files are sealed, I have opened whatever I could. I have questions and somewhere, there are answers and I want you to find them for me" said Commander Kerouac.

Kyle easily caught the PADD. "Consider it done sir," he put the device in the inside pocket of his uniform jacket. "Trust me I may not always know my limits but I do know my job. Why don't you give me, say,48 hours and we can meet someplace unofficially."

Kris nodded in agreement. "My quarters?" the Commander offered up as a suggestion. "You cannot really get much more of a private place than my quarters."

"Sure your quarters is fine. Say about about 21:00 on Wednesday?"

"That will be fine."

"Then if there isn't anything else, I guess I'll be leaving. With your permission sir."

Kris nodded. "Dismissed" he said, returning his attention to his work.

Breaking in and Breaking Out USS Katana, Briefing Room MD 1: February 1st 2388, 0900-0915 Hours
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Ray OOC: David, feel free to add anything you want in here.

Commander Kris Kerouac was pacing back and forth in the Katana's main briefing room as he nervously awaited the members of his crew who would consist of his Senior Staff; they were his First Officer, the heads of each department in addition to additional advisory positions. He was a younger, in experienced nervous wreck of Commanding Officer, and Starfleet Command knew it. Kris suspected this was why he was given the crew that he was. Captain Sanchez had approved of most, but the rest were his own selections filled in with those that Command had assigned to him. He had made no such requests nor approvals for a Chief Intelligence Officer, a Diplomatic Officer nor a Ship's Counselor. Yet, he was given all of those. The Intelligence Officer was the most discerning to him. Lieutenant Commander Jhu t'Dharvanek, a mystery inside and out.

When she had first come aboard, Kris knew nothing about her. She was a peculiarly assertive and defensive woman with an aura of mystery about her. Commander Kerouac did not even have the clearance level to read her personnel file at first, but now he had the ability to read further and so he had. Now, he wish that he had not read a damn thing about it. It was one of the strangest personnel files that he had ever laid his eyes upon. Sure, she had quite a few assignments, enough to maybe merit her rank considering her years in service. However, some assignments just seemed to have ended without notice only to have months or even years missing in between assignments. Some sections were only assessable after inputting his command codes, retinal scans, finger print and blood analysis and voice recognition. Even after all of that, most of her file was sealed to him.

He could eventually see an assignment to the USS Mata Hari, a starship that he had never heard of which was not surprising given the number of ships in the fleet. However, it was the registry number of the starship that made him cringe, NCC-XXXXX. There was not a legitimate registry number for the starship. Kris attempted to search the Federation database for a starship in service from 2380-2384 with a t'Dharvanek aboard. There were none. He looked over her personnel file for a Commanding Officer of the strange starship. All that he could find was a note of high recommendation from a Krull Larkon, no rank or information in regards to a connection to the woman. Kris had an idea to backdoor the search for answers but hit bulkhead after bulkhead. He found a Krull Larkon, an Intelligence officer who served on Deep Space 12, then was promoted to Commander and commanded the USS Venture for a few months in 2387 but who was demoted to Lieutenant Commander are was currently serving as First Officer of the USS Pandora

The name Pandora meant something to him. Merith he had thought to himself before leaving his Ready Room and heading to the Briefing Room. Now, he was pacing with the image of the woman radiating and pulsating through his mind. Captain Merith she was now and was the Commanding Officer of Pandora but she had once been an alluring Science Officer with the rank of Lieutenant when their paths had crossed. Just then, Kerouac's Yeoman came into the room.

The young yeoman looked at Kris and announced “I've let the Senior Staff know that they have been summoned, Captain.”

“Thank you” replied Kris, dismissing or rather shooing the yeoman out the door.

The room was not really all that big. In fact, it was smaller looking than usual because he had requested a slightly longer table to be put in the room to be more accommodating to his engorged Senior Staff. There were enough seats now to fit his complete Senior Staff. However, a few seats would be empty this time as he had yet to receive some crucial members of the Senior Staff. Kris was even getting rather desperate when it came to filling out his Senior Staff, but he could not worry about that now. Katana had a mission and they were going to be disembarking sooner rather than later. Kris took the stack of PaDDs from the table and distributed around the empty table before taking a seat himself at the head of the table.

The young Vulcan-Human Lieutenant had only just boarded this strange starship within the past hour. Thus far, he was only finding it to be a perplexing experience. This was truly a diverse crew, an unconventional crew and one that justly merited the arousal of one of his thick brows. He had heard nothing but confusing murmuring about the starship, this USS Katana. The young Helmsmen had heard two names being tossed around Deep Space 11 Promenade talk in regards to the Commanding Officer of the starship.

Apparently, there had been a last minute change in the Katana's command structure. However, it was not firmly confirmed to Lieutenant Verak that the Commanding Officer was Commander Kristopher Kerouac. The Captain's Yeoman had located Verak and informed his that Kerouac was summoning his Senior Staff to the Briefing Room. It was a logical action to do so. Though slightly peculiar considering that the starship was still docked at the space station. However, Verak deduced that orders must have come in from Command. This would thus reasonably explain the Captain's actions, a forced hand concluded the Helmsmen as he exited the turbolift and strutted across the Bridge, his eyes catching a glimpse at the helm console and the empty seat at it.

Beautiful he thought privately, stopping just for a minute to admire it. It was not very Vulcan of him to feel an emotional connection of this nature, especially one that was so strongly directed to an inanimate object such as the ship or more specifically his soon to be work station. However, he had then again never been known to be very stereotypically Vulcan when it came to his emotional instability and vulnerability.

The young Lieutenant neared the entrance to the Briefing Room and was met by the doors parting ways smoothly. He entered the room and made brief eye contact with the Ship's Captain, Commander Kristopher N. Kerouac. It had seemed as if the bearded man were scrutinizing Verak with his a piercing gaze. Verak cocked his head ever so slightly and pursed his lips. He knew That look shooting from Kerouac's eyes. The Captain was seeing Verak as a child and it was not appreciated.

Fuck you. I have earned this Lieutenant Verak thought as he took a seat as far away from the scrutinizing gaze of his new Commanding Officer as possible. "Yes, I am a Lieutenant and I am your Chief Flight Controller" the Helmsmen said in a sharp tone ready to draw blood with his words if need be.

Tul might have been early to the briefing... if he hadn't stopped to 'try' out the bridge and his shiny new, third pip. The Andorian stood just in front of the command chairs, watching the viewscreen. A workerbee navigated the construction yard around the ship, possibly making final checks on the Katana. Tul liked the layout and feel of the Intrepid-class bridge already.

As the workerbee disappeared from the screen, the turbolift hissed open. Tul glanced over his shoulder to see who it was. A young Vulcan stepped out briefly scanned the bridge before disappearing into the briefing room. Tul was instantly curious. Something about the officer struck him as distinctly un-Vulcan like. Perhaps this was the 'pain in the ass' the Captain had warned of. Tul released the bridge back to the duty officer and headed for the briefing room himself.

Only Commander Kerouac and the young Vulcan shared the room. However, there was enough tension in the room to make Tul's antennae twitch.

"Good morning, Captain," Tul said before turning his attention on the Vulcan, "Lieutenant...?"

Verak looked at the Andorian officer and gave a quiet nod initially. However, it would have only been polite to respond in kind. Therefore, The young Helmsmen addressed the Andorian. "Salutations, Commander" he said with a simple welcoming gesture with his hands.

Jenni was the next to enter the briefing room, having got her summons while laying on her back in a Jeffries tube. The power transfer conduits hadn't been fully inspected since their installation, and several alarms at the master console indicated several problems. So far during her inspection (her just-started and left to another engineer, Crewman Jenni-didn't-know-his-name-or-abilities), Jenni had found these alarms to have been left long behind from the installation of the relays. For someone who had to get a delayed ship ready for deployment, finishing someone else's laziness was not going to be something worth putting up with.

She noticed the other two occupants of the room, both in red collars and superior rank to her. Jenni nodded to both of them, believing introductions would have their place in the meeting.

"Captain," Jenni said, approaching the Commanding Officer and returning the PADD she was given earlier. "My personnel requests, sir."

Commander Kris Kerouac accepted the PaDD with a smile on his face. He knew as soon as he had met the woman that she was going to become one of the best Chief Engineers around. She was already making herself effective and valuable to Katana and to Kris personally. "Thank you, Lieutenant" replied Kris after having taken the PaDD from the engineer.

Maica had just gotten off the comm with one of the friends she had made during one of her more recent diplomatic functions. She had negotiated a trade settlement between his people and a neighboring moon. It seemed all was going well and peaceful trade was finally happening. Because of this, she was in her full dress uniform when she got the call for a staff meeting. Not even bothering to change, she headed to the bridge with all due haste, passing several nervous looking crewmen on her way.

Soon she was walking into the briefing room, holding her short frame elegantly in her purple trimmed service dress jacket. She couldn't help but smile as she saw her new Captain, but did her best to keep her voice more in the family friendly tone as she headed to a chair towards the back of the table. "Good day everyone. Captain, it's wonderful to see you again. Please excuse the fancy dressings - I was just in a call with one of my past associates."

What kind of associates do you have? pondered Kris as he looked the Android over. He held his tongue for the most part. However, he did acknowledge her greeting with a subtle nod. "You're fine, Maica. I am sure your associates found your dress to be quite ravishing" said Kris as best he could to not pry into her past.

Jhu took her time getting to the briefing; there hadn't been any sort of 'urgent' tag to the message, and she was still trying to get the intelligence 'office' together. The small space looked as if it had been hurriedly slapped together at the last moment, probably because Kerouac hadn't thought he 'needed' anyone in that department. It was rather typical of the bulk of the fleet, the way they thought all intelligence officers were dangerous and untrustworthy. At least they had that first part right.

The tensions inside the briefing room were immediately palpable, and she glanced around for the source of it. Almost immediately her eyes fell on the young Vulcan lieutenant seated as far from the head of the table as he could get. Now that's weird, she thought, wondering why a Vulcan - of all people - would have such an abrasive feeling about him. Though she wasn't afraid of him - not by a long shot - she gave the young lieutenant's chair a wide berth, skirting around the outer perimeter of the room to choose a seat near the middle of the table's length. Until someone asked for her name, she had no plans to give it, so she sat quietly, carefully observing the other occupants of the room.

Kris looked up when he saw the Intelligence Officer come into the room. He had a lot that he wanted to say to her, but not with everyone around them. Instead, he just verbally fired a warning shot. "You're personnel file was an interesting read, Commander. Perhaps later you could fill me in on what I have been missing" quipped Kris.

"Not likely." Jhu smirked slightly, having absolutely no intention of filling the gaps for anyone. The last thing she needed was for anyone to find out about the last ship she'd been on.

Sirigh was the next to enter, his uniform disheveled and lightly damp with no small amount of sweat. Having gotten the surprise summons while deep in vigorous practice, he'd had only a moment to dress, and less to wipe away the moisture dotting his bald, green head. The towel he held in hand helped with that.

Despite his rush, Sirigh had only a moment to take in an air of tension, his primed mind snapping to attention with the rest of him, taking in the scene as he introduced himself. "Lieutenant Sirigh, Chief of Security, reporting for duty, Captain." He said, though more than a little of his attention was really taking note of the half-Vulcan at the opposite end of the table.

I hope this one is actually an Orion and not another sexual service Androidthought Kerouac as he took a deep breath. "Welcome aboard the Katana, Lieutenant. It is a relief to know that you were able to arrive before we disembarked. I was beginning to worry that I was not going to have a Security Chief" replied Kris gently. He gestured for the man to take a seat.

Commander Kerouac stood up from his seat after everyone else had been seated. "I believe our Chief Operations Officer, Lieutenant Kali will be joining us shortly. However, before we get down to business, I believe it best to proceed with introductions" began Kris in a somewhat relaxed tone.

Bringing his arm in and indicating himself, he continued "I am Kristopher Kerouac, Commander. I was originally assigned to this starship to as a Lieutenant Commander to serve as First Officer under a Captain Sanchez. However, Captain Sanchez and out assigned Chief Flight Controller were involved in shuttle incident that is currently under investigation. There were no survivors. As a result, Starfleet Command has given me command and promoted me to Commander. That said, per protocol you may address me as Captain from here on out" explained Kris as clearly as he could.

"This is obviously my first command of any sort. I have been a First Officer before, but the Captain's chair is a entirely new entity. I may be rather young...and I am well aware that I am not the conventional Commanding Officer featured in Academy brochures. However, I am your Captain and I will do my damn best. We don't quite have every Department Head position filled as of yet...but we're trying to do so before leaving. Now, if we could please go around the table and introduce ourselves while we wait for Lieutenant Kali to arrive, that would be great" finished Kris who quickly took a seat.

So that was the plan then, not to give anyone a choice in whether or not to make an introduction. The briefing room was not the venue for sour looks, so Jhu settled for only an unamused glance. She'd be willing to bet almost anything that he was hoping she'd let slip some secret that he hadn't found in her personnel file, what little of it remained after Starfleet Intelligence redacted anything of importance. "Jhu t'Dharvanek, Lieutenant Commander. Intelligence." After a brief pause, she sighed and added, "Second officer." They were all going to learn that eventually, so there wasn't much point in attempting to hide it.

Jenni too could sense the tension in the room. She hoped this would not set the tone for future briefings. Nor did she have any idea if this was typical of such meetings. This was her first, and after a couple of early mishaps, this was a chance to plant a good impression with her peers. "Lieutenant JG Jennifer Matthews, Engineering," she said with a smile.

Tul nodded at Matthews as she finished speaking. He had been an engineer once upon a time himself. He cleared his voice, antennae raising slightly. "I am Lieutenant Commander Tul Zanaar, first officer. I look forward to working with you all," he said, looking at each of the assembled officers in turn.

Verak looked around from chair to chair as each person introduced themselves. He stiffened in his seat as he prepared to draw attention upon himself. "Lieutenant Verak, Chief Flight Controller" he said sharply.

Leaning forward, Maica took the small gap in introductions to speak up with a bright grin on her face. "I'm Lieutenant JG Maica, your friendly local member of the Diplomatic Corps. First Contact, if it should occur, is still in the purview of Captain Kerouac. I'm just here to assist with second and continued contact as well as promoting positive diplomatic relations with those we may meet in our travels. If anyone needs anything I might be able to help with, please feel free to contact me." Finally done with her wordy introduction, she leaned back in her chair.

Commander Kerouac, satisfied with the introductions continued despite the absences in the room. He knew Lieutenant Kali was aboard or at least had been as of a few hours ago, but Kris could not concern himself with missing personnel. He cleared his throat and proceeded "Each of you has a PaDD in front of you containing details about our first assignment. We have very little to work from but the fact of the matter is that we are needed. A cluster of Gamma Quadrant worlds not far from here have been experiencing acts of piracy" Kristopher began.

He looked around the room to see that attention was either on him directly or on the information being skimmed through. "There have also been attacks on Federation convoys carrying essential cargo to and from the Alpha and Gamma quadrants operating on the Federation trade route. So far, we know very little about the attacks but we suspect that one or more species may be involved. We are being sent to the region of space last to report an act of piracy with orders to investigate the scene and get to the bottom of this" the Commander said firmly. He shook his head as he tossed the PaDD aside.

"The last convoy that was raided by these pirates was carrying medical supplies to a Gamma Quadrant planet in dire need of those stolen supplies. Now, it will be another week or more until another convoy can come through the wormhole with those medical supplies. What was the consequence of the last act of piracy? Over 500 more fatalities from a disease those supplies could have helped prevent. These pirates will be stopped and it is our sworn duty as Starfleet officers to ensure that this ends here" Kris said slapping the edge of the table.

Liam entered the room, and slide into an empty chair at the end. "My apologizes Captain, minor medical emergency." He rubbed his hand over the short stubble on his jaw as he eyed the room. A pair of Orions, but the female didn't look quite right, a Vulcan, and possibly a romulan, as well as an Andorian. "We are quite the diverse group, I'll have to make sure I brush up on my xenobiology." He quipped as he began scanning the PADD quickly and getting himself caught up.

Commander Kerouac looked at the intruding officer with a sigh of relief. Chief Medical Officer though Kris with a sense of weight being lifted from his chest. "Please, have a seat Doctor, we were just discussing the situation" said Kris, sliding a PaDD across the table for his Chief Medical Officer to gaze over.

"Obviously we have to stop them, but we can't do that until we know who 'they' are," Jhu remarked calmly, not reacting to how Kris slapped the table so vehemently. In ways, the man reminded her of her mother, too much fire with no earth to ground him. "I can do that, but someone is going to have to provide something better than what we've got so far. All we know is it's at least one ship that no one recognizes and the Federation Council refuses to arm the freighters. Starfleet can't escort every trade shipment that goes out... we'd never get anything else done."

Kris' eyes shifted their gaze of pleasure and accepting warmth to Commander t'Dharvanek changing to distrust and a distant coldness. "My Intelligence officer desires more intelligence information on the matter" quipped Kris with a smirk..."How surprising" he added with notable sarcasm.