||Beta Quadrant | Xavier Shipyards | Guest Quarters
||June - 20th - 2388
The room had quite the view to it for guest quarters, allowing Avininder the opportunity to literally oversee the work being done on the Oberth class at the fleet yards. He was still hesitant about the whole thing. Yes, a command was something that he had always wanted, but that was when he was a young naive Starfleet Officer who dreamt of the galaxy being within his own hand, the ability to reach every star and see things that most people could not dare to dream of. All of that, the dreams and goals, the aspirations and the Starfleet uniform had all been left behind in the past. No Starfleet uniform hung in his closet nor laid folded in a drawer. He had thrown out, burned, or recycled all the uniforms he used to have after leaving the USS Concorde, after resigning from Starfleet pending the Court Martial which he did survive a free man.
He had changed a lot over the past couple years, and leaving Starfleet was not his only action towards change. Avininder Singh had shaven his beard off completely, something that went against the customs and beliefs of his family and their people. It was not that he was rejecting or pushing out the spiritual beliefs that he had grown up with, it was more that he was seeking a fresh start and a rebirth. He had also cut his hair for the first time in several years after taking off his turban, the crown of his spirituality and made the decision to keep it off. The former Starfleet Lieutenant did however keep his Kirpan though he rarely could wear it in Starfleet and always kept it in his quarters. He considered wearing the Kirpan once aboard the Oberth class starship. He did wear his Kara still and had his Kanga with him in his quarters.
Walking off over to the far corner of his guest quarters, Avininder approached the food and beverage replicator. “Starry night tea, hot” said the young man as he waited for the mug of hot tea to materialize on the small pad. Soon, the mug of tea appeared and the immediate area was filled with the aroma of chocolate truffle, hazelnut, and toffee. He picked up the mug and raised it to his nose, taking in the delicious aroma before taking a sip with his eyes closed. As he was heading back to the sofa the chime to his guest quarters rung, causing him to quickly set his mug of tea down and head over towards the door. “I'll be right there” he said calmly as he leaned forward and hit the control panel, opening the door.
Standing out in the corridor at the threshold of the doorway was a woman with long dark hair, dressed in a Starfleet uniform and with the rank pips of a Lieutenant Commander. “Shipyard security?” asked Avin with a curious look. “Have I done something to cause a visit from security?” pondered the young man. The woman had piercing eyes, irises of a vibrant subtle variant shades of purple and violet.
She simply presented Avininder a PaDD “Not Shipyard security, Lieutenant” said the woman with a quaint nod as she proceeded into Avin's quarters, allowing the door to close shut behind her. “I'm Lieutenant Commander Janet Glyndar, former Chief Tactical Officer of the USS Pandora and USS Adelaide, though I was briefly First Officer of the USS Challenger. Presently, I'm on a leave of absence” she explained.
Avin was skimming through the information on the PaDD whilst listening to the woman. “I'm not a Lieutenant anymore, Commander. I left Starfleet two years ago” he said shaking his head. The PaDD contained tactical information about the Oberth class starship with some peculiar suggestions and potential modifications. “What is all of this? Why are you here?” asked Avininder Singh.
Janet crossed her arms “You did not leave Starfleet” she said sternly. “Starfleet left you” she added sharply. “I do not know the details of your Court Martial, but I know you were cleared of any wrong doing aside from the obvious disobeying of orders. I am on a leave of absence and learned about that Oberth sitting in the shipyards was being sent back into service for the Federation Merchant Marines...an interesting change of careers. I had free time to kill and felt I'd give you some recommendations and suggestions. I've gone over tactical analysis reports for the Oberth class” she said explaining herself.
Avin looked up from the PaDD “You want to help us avoid another USS Grissom incident” said the young man. “I appreciate that” he said calmly, before lowering the PaDD “I am sure my Security Chief will be appreciative of these as well...I'll relay this information once I meet my crew, Thank you.”
|Outside The Box
||Marine Corp / Xavier Ship Yards
||June - 30th - 2388
[3 Months Prior, Star Fleet Marine Corp HQ]
“You’re a fine Marine, Jesse.”
Admiral Thurston’s tone was sympathetic yet firm, as Jesse Temple stood at attention before his desk. Temple’s eyes were fixed on the wall behind the Admiral, knowing bad news was coming but being completely unable to stop it. He could only stand there, arms folded behind his back, hands balled into tight fists.
“Yes, sir,” Jesse replied calmly.
“Your phaser skills are impressive, your strategic mind is an asset to the Corp.” The Admiral noted.
“Yes sir.” Jesse repeated.
“I’ve never met a Marine who loves to study as much as you. I bet you could recite the entire Corp constitution right now if I asked.”
“Yes sir. I could, sir.”
The Admiral smirked, “Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to. But it’s a credit to your transformation from delinquent to decorated Marine.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.” Jesse replied.
“However,” The Admiral began, and Jesse felt that sinking feeling he knew was coming. “Being a Star Fleet Captain means more than knowing the rulebook and following the procedure. Sure, once upon a time, all that came out of the Academy were good little boys and girls who towed the line but… the galaxy has changed on us.”
“We need Captains who are inventive, spontaneous, can think entirely outside of the box.” The Admiral continued. “I’d love to recommend you for Command, Jesse, your qualifications are certainly there. But you need to experience life outside of the norm to be a truly great captain. You need experience where you don't have the familiar to rely upon.”
Jesse nodded, taking it all in. The Admiral gave a polite frown as the Marine composed his thoughts.
“Permission to speak, sir?” Jesse braved a question, trying to work that quiver out of his voice.
“Go ahead.” The Admiral nodded.
“How exactly do I do that sir?” Jesse asked, finally looking the senior officer square in the eyes.
The Admiral smiled, “Well, I’ve got just the idea.”
[Current Day - Xavier Ship Yards]
Jesse Temple waited by the shuttlecraft doors as the vessel made it’s soft connection to the Yard’s docking ring. Jesse stood with a black rucksack hung around his left shoulder as he leaned casually against the bulkhead. The engines powered down and slowly the door raised before him, Jesse had to duck his head a little as he exited. The Marine gave a half-smile to the Yard crew as he sauntered off the shuttle and into the hustle and bustle of the pedestrian traffic.
A young Star Fleet Gold Shirt appeared suddenly, a recent graduate barely fitting into his first uniform, gripping a PADD to his chest. Jesse gave the youngster a polite nod, realising that he must be here for him.
“Sir!” The young officer saluted, then immediately wondered if that was required. So he stopped, then immediately wondered if that appeared rude. “Uh sorry, um Commander. I’m here to escort you to the Star of India, sir.”
Jesse only had his backpack so he handed that over and allowed the Gold Shirt to carry it. “Thank you kindly. Have you seen the refurbishment yet?”
“Not a lot, sir,” The officer replied, “Not many staff have arrived. I hear it used to be a museum?”
“Used to be,” Temple agreed. “But Federation ingenuity has given it new life, new purpose. Made it better.”
The Gold Shirt nodded, thinking it over. “Why not just build a new ship?” he asked, earnestly.
“Because sometimes you’ve got to think outside of the box,” Temple replied with a wry smile. “Apparently.”
The officer nodded again, not quite understanding the significance of Temple’s words. As they approached the Star of India, Jesse realised the Admiral had been right. He needed this experience and he needed to approach it like any other mission he had been on before. He had his parameters and his goals; he was going to prove to the Admiral and to himself that he could be refit into something new and better too.
The Star of India appeared before them and Jesse smiled. “Home sweet home.”
||Beta Quadrant | Planet of Bellatrix
||June - 22nd -2388
Having taken a shuttle from the shipyards, Captain Avin Singh and his accomplice and co-pilot for the trip, Chef Anne Chouvie had made the day trip to the Federation planet of Bellatrix with good timing. Though Avin had been rather quiet the entire time and hardly spoke a work to the woman aside from asking her to run a scan on something or to check a system. It wasn't that Avin was unfriendly. He just was not the most comfortable person around a stranger, but he knew that he would have to get to know the woman more sooner or later as she was slated to be serving aboard his starship, the SS Star of India. "Hail Bellatrix Control, let them know we will be arriving in a few minutes. Please have them clear an area for us to land" instructed Avin.
"Will do," Anne replied as she punched in the text request and started the automated process. She wasn't very wordy either. She was a cook. She barely knew what these consoles did. She'd do her best for now though, since that's what was needed in this instance.
Piloting was not Avin's expertise. It actually was science more than anything, but he had been certified to pilot small shuttlecraft though his experience doing so was limited and somewhat rusty from spending the past couple years out of Starfleet. "Beginning out descent now" he added announcing it to the woman. "Please keep an eye on the consoles, make sure nothing starts screaming at us...entering the stratosphere now" he continued.
Anne watched the consoles as they flew closer to the planet. Several gauges bounced into yellow areas, but nothing was red and no alarms went off. "No alarms so far..."
"Sound like everything is good to me" he said with a nod as he started to lower the shuttle's landing gear. "Landing gear is deployed...coming down to the troposphere...prepare for some light turbulence as we stabilize" he added just before the shuttle had a small hiccup before smoothing out. "Do they have a landing area cleared for us?" he asked the woman.
Checking the automated clearance process, Anne reported back with the results. "Pad thirteen is ready to receive us and nothing should be in our flight path."
"Lucky 13" he said with a small smirk. "Taking us down to pad 13....should be an easy enough landing" he said at the shuttle made the approach and sat down relatively gently on the pad. "Just like riding a camel again" he said aloud.
He looked at the woman as he handed a PaDD over to her. "We're looking for this guy" he said as he pulled the man's mugshot up. "He's a known pirate...and had been a member of the Maquis. We should consider him potentially dangerous and possibly armed."
Anne looked the picture over and memorized the facial structure. She was horrible at piloting, but she'd been aboard her share of smuggling ships. There wasn't much demand for chefs on the more mainstream boats, after all. "So keep my kitchen knives and phaser handy. Gotcha." Of course none of these were visible... but they were on her person, none the less.
"I'd rather take this more tactically than aggressively" he said with a small smile. "He's been known to frequent a nearby bar and he isn't too fond of anyone Starfleet or remotely close to it. As soon as we confront him about being a member of the crew...he's likely going to make a run for it or take a swing at one if not both of us. So, I want to subdue him" said Avin.
He looked at the woman with his dark eyes. "Can you seduce him enough to distract him?" he asked.
Anne's eyebrows shot up. "Me? Seduce someone? And without a kitchen? I can try."
Avin nodded. "Well, it is either going to have to be you or me, and frankly I have no interest in soliciting myself in any way shape or form...especially to another man" he said trying not to come off too hostile or bigoted about it. "Besides, I think the more reasonable assumption to make is that he'd find you more attractive" offered the Captain.
He then got up from his seat in the cockpit and headed back towards the rear of the small shuttle picking up a small satchel and digging through it. He pulled out a small package and opened it, taking out a tiny pebble like pill. "When he's distracted...slip this into his drink and wait a few minutes for it to fully dissolve. It's relatively tasteless and odorless."
= The Ale Hail Bar=
Lucian Jax found himself back in the Gravity Well Bar, as he was most nights of the week. Most people would think that a handsome young man such as himself would have better things to do in life than to waste his days drinking, but so far, he had yet to prove them right. He had become almost a regular here, even to the point of the bartender knowing which beer or liquor he'd want based on the look on his face when he walked in the door. If that wasn't love, Lucian didn't know what was.
Tonight, he was having whiskey, or at least the Cardassian version of it. Human liquors always had a stale taste to him, so he preferred the more exotic brews. He threw a few fingers in the air, a signal for the bartender to pour him another one. This was his second, or maybe his third? Lucian wasn't quite sure, but he was sure that he needed another. At this rate, he drink his entire life savings away in just under 3 months.
He sighed, not wanting to think about it. Having to give up the Starlancer was a hard choice to make, but he wasn't able to find work on his own anymore. Not with so many people looking for him. His ship was too easily noticeable and he would have found himself dead before long. It was better this way. Fly below the radar and try to find work on a different ship.
Walking into the bar, Avin quickly separated from Ms. Chouvie as to disassociate himself from Anne. The last thing he wanted was to be identified as a couple with her as it would ruin their plans. She knew what she had to do, Avin had laid it all out before they entered. He himself waited a few minutes before taking a seat at the bar, a couple of buffer seats between him and Lucian.
"Thaati Kallu" he said the the bartender, placing his order. A few minutes later the drink was sitting before him, much to his surprise. He honestly had not been expecting them to have it on hand yet they did. The drink was made from the sap from various palm treas including those of date palms and coconut palms. It had a thin milky white watery appearance.
"That looks disgusting," Lucian said to the man, giving his a half smile.
Oh? Are we going to converse with me? thought the Captain. "Looks aren't everything. It tastes better than it looks in my opinion" replied Avin simply, trying to appear as though he paid little attention to the man. "I've never been here before. What's their best drink?" he asked in an attempt to make some small talk. Perhaps it would lull his senses and let Anne do her job with ease.
Indeed it did let her work easier. Anne had already bribed the bartender and was behind the bar. "Whatever the man wants is always awesome." Leaning in closer to Lucian, she whispered into his ear, her cleavage spilling out just enough. "I just started working here and I'm still looking for a good lay. Interested in another drink on the house as incentive?" She spoke huskily and just loud enough for him to hear, licking his ear when she parted, a knowing grin on her face as she got out a glass and some ice to prepare him a fresh drink.
Lucian looked up at the woman, his eyes lingering on her busting cleavage a bit too long. "I'd be happy to help," he said, looking between her and the man who was sitting next to him.
Pulling out few bottles and a shaker, Anne started making a fresh drink in a very showy and fancy manner. It may have been the same simple thing he was already nursing, but bottles were in the air and the shaker was spinning for several seconds before everything was back on the counter. Then she shook the shaker a bit more before pouring it into the glass with ice and sliding it over to Lucian. "I hope I meet with your expectations." She said with a grin as she leaned on the bar, showing off a generous amount of cleavage once again. During that fancy display, she'd used a little sleight of hand to slip the drug into the drink and made sure it completely dissolved before serving it up.
Taking the glass, Lucian nodded to the man next to him. "He's cute, maybe he'll be a good candidate?" he asked, giving her a sly smile as he took a sip.
Taking a sidelong glance at the indicated man, Anne nodded thoughtfully. "With a drink like that? I'm guessing I'm not his type. You might be though." With a wink and a grin, she wandered down the bar to serve a few more customers just to keep up appearances.
Avin nursed his drink for a while, waiting patiently for the drugs to take effect and start weaning the man's energy and fine motor skills. Ideally, it would basically conk the man out slowly. The Captain was hoping that he and Anne could lure the man outside and then shuttle the man back to the SS Star of India with them. Once there, Avininder Singh would discuss the facts and lay everything out plain and simple.
Lucian turned to the man sitting next to him, "She has a point," he said, giving the man a wink.
"Don't count on it my friend" replied Avin. "But, I'll drink to a good evening among good company" he added, encouraging the man to drink more. Once he was nearly out cold, Avin and Anne would need to get him outside the bar.
Turning back to the bar, Lucian down the drink, motioning for the woman to pour him another. It didn't take long for the drug to take effect and a few moments later, he slid off of his barstool and hit the door with a thud.
"Well, that didn't take long" said Avin as he scooted off his bar stool and went to lift the man. "Might need your help with this Anne" he said calling for the woman to help him. "Let's get him back to the shuttle then bring him aboard his new home" added the Commanding Officer of the SS Star of India.
|The Captain's Temple
||Star of India | Deck 1 | Ready Room
||June - 30th - 2388
It had not been too long ago that the SS Star of India was saved from what was to be her final resting place amongst dozens of decommissioned starships at a Federation junkyard, where from time to time she'd be visited and stripped overtime of parts and pieces. The exterior had been given a fresh coat of paint and brought back to life. The interior had underwent a refitting as well with some changes in the interior decorating, but some parts of the ship were a bit mismatch. With barely a crew yet, Avin was pleased to at least know he was getting a First Officer, a Chief Officer...a right hand in the matter.
Avin's first order of business after getting his helmsmen aboard was to meet with his new Chief Officer, a former Starfleet Marine Officer who had now turned to the Merchant Marines for some reason. Some greater reason, some other purpose perhaps? For Avin the Merchant Marines was an opportunity to get back into space travel and finding a place for himself, a calling that Starfleet could no longer give him. The Captain's Ready Room was a medium grey colored room with generic looking beige-grey carpeting on the deck floor and a simplistic desk set up. There was an area off to the side of the room with a small lounge feel to it. However, the room was small and was more comfortably suited for no more than five individuals at once.
The sofa chairs and the Avin's desk chair were a darker shade of green somewhere between a dull jade and a forest green. He sat in his chair behind his desk looking over recent reports in the area of standard operations for the 93rd Task Force which the SS Star of India was technically a part of in an reserve auxiliary capacity as far as Starfleet went. For the Federation Merchant Marines, she was not really bound by anywhere. Though she would be dealing with the Beta Quadrant. Taking a sip from his drink, Avin was caught by surprise, slightly startled when the door chime went off.
Jesse hadn't long slung his rucksack into his quarters before he took a walking tour of the SS Star of India. It was a habit he had gotten into as he rised through the Star Fleet ranks; walking every floor of a new ship on his first day. He was determined to become accustomed to its corridors and bulkheads as soon as possible.
As he walked, Temple receieved notification that the Captain had returned onboard and dutifiully made his way to Singh's Ready Room. He could tell he'd surprised the Captain with his sudden appearance.
"Sorry, sir, if I've come at a bad time," Jesse sheepishly drawled through the closed door.
"It's alright, come in" he called out to the presence on the other side of the door. Avin was anticipating his new Chief Officer. He quickly stood up as the doors opened and had a quick look at the man. "Jesse Temple?" asked Avnin as he reached over his desk extended a hand, a gesture of appreciation and welcoming the man aboard. "Avininder Singh, Commanding Officer for the Star of India" he added introducing himself semi formally.
Jesse instinctively reached out and received the Captain's welcoming shake with a polite smile, before he pulled both arms behind his back again and remained at attention; his back stiff as a board and head titled up firmly.
"Thank you sir," Temple spoke, "Commander Temple, reporting for duty sir. Ready to receive your authorisation."
Avin let out an airy scoff that was the stopping point of a contained chuckle. "I appreciate the enthusiasm. Though the authorization process is mostly set up" said the Captain as he retrieved a PaDD and handed it to the man. "Your authorization codes, room assignment, and all essential information is all here for you to study up on and memorize as needed. Though the Star of India has been refitted and updated the best she could be in the amount of time we had, she's not the most internally secure starship" said the Captain.
He came out from around his desk and walked toward the side of the Ready Room, taking a seat on the couch and sofa looking are that could sit a few people if necessary. Avin gestured the former marine to join him. "I've been sitting behind that desk for the past hour" he explained simply. "You never really understand why Captains are so damn fidgety until you are in their chairs and behind their desks" he added shaking his head. "We aren't a Starfleet vessel. You obviously know that. Though we have been brought up to speed technologically speaking, we don't have to top of the line state of the art systems."
Temple gave a nod, "I've never been fond of desks myself, sir."
Jesse paused before taking the Captain's invitation to sit down. He was unaccustomed to being so informal with his superior officers, especially on first meeting. He wondered though that he might insult Captain Singh if he did not reciprocate the offer, so he sat awkwardly on the egde of the lounge.
"I will familiarise myself with the ship's systems as soon as possible, sir," Temple replied, "And adapt my routines accordingly. How long do you anticipate we'll be in dry dock?"
Avin reached into his pocket and pulled out an ancient antique pocket watch from Earth. "Not long enough to get a full crew compliment together, that's for sure. I plan to leave by the end of the day as soon as I can get finalized orders" replied the Captain. "Which I expect within the next few hours" he added. "A Cargo run from what I gather, though I'm anticipating there's more to it."
Temple nodded, giving his hairy chin a contemplative stroke. "I suppose in the Merchant marines we can always recruit crew along the way. We'll find folks willing and able to serve."
Jesse looked out the Captain's generous port window as a refit ship cruised past, making their final checks.
"Given we are due to depart without a full compliment," He began again, "I was wondering if I could put my previous experience to use in fulfilling one of the key departments? With your permission, I would like to run the Security team until we can recruit a suitable Chief."
Avin nodded. "Please do so. I might have to handle anything scientific until we can get a member of the crew with a scientific background. Otherwise, we quite literally might get swallowed by some celestial entity if we are not careful."
Temple laughed, "I hope you've got yourself a pilot who won't fly into such a mess."
Avin knew the pilot he had. The thoughts flashed throuhg his mind and he simply nodded. "I guess we will just have to find out" he said shaking his head.
|Means and Ends
||Shuttle | approaching SS Star of India
||June - 30th -2388
The transport craft slowed with a lurch as it approached the open maw of the shuttlebay. The pilot glanced across to his passenger with a nervous grin. "Sorry about that," he said, trying for the eighth time since their departure to strike up a casual conversation. "These things aren't exactly the nimblest of shuttle designs."
Ibrim ignored the pilot, as he had done so during all the human's previous attempts to verbally engage with the Cardassian. On those earlier occasions, his silence had been a concious choice. The pilot was a mere shuttle technician assigned to this shipyard, and thus below Ibrim's consideration. This time however was due to the Cardassian's focus on the ship growing ever closer in the shuttle's forward viewing port.
The Oberth-class starship was not the most graceful or awe-inspiring of designs, Ibrim had to admit. It had been designed with a particular purpose in mind, and through solid engineering had performed that purpose admirably for close to a century. Ibrim approved of this concept. Like most Cardassians, he regarded functionality over grace as the better virtue in any design - all the more so with a military vessel.
No longer, Ibrim corrected himself as the transport entered the shuttlebay on the prow of the Oberth's upper frame. This was now a cargo vessel, repurposed after several years as a museum ship. Ibrim's mouth curled with scorn at the thought. He would never understand the Federation's mentality of putting perfectly good starships out to pasture for tourists and snot-nosed cadets to stumble around and gawp at obscure design details. A starship of heroic noteriety, he could perfectly understand; Ibrim remembered visting the battleship 'Pride of Cardassia' as a child, reading the display plaques with mounting excitement as they recounted the glorious battles of conquest that the vessel had undertaken. A museum piece like that had purpose, serving to reaffirm the patriotism of the youth and the masses. In all other cases, Ibrim reasoned, a starship was a tool. Its purpose was to be operated until obsolecence or redesignation to another role. At least the Federation had finally seen that logic with the Star of India.
The shuttle touched down with a jolt on the landing deck, and this time the pilot did not bother to apologize. Ibrim turned to the hatch and waited whilst the shuttlebay doors closed and the room outside was re-pressurized. Once the indicator light next to the hatch turned green, he pushed the release button and listened to the whirr of servos as the transport's gull-wing door swung upwards. Ibrim hesitated, and then turned towards the pilot. The human's face broke out in a grin, obviously expecting some kind of parting words. Ibrim raised his chin slightly and looked down his nose at the man. "Your piloting was terrible," he said. "You can rest assured that I'll be mentioning it to your supervisor before we leave the shipyard." With that said, Ibrim turned on his heel and stepped off the transport, leaving the human pilot open-mouthed at the bluntness of the statement.
= Bridge =
The journey from shuttlebay to bridge took only a moment; the Oberth-class was a small vessel and the shuttlebay itself was only two decks below the command center of the ship. The bridge was a mix of old Starfleet aesthetics and modern computer equipment. In his position as Chief Engineer, Ibrim had read all that he could find on the vessel's history and its recent refurbishments. If he was going to keep this thing in the sky, he needed to know every nut and bolt in its hull.
A brief walk across the bridge brought him to the door of the Captain's ready room, and Ibrim hesitated before pushing the alert button on its exterior frame. His doubts about this career choice still festered in the pit of his stomach, and he would be lying if he did not feel some dissonance at the concept of ferrying cargo for a former enemy of the Cardassian Union. Ibrim shook his head, mentally chastising himself for putting details over the bigger picture. The Federation Merchant Marine was his best opportunity to develop as an engineer and a commander, and like all good Cardassians he would use the best means at his disposal to achieve that end. He pushed the alert button and waited to be called inside.
Nuts and bolts were not the only thing holding the old Oberth starship together, yes, it was true, she had been saved from a Federation salvage yard, tractor beam hauling her out into a clearing and then towed to the fleet yard for a major refit and some upgrades. She may have not been the prettiest starship around even after a fresh coat of paint on her hull and some much needed interior decorating. The starship had once been retired from active service and had a good second life as a museum ship. Now? Now, the old girl was back on the ballroom floor in service to the Federation Merchant Marines.
Captain Avin Singh was in his Ready Room with Commander Temple, the two gentlemen having just met and were finishing up their initial first contact between CO and XO when the 'chime' (which sounded a bit more like a buzzer) to the Ready Room alerted the two gentlemen to the presence of yet another arrival. "One second, please" said the Captain as he looked around his desk, reaching for the proper control. "Enter" he then added allowing the doors to part ways, revealing the man who would be soon be working very long hours in the Oberth class starship's Engine Room. Well, you haven't left the starship yet. That's a positive sign thought Avin who stood to greet the man. "Commander Temple, please meet our Chief Engineer, Mister Dakar" said Avin with a polite nod in the Cardassians direction.
Ibrim stepped into the ready room, his eyes falling to the two senior officers onboard the ship. They were both human, which was what he had expected. The Cardassian's past experience of humans was best described as mixed. Like all those brought up on the Cardassian homeworld, Ibrim's youth had been steeped in the propaganda of Cardassian glory and Federation villiany in the border wars that had only just finished. Holovid action movies set during the border wars often showed heroic Cardassian officers fighting off the evil Federation menace, often portrayed by human holograms designed to epitomise all the weaknesses of the human species. Ibrim had not met an actual human until he was fifteen. As he had got older and was able to think on the subject in greater detail, Ibrim had come to the reluctant conclusion that humanity was a lot more complex than his childhood videos had portrayed. They had their flaws, but they were also imaginative and had the capability to be strong warriors. They had, after all, won the Dominion war.
Human they may be, but they were still his superior officers. As a Cardassian, Ibrim had been drilled just as much in the importance of hierarchy as he had in the superiority of the Cardassian people. These were his commanders, and it was not their fault that they had not been born Cardassian. Stepping into the middle of the ready room, Ibrim straightened his posture and came to attention, clicking his heels together and giving a nod of his head by way of a salute. "Ibrim Dakar, reporting for duty sir," he said in a crisp, annunciated tone.
Then Avin approached the Cardassian and in human tradition extended his arm with his hand open in order to shake the Cardassian's hand. Dominion War Admirals would be withering away with their prejudices right now. A Cardassian on a Federation starship and heading a department no less thought the Captain with a small gleam in his eyes. "It is an honor to have you aboard and surely a historical moment. There haven't been too many Cardassians in Starfleet, and I'm pretty sure you are the first to cross into the Merchant Marines for service" admitted Avin. "Avininder Singh, Captain. And this gentlemen is my Executive Officer, Commander Jesse Temple."
Jesse had stood respectfully as the Chief Engineer entered. His hairy chin tensed ever so slightly as the Cardassian stepped forward; a gut reaction drilled into him after years in opposition with their race. He figured Mr Dakar felt the same way but the Star of India had brought them together, and together they would serve.
"Seems our little family is growin' by the hour," Jesse spoke in his relaxed drawl, putting the most pleased-as-punch grin on his chops. "Mr Dakar, welcome aboard."
Temple reached out his hand as well to shake with the Engineer, giving a polite nod as he did.
Ibrim was momentarily taken aback by the outstretched hands being proffered to him. Cardassian military personnel tended to avoid informal physical contact; it was seen as beneath a superior officer to engage as such with their juniors. With the exception of two years engineering on civilian freighters, Ibrim's entire life was shaped in the perspective of Cardassian military protocol. He was sure that this would not be the first cultural clash with which he would have to deal. Also - although he would not say it aloud to either Singh or Temple - there was something in his gut about making physical contact with a human that struck him as wrong. There was a brief second of mental conflict between Ibrim's cultural upbringing and his drilled respect for the chain of command before he finally, hesitantly, reached out and shook both men's hands in turn. "Thankyou Captain, Commander," he said, his tone somewhat stiff. Ibrim turned his eyes to Avin. "With your permission Captain, I would like to accept my authorizations and begin my duties aboard ship."
"Right" replied the Captain, his skin tone darker than the pale Cardassian and slightly darker than that of his First Officer. "If you two would just give me a quick moment..." added Avin as he headed over to his computer that sat on his desk. "I do not have a Yeoman assigned to me, at least not that I have been made aware of. So, I am still getting my way through all these formalities and the beaurecratic redtape," explained Avin as he retrieved two PaDD's from his desk after tapping a few commands into each of them.
He approached the two men and handed each of them one. Ibrim's had all his information and authorization and command codes as Chief Engineer and Jesse's had all of his as Executive Officer. "Computer, recognize Executive Officer Temple, Jesse, Commander" said Avin. He looked at the man and gave a nod for him to provide his voice authentication and state his command codes.
Jesse felt a tingle of excitement down his back, as the Captain handed over the PaDD. He'd accepted credentials before, even a few leadership roles, but this still felt enormously thrilling to him. The Star felt like a whole new kind of posting and a different adventure lay ahead.
He cleared his throat, "Authorisation Temple Beta-3-1-9-5."
The computer processed the information. "Authorization acknowledged. Commander Jesse Temple, Executive Officer - SS Star of India."
Avin nodded. Oh that voice he thought to himself. "Computer, recognize Chief Engineer, Ibrim Dakar, Lieutenant and grant command level clearance for Second Officer to Lieutenant Darkar" said the Captain who then gestured to the Cardassian.
Ibrim nodded in reply to Avin. "Authorization Dakar Omega six-two-nine-four," he declared.
The computer once again processed the information as well as granted the command level clearance to the man. "Authorization acknowledged. Command level clearance applied to Lieutenant Ibrim Dakar, Chief Engineer - SS Star of India."
The Captain looked at the two men and nodded. "Again, welcome aboard both of you. We have a lot to get done in the few hours we have left before disembarking" said Avin calmly. However, on the inside he was nervous about this whole thing. A command of his own and an Oberth class at that.
|Wake Me Up Inside [BACK POST]
||SS Tornado | Brig
Light slowly began to fade in through the corners of the man's eyes. A groan escaped his throat as memories from the night before began to flood his mind. He leaned to the side, realizing he was on a bed, though it was as hard as rocks. He opened his eyes and realized he was in, what looked like a jail cell. The room was basically empty except for a bed and sink, and one wall had a massive forcefield on it.
Anger boiled in Lucian's stomach as he stood up and walked to the forcefield. There was a young man standing at a console not far away, looking down.
"You, get me out of here," Lucian said, leaning against the forcefield frame.
The young man looked up. He couldn't be more than 18 years old. His red hair and freckles clashed with the green of his tunic. He pushed a button on the console, "Captain Singh, the man is awake," he said into the comm before it cut out. The young boy looked up at Lucian, "The Captain will be here soon."
"I don't give a fuck about your Captain. Get me out of this cell. I've done nothing wrong, I've been kidnapped and taken hostage." Lucian punched the bulkhead, putting a small dent into the metal. "Get me out of here!"
Walking into the room with a good cup tea, a visible trail of steam evident. "Language" said the Captain of the SS Star of India. "Call me prudish if you must, but I prefer to leave that language on backwater worlds and in seedy establishments. I do not permit much vulgarity to follow me professionally" added the young man with dark hair and dark eyes. "Kidnapped...perhaps. I like to to consider it unlawful detainment and you are more of my special guest rather than a hostage. The holding cell was for your own protection until you sobered up and came to" said Avin with a small smile.
He looked at the young red haired boy who had signed up and was serving aboard the Star of India "Release the force field, please" instructed the Captain who then headed over to a replicator. "Can I get you anything to drink or eat?" he asked Lucian. "You are a free man. I would like for you to come out and discuss matters with me" added Avin.
"Get me off of here," Lucian said as he walked towards the door of the room. When it didn't open, he turned and looked at the man with a scowl. "What the fuck do you want with me?"
Avin looked at the man "Not your companionship, that much I can assure you" replied the Captain in short. "However, your friendship overtime would be an acceptable bonus. No, what you are doing here and what I want with you is quite simple. I am in need of a skilled pilot and navigator" explained Avin as he took a sip of his tea and pursed his lips as he was briefly sidetracked in though. "This is actually not bad for replicator chai" he said to himself.
"And what, asking me was out of the question?" Lucian asked, throwing his hands in the air. "I don't tend to work for people who detain me illegally. But if you had just asked, we could probably have worked something out."
The Captained scoffed as he finished his tea. "Ah yes, because your word is golden in this quadrant or any other part of the galaxy" said Avin as he motioned for the red haired boy to hand him a PaDD and for the young man to take the empty mug. "Lucian Jax age 36 Earth Years...a Trill, and that is all I know about you that is fact. Everything else is scuttlebutt and hear say, but your reputation as a wrangled pilot who has little regard for safety is exactly the sort of man I am looking for to pilot this old girl."
"Perhaps you should take your misinformation and shove it up your ass," Lucian said. "You don't know me nor do I plan to tell you. If you want a good pilot, go find someone else. If you want the best, then you better fucking ask me nicely."
The Captained crossed his arms as he disregarded the small bit of info about the man contained on the PaDD, except for a few bits of info. "Well, Lucian you see there's one thing I cannot ignore. You have violated a few planetary laws in your day with reckless flying and endangerment of others, even a few non-Federation worlds have outstanding fines. This is me asking you nicely. Join my crew and pilot my starship and I'll pay you handsomely in bars of latinum."
"Unlock this door," Lucian simply stated.
"Oh" said Avin somewhat apologetically as he approached a panel nearby the holding cell. "Forgive me. I'm still getting used to this starship. Not everything opens automatically, some things should but aren't, and I thought I was going to get stuck in one of the lifts the other day. As upgraded and retrofitted as they are making this starship. She was clearly in the salvage yard for a reason."
"How many bars of latinum are we talking?" Lucian asked. He leaned against the bulkhead, crossing his arms. This was his favorite part, the negotiating.
Avin was interested in seeing where this went and how smoothly. He was no Ferengi, but haggling and bartering were going to be something that Avin would have to come to strengthen his skills on. "How long are you staying...I cannot pay you for five months if you only stay five days. So, how about we make a deal. I'll pay you per mission we get. Payment is going to very on what we are carrying and who we are carrying it for. We take on a lot of Federation cargo, but we are not exclusive" explained the Captain.
He looked at Lucian. "I'll be willing to pay twenty bars right here right now if you take us to our first pick up site. We have to stay in a Fleet Yard for several days, but once we disembark it is less than a day's travel to our cargo pick up."
"Thirty and not a slip less. Let's not forget you drugged me and detained me illegally." Lucian looked at the man with a sly smile. "You look like a Starfleet guy, even if you aren't an active member, I'm sure they wouldn't be happy with that information."
Avin nodded "Thirty it is. But You are only getting ten of it now. The rest you may have after we get the cargo to its destination safely and I'll give you a bonus for your troubles" said the Captain. "Yes, I was Starfleet, but that was another life...well not like a Trill means it. Point being Starfleet is behind me and we have very little to do with one another."
Lucian smiled, "Those terms are agreeable. If you need me, I'll be in my quarters. Let me know when we're leaving." With that, the man turned and walked through the doors.
Quarters thought Avin who followed the man out into the corridor. "We don't have much of a crew yet. There's you, me, and the woman from bar. You are welcome to lay claim to quarters wherever you like."
"I'll figure it out," the Trill said with a wave of his hand, without looking back.
||SS Star of India | Main Engineering
||June 30th 2388
= Main Engineering =
Under a number of circumstances, the Oberth class starship was designed to operate almost autonomously, requiring only a crew of 5 under the most extreme of situations. The engineering department of the class was no different, and indeed in some cases operated without any input from starship personnel for extended time periods. There was a joke in Starfleet that Oberth class Chief Engineers were the sort of people to take a 'hands-off' approach to their job as a result.
Ibrim Dakar was not that sort of person.
He stepped through the entrance of Main Engineering and paused just inside the door, letting the sliding panel close behind him with the whisper of servo-mechanisms. Main Engineering on an Oberth was much smaller than aboard the Galor class cruisers upon which Ibrim was used to operating. It was a roughly hexagonal room with a walkway around the perimeter that held various wall-mounted consoles. At the center of the room, recessed upon a smaller deck area within the confines of the walkway, stood the matter/antimatter core of the Warp Drive. The quiet hum of main power surging through the India's hidden conduits permeated the air, and Ibrim smiled as he drank in the atmosphere that would serve as his home for the near future.
The peaceful hum was interrupted by a metallic clatter and a human profanity. Ibrim's smile immediately disappeared as he realized that he was not the only person within the room, and his face reverted to the stern demeanour to which it was accustomed. As he turned towards the source of the noise, he saw a human male pull himself out from an open conduit hatch, using both hands to leverage himself out onto the deck and push himself to his feet. He was a tall, athletic human with reddish-blonde hair and brown eyes. He was wearing the yellow uniform of an Engineer, but that was where his professionalism seemed to end. He rubbed his shoulder with one hand and cursed several more times, muttering low under his breath. "You could've given me some kind of warning," he called aloud.
For a moment, Ibrim thought the human was talking to him. Then another head appeared from the open conduit, and a Vulcan female also proceeded to extricate herself from within the tube. She was dark-haired and lithe, and the expression on her face was the usual calm demeanour that Ibrim had seen on a thousand Vulcans before. Nonetheless, there was a sparkle in her eye that Ibrim found to be out of place. "You told me to keep an eye on the panel as you loosened it," she said in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Yeah, I did," the human replied, turning towards her with a frustrated glare. "I didn't mean that you should keep an eye on it as it fell straight onto my collar bone."
The Vulcan gave a slight shrug. "You were not precise in your instructions," she replied.
The human shook his head and let out a frustrated snort, but he was grinning. "One of these days, I will shove your pointy-eared head into one of these hatches and slam it - oh."
Ibrim stood watching the two crewmembers as they finally noticed his presence. The Vulcan immediately straightened her stance in a respectful manner, but the human male did not seem to know what to do. "Can I help you?" he asked, his tone bordering between confusion and irritation at the sudden interruption of a new person.
"Can you help me?" Ibrim paraphrased in reply, his tone thoughtful. He took several steps towards them both as he spoke. The two crewmembers were standing on the walkway to the right of the main entrance, about half the way around the circumference of the room. "Well, I would say that depends," Ibrim continued. "Are you familiar with the old Earth concept of keel hauling?"
The human blinked. Ibrim was now only a few feet away from him, and the sight of a tall, well-built Cardassian bearing down on his position was obviously of some alarm. "I-what?" he spluttered.
"Keel hauling," Ibrim replied conversationally. He paused in front of the Vulcan woman and gave her an appraising stare. She did not respond to his eye contact, choosing to stare straight ahead in a military-like fashion. Ibrim nodded slightly in approval of her actions. "It's quite a simple procedure. Ancient mariners on your planet would attach a rope to an offending sailor and have them dragged underneath the keel of a vessel. It was rather unpleasant." Ibrim turned his gaze to the human, his grey eyes piercing. "What you may not know is that the Cardassian military was still using that procedure on starships only a century ago." Ibrim smiled. "So, why don't we start again?" he asked.
The human was unsure of what to do for another few moments, and for a moment it looked like he was going to argue with Ibrim. The human gave a quick glance at his Vulcan counterpart, before straightening himself into a more formal position. "Chief Petty Officer 1st Class John Abraham, sir," he said. "Damage Control Specialist."
Ibrim nodded, and then turned back to the Vulcan. In response to his silent question, the Vulcan cleared her throat. "Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Teval of Vulcan, Propulsion Specialist," she said.
Ibrim looked between the two of them once more. Then he turned on his heel and took several steps along the walkway in the opposite direction. "My name is Ibrim Dakar," he declared. "I am your new Chief Engineer." He paused in his stride, and turned his head to look across at the warp core housing in the center of the room. "This is not a Starfleet ship and I am not a Starfleet officer," Ibrim continued. "You will have been used to working under certain different-" he turned on his heel as he spoke, and caught John undertaking a bad impression of his posture and gestures. The human dropped his shoulders with a guilty jerk of surprise, obviously having not expected the Cardassian to turn around. Ibrim's eyes bore into the man with the intensity of laser beams. "That's the only time you get to do that," he said, his voice as cold as ice crystals. "Do I make myself clear?"
John nodded. "Yes," he said, before adding, "sir."
Ibrim did not take his eyes off John. "I am a Cardassian," he declared. "I served with the Fourth Order for a decade. I expect a sense of decorum and a respect for the chain of command." He finally took his eyes off John and looked around the room. "As far as I am concerned, this room is under Cardassian military protocols," Ibrim said, and then smirked. "Even though neither of you have had the fortune of being born Cardassian, I am holding you to the same high standards. Clear?"
Both crewmembers nodded, although John's expression was less than happy. Teval's face however was the same calm expression that it had been since he had entered the room. Ibrim returned the nod in acknowledgement. "Good," he said. He turned once more to look at the warp core housing, the very beating heart of the ship at the center of the room. He smiled, this time with genuine pleasure. "Run me through your latest engineering reports."
OFF: I thought Ibrim should meet his NPC subordinates and set a little further tone for his character. Hope you all enjoyed the read.
|I'm The Only One
||SS Star of India | Neema's Cabin
||June - 30th -2388
There were benefits to serving aboard the SS Star of India, benefits to Neema that were actually seen as cons rather than pros for most people. She dealt with anxiety all her life and no amount of counselling nor any prescription was going to eradicate that from existence. So long as she existed and was breathing, anxiety would be there as her constant companion. However, it was far more manageable now with counselling sessions and routine medication that she took via hypospray on the dot every time. She did not miss a treatment and she never flaked on her counselling sessions. What she had not quite realized until after accepting the assignment to the SS Star of India was that the starship was more than just ideally small, which she loved; The SS Star of India had no assigned Counselor aboard and no plans for one either. This caused her to freak a little as she had never gone a week in all her years without having at least one session.
She took a deep breath, several of them actually which caused her to look remotely like a fish out of water. "Computer" she said as she sat her personal belongings down in her tiny quarters. "Is there a Ship's Counselor assigned to this starship?" she asked once again, somewhat praying that it was just some technical fluke and the computer had glitched or something the last time she asked, but again it replied "Negative. There are no Counselors assigned to the SS Star of India" and this made her chest feel tight as she pulled her legs back, her knees connecting to her chin and she rocked a bit on the edge of her bunk. It's going to be okay...it will be okay. You have this, Neema. Not every starship has a Counselor. They should but they don't she said to herself as she rocked back and forth for several minutes.
"Computer, how many crew serve on an Oberth class starship?" she asked, knowing the number had to be fairly low given the ship's size. She was reassured by the computer that "An Oberth class starship holds a maximum crew compliment of fifty individuals" to which Neema felt herself relax a bit more. Her life was dictated by numbers or guided at least. She preferred to think of it as simply guided by numbers rather than the words 'controlled' or 'dictated' which made her feel less in control of herself and her life. She had never been in Starfleet despite that being her dream. In stead she attended the Federation Maritime Academy to become an Officer in the Merchant Marines, albeit a nurse. Why the Maritime Academy instead of Starfleet Academy? Numbers. Too many cadets would be at Starfleet Academy even if she managed to take all her classes at one of the more remote campuses.
The Maritime Academy was not as popular and her graduating class was not in the thousands nor was it in the high hundreds. It was somewhere between high double digits to maybe wiggling into triple digits. That was counting everyone with all majors included. The nursing program only had about forty, some of whom dropped out and made the number more comfortable. "And what about the Star of India. What is our expected crew compliment?" she asked the computer.
"Assigned crew compliment of the SS Star of India is twenty five" replied the ship's computer. This caused Neema to feel a lot more relaxed and she was starting to ease her posture a bit as her knees slid away and her feet dropped, dangling over the floor, hovering there. Maybe this won't be so bad after all she thought to herself.
She knew there was no Counselor, but she was not sure how the medical situation aboard would be. "Computer, list medical personnel assigned to the Star of India" she commanded. Her inquiry had been taken and the answers given rather quickly. Only two names and positions were given. Her eyes widened and she shot right up in her bed. "Computer, you mean to tell me this starship has one doctor and one nurse? That is all for the Medical Department?"
"Affirmative" replied the computer.
The Benzite Nurse got off her bed and headed out to find this Doctor. "I'm the only one? I'm the only nurse he has?!" she said to herself somewhat panicking a bit. It was a great deal of responsibility that she was not expecting, fresh out of school. Surely, we will be taking on another doctor or at least a veteran nurse she thought as she proceeded to the Medical Bay.
|Insults and Flattery
||June - 30th -2388
Things were being tossed left and right, nearly hitting a young crewmen who had the misfortune of being assigned the task to 'assist' as Chief Petty Officer Ginifred Klem went through unit after unit, locker after locker, getting things ready for the SS Star of India. The Tellarite woman let out a series of frustrated snorts as she leaned into a large crate, her hooves coming off the ground and she very well nearly toppled herself right into the storage crate. “Useless....useless....USELESS” she said as things went flying over the shoulder of the crewmen who was dodging things left and right. “Ah yes perfect” she said as she came out of the crate, her hooves touching the solid deck once again as she turned around to see that the room was a mess. “Crewmen” she said shaking her head. “It looks like a Ferengi rummage sale in here.” she said snorting as she held her finds in her arms.
The Tellarite let out an exhausted sigh. “I'm not even officially reported for duty yet, wouldn't you know” she said snorting. “But we been given the bare minimal. They told me the armory barely had a thing in it and they plan on sending us in well pirated sectors of space. Well, I told that Captain...sounds like a very nice young man, that I'd wrestle him up some extra supplies” she added as she put her haul into a large satchel. “Starship is older than me and they had to pull her out of the salvage yards and send her back to a shipyard just to get her polished back up to working conditions.”
To the best of his abilities, the crewmen simply nodded and answered the woman with a disinterested reply of 'Yes, Chief' or something along the lines of an 'mmmhmm' to satisfy the talkative Tellarite who seemed like all she wanted to do was complain about this and that, causing the crewmen to ponder if she just enjoyed hearing herself talk. Fortunately, she was tolerant and understanding of other species and their customs and beliefs. Back on her home world in the presence of another Tellarite she would have raised the tone of her voice and argued to show a sign of great respect and appreciation for the crewmen, even insulting him because for a snot nosed pink skinned human, he was kind of cute...not that she had any interest in him. Ginny shook her head and scoffed at the mere thought.
The room was occupied by a few other people, but one of them Ginny found particularly interesting. “I thought I smelt something weird in here” she said quite loudly, echoing throughout the room as she locked eyes onto a Saurian. “Thought I got a whiff of Klingon foot fungi, but nope just a Saurian” she said insultingly. In Tellarite culture insults were shared among the closest of friends. She did not know the man, but Ginny was unpleasantly pleasant to anyone she met unless she knew they did not understand her culture or if she downright did not like someone. In either case, she was nearly sickenly sweet to them.
"Of course, we have to have a Tight lipped iguana running around here. You know, you talk too much to yourself and the rest of us who are actually trying to get supplies for our ships actually would like to do it in 'SILENCE', unfortunately we cant because your lips are flapping you over sized targ!" The saurian stated boldly as he went back to work, Padd in hand as he made sure he checked the weapons cases, the ration cases and made sure his order of saurian ale was present, though most do not enjoy the ale, he did.
Ginny walked over to the Saurian, her hoofed feet going click clank click clank across the deck. She gave the man a good smack on the back before continuing their conversation. "At least I gums to flap you overgrown radioactive salamander!" she shouted with a bellyful laugh. Her voice was like claws on running down a bulkhead as she cackled her and continued in a very guttural tone. "Your species is so ugly that even a non-corporeal Medusan couldn't stand to look at you" she added. "What starship could possibly want you slithering about? What position in a crew do you hold, bartender? I hope your pour of Saurian Brandy is at least halfway decent" she added.
"Im a Dragon, cant you see correctly you blind Gorn!. Oh wait, Gorn are prettier so never mind!" Raza retorted as he felt the weight of the slap. "Stationed on the SS Star of India. Just making sure the ships got a stocked Armory, Emergency supplies, and enough Dragon Brandy to sink forty Oberth starships, you blind walking Python." Raza called back as he checked off each supply crate on his list.
The Tellarite had good bellyful chuckle at the man's retort. "You say dragon, I say overgrown lizard with wings...and I don't see the wings, darling" she replied shaking her head. "Your species are damned confusing. Air breathers with gills who can breath underwater and your planet? Don't get me started on that toxic hunk of rock" she said with a heavy sigh. Chief Klem then extended her hand or what constituted as one. She had her 'hands' surgically crafted. they were still somewhat hoof like but somewhat resembled human hands. "Chief Petty Officer Ginifred Klem, your new neighbor and shipmate aboard the Star of India" she said introducing herself.
Taking her half hoofed hand and shook it. "God help us with you around." Raza said with a half smile. "Yeah planets toxic, it just means that you wont survive long and my planet will make your stay as uncomfortable as possible, you fat Cardassian." Raza called out as he opened up one of the containers to make sure everything was counted for. "Is 100 type three phaser rifles and 50 type two phasers enough to fill the armory?, time in Starfleet has taught me to be over prepared. Thought I would leave the Grenades though, I could get my hands on them rather quickly if you think we could use them." He asked plainly without insult this time, giving a half smile.
She scoffed "More than enough you paranoid, Romulan" she replied as she picked up her satchel. "I rummaged around a bit and got some Type one phasers...the Captain said he wanted crickets. The type twos should be fine, but they aren't going to allow us more than a few phaser rifles unfortunately" she said grunting. "Starfleet and the Federation does not like to supply heavy arms to 'non-Starfleet' vessels" she said with clear dislike in her voice. "Best leave the riffles" she added.
"Well I think ill take two cases of rifles anyways, 10 rifles is better anyways and I rather be an over prepared, Romulan than a dead Tellarite. After all I am in charge of keeping the ship safe during potential evacuations and the like. I ordered us 50 Photon grenades and 50 Sonic Grenades. Whatcha think, Walking dead Satyr." He asked curiously. "By the way do you even know how to use a phaser or do you do most of your fighting in mouthing off, Hydra's Breath." Raza called to Ginny.
Chief Klem put a hand on her hip and looked at the Saurian as though she were going to chow down on him right then and there. "Ten rifles should be enough for us to get by any red tape from Starfleet" she said first addressing that matter. "Now, listen to me honey. You don't go asking an old gal like me if she even knows how to fire a phaser. I've been in my share of fights and am old enough to have lived through my fair share of wars" she said shaking her head and stomping his hooves. "I am more than certified to fire a phaser and I'm not talking just about these little crickets, ya hear me? I was a member of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, am a decorated veteran of the Dominion War and I hold certifications in Demolitions, Structural Engineering, and Transporter Operations."
"Impressive Resume, Billy chops. But I will need to see your skill first hand before I put any phaser near you or any person aboard ship, this way I can gauge the full capabilities of the crew. After all, I am fully aware of your mouth satyr chops, I would prefer to see you do more than just talk to people to death with 'Useless' jabber. Dont worry, everyone else will be under the same restrictions as everyone else. Until I clear the crew personally no one touches these. Also not sure when you left Starfleet ancient one, but things have most likely changed since your service." Raza said grinning as he cleared the crates of weapons and requested a couple more crates of type one personal phasers.
She gave the Saurian a cold state before letting out a good chuckle. "You trade insults well" she said calmly. "I've served with Humans and other species...you may relax. I love good witty banter and insults like the rest of my species, but I'm fine talking like this and being straightforward with you" she explained. "I left Starfleet this month, no more than two weeks ago."
"Oh well in two weeks a lot can change, Oh fat beholder." Raza stated with a half grin. "I have done some time as a security officer training from the Marines themselves while they visited us at the academy and taught us a few things about hand to hand combat. So it should prove useful to give some of that knowledge away, after all the SS India as will refer to it, its simpler dontcha think?, well anyways, that ship is the perfect design for close quarter fighting." Raza said grinning. "As for straightforwardness, yes, I find most species cant be honest with each other, so I try to be honest all the time. Regardless if I offend someone, if they are offended then it means its usually true." He said with a half snort snicker.
Chief Klem let out a grunting snort as she picked up and rearranged to heavy satchel, shouldering the weight. "Yeah, whatever you say, Lizard lips. All I know is that the cargo we carry will often be important. So, lets try not to get boarded and put your close quarter combat to the test" said Ginny. "The last starship I was on was the USS Hera. She was a fine Nebula class, but it was time to turn in the comm badge and retire from Starfleet. What do you say? How about we go get this loot packed up and head to the Star of India?"
"Oh Dont talk to me about being a lizard, your mother was the lizard, im an amphibian." Raza said half smiling. "Just double checking, oh darn. Give me a second, Petty Officer." Raza said as he headed off and talked to the officer at the desk and they both seemed to compare padds for a moment and then he disappeared, and within seconds extra cargo was beamed into Raza's pile. Raza nodded in thanks and left to join Klem. "Well, wouldnt want to misplace anything, As for how to get this to the ship. I believe she is docked, so a simple transporter would get the supplies to the cargo bay for the crew would suffice. Do you have anything to be transported?, if so I need to check those supplies to make sure we arent transporting any bombs or the like." Raza asked as he took out a tricorder and began scanning his own supplies to ensure their werent even explosives on the crates.
"Chief Petty Officer" she snorted in response and grunted at him. I'm very particular about that she thought to herself. "But you may simply call me Chief if you'd like" added Ginny. "Transporters work for me, but I'm manning the console. I don't trust none of these youngsters with anything unless I've trained them myself" she explained. She shook her head dismissively as he checked over the supplies with a tricorder.
"Alright, Chief Satyr, got it." Raza said nodding at Gini. "Alright, all supplies seem to be clear of any potential bombs, poisons or listening devices. Lets get these supplies onboard." Raza said moving over to the transporter console nearby. "Here you go, Chief Satyr Breath. Just program it for the SS Star of India and then you carry me to the ship so I can arrive in Regal and royal style, Mount bait." Raza said snickering slightly.
Chief Klem took up position behind the transporter console and began putting in the coordinates after coordinating with someone aboard the starship. "Stand by" she said to the Saurian. "Transporting the supplies now...and there we go" she said as the supplies were engulfed in the shimmering effect for a few moments before dematerializing. She nodded after the last of it was gone. "Star of India reports transport successful, Sir" she said reporting her progress. I cannot believe I have to call him, Sir. At least he's not as bad as Ensign Beaumont she thought about the USS Hera's former Chief Engineer. She then placed a hand on her hip. "Do I look like I'm your noble steed?"
"I dont know, go on all fours, give you a saddle, maybe a bit more muscle and you could pull off the task of a mount quite well." Raza said heading to the transporter room for people and not cargo. "Dont call me, sir. Its either Lt or Raza but never, Sir. I actually work for a living." Raza said snickering to himself as he thought of Gini as a dire lizard with a saddle and then broke out in a hard raspy laughter. "C...C...Cmon, Chief. Gotta get aboard before she decides to leave spacedock." he said between fits of laughter.
The Tellarite scoffed. "She's screwed if she leaves without me. I am the one primarily responsible for our contracts and clients. They would not be in very good shape as a cargo ship without any cargo" she replied. "Raza" she continued with a nod. "Then, call me Ginny" added the woman.
|In Safe Hands
Having received his authorisation from the Captain and continued his tour of the ship, Commander Temple soon found his way onto the Bridge. As the doors slid swiftly open, a broad smile appeared over his beaming, bearded face. As he walked breathlessly into the room, his hand gently gliding over the newly refurbished consoles, his nostrils filled with that new ship smell.
He was about to make his way over to the center chairs when he realized he wasn't actually alone. In his amazement at being on the Bridge, he hadn't noticed the new Safety Officer Lieutenant Raza, which was surprising in itself given Jesse had never served with a Saurian before.
"Well hello there," he called out with his usual Southern charm.
"Hello, sir. Hows your day?" Raza pleasantly greeted the human as he was familiarizing himself with the ship, occasionally looking around and then back to the console then to the human, very active in his head movements, as if waiting for something to catch his attention.
"Fine and dandy," Jesse replied, "Marvelous what they've done to the old girl to bring her back to life, huh? How are you finding adapting to a refurbished ship so far?"
"Well, only met the ships tellarite, she is quite the handful, never thought I would enjoy insulting a subordinate as much as I did, but then insults are part of the species culture, if you dont insult them they think you belong in medical or something. As for the ship, Gini said your armory is empty, it isnt anymore, your welcome. Included a few crates of photon and sonic grenades in my order, medical has been stocked with extra supplies and the overflow was put into cargo hold one, along with the ever so yummy, COMBAT RATIONS!" Raza snickered as he found he liked those rations as others usually hated them. "Otherwise, just familiarizing myself with the ship's tactical systems, trained in tactical during my time in starfleet and setting up a schedule for evacuation drills and marksmen training course for all ship personnel regardless of status onboard. Just to make sure everyone is cleared with the type one phasers up to type three." Raza said as he realized he rambled as he grinned slightly as he tended to do as he tried to catch up with what he was talking about, while disarming a potential situation.
"Oh, I hope im not overstepping sir, I know im here as safety officer but safety comes in multiple forms, anyone can feel safe holding a phaser, or feeling safe firing a ships weapons, all forms of safety, I consider under my job description." Raza shook his head as he realized he said too much as he continued to look around counting how many people were on the bridge and where they were located, memorizing there positions, then smiled disarmingly at Temple. "Sir." he meekly stated.
"No, no it's all good." The Commander gave a laugh.
Jesse had never met a person who talked so quickly. He was still processing the first part of the conversation while the Lieutenant was finishing the last. But he loved Mr Raza's passion for organising and order, clearly this was a man after his own regimented heart.
"Wait, the armory?" His mind kicked in, "Thank you for overseeing that. We will actually be joined by a Chief of Security soon, so please send an itinerary to him. And you should definitely liaise with him on phaser training."
"Oh, I get a boss, should be grand. But no ship firing for me." He said with a half grin.
"And I actually have a few... toys coming onboard too." Jesse gave a nervous laugh. "A few Marine-level phaser rifles just to help our Security detail muscle up, if required. Our job, of course, is to ensure they're not needed. But I'll send you the specs when the crew delivers them onboard."
"Oh yes, when I met with the Tellarite, what a funny goat she was. Anyways, I apparently and unknowingly, I stocked up on weapons for this ship which turned out to be her ship as well, and ended up stocking up the Armory not knowing it was empty to begin with. So it was all quite confusing to be sure. But your armory is stocked and I will find a place for those marine rifles. Though I do would like to know how you got your hands on them." Raza asked with what appeared to be a sparkle in his eye or it was the glint of light off the bridge lights.
"Normally we wouldn't carry such gear," Temple acknowledged, "But there's a legitimate acquisition and permission granted from my former CO. The number one rule of any mission is to be prepared. I'm sure you'll appreciate that."
"Be prepared is the boy scout motto but it also goes for marines, they are always over zealous in preparedness when it comes to combat operations, I met a few marines on the USS Jackson and they were a good group to have around. So yes I understand it. I managed get my hands on a few phaser rifles and a few grenades. Around 100 total, half sonic, half photon. Would hate to use a photon grenade on a ship when we needed a sonic grenade." Raza said grinning. "I also brought aboard a few Grab Bags for crew so once their trained they dont have to worry about running around grabbing unimportant gear, everything they need is in those bags. Should lower the time of evacuation considerably and raises the chances of survival on planets when im done training everyone. Also, no disrespect but you and the Captain are mandatory when I start that." Raza said as he thought for a second.
"Does this vessel come with a Holodeck or holoemitters threw out the ship?, I ask as it would increase the ability for me to train the crew." Raza asked politely.
Temple nodded enthusiastically, the Lieutenant was definitely his kind of officer. Prepared to be prepared. Thinking several steps ahead. Jesse was very pleased the Star of India had him onboard. "Sounds all good to me, Mr Raza. And I don't have any problem getting stuck in and participating with the drills either, it's the best to way to keep sharp."
A polite chirping alarm sounded on his PaDD. He distractedly looked at it as he considered the Lieutenant's question. "Doubt we'll have holoemitters, might be a little fancy for a merchant ship. Holodeck should be round somewhere, though it would be a low priority for the refit crew so can't guarantee it'll be active."
"Guess im doing it the old fashioned way." Raza gave a sorta snicker that came out a bit Raspy.
Jesse nodded, "I'll have to keep moving, Lieutenant. Got another meeting."
Temple didn't reveal that his next meeting was in fact lunch, as he kept to a very strict dietary regime, managing to schedule his daily routine around nutrition and exercise. He figured the Lieutenant would probably understand but it was a conversation for another day.
The Marine held out his hand, "Welcome aboard once again, Mr Raza."
"Thank you, Commander Temple." Raza said shaking the humans hand. "Should be an eventful time aboard." he said giving a half smile.
||SS Star of India, Lounge
Raza was resting himself in the lounge, drinking some saurian brandy as he took in the view from the lounge window, and quite enjoyed meeting with that Tellarite, made things less awkward when he came onboard. But he knew he had to get down to business and since he wasnt sure if he actually had an office or not, he decided to use the lounge. "Waiter, three extra glasses and another saurian brandy bottle, please." Raza called out as he then tapped his combadge.
=^= "Excuse me, Lt Nal and Civilian Grax, if your not entirely busy, could I see you in the Lounge, Saurian brandy is in it for you if you come." =^= Raza said as he hoped he motivated them to come to his little meeting.
The call had come out of the blue, and Nal Rehu would admit that he was genuinely curious as to why he was being summoned. He had surmised that it could have been any number of things, but there was no use in speculating... he would just agree to go. After announcing into the comm unit that he would be there in a few minutes; Nal entered the lounge to see not only the Saurian brandy, but a Saurian sitting there as well. The Saurian brandy was not a motivator. He regarded the slightly shorter, red smooth skinned Saurian. "Greetings," he said to the other male, "we haven't met officially." He knew Saurian appendages were different than most bipedal species, but he still reached out with a hand. "Lieutenant Nal Rehu, Chief Medical slash Science officer."
"Brandy?" Grax heard over the communication as he blinks, this crew operated very differently then what he was used to from an Imperial Romulan vessel. That other name, Nal sounded familiar to him. Not the name but the sound of it. He placed his books down onto his table in his room as Grax stood up and walked towards the exit to make way towards this meeting. After a few minutes he walked into the Lounge seeing a Saurian and a Romulan standing there. For a moment he gave the Romulan some eye contact, not every Romulan was used to the idea of working with a Reman. Grax wonders if this person was used to it or be hostile towards him. He looked at the Saurian "Grax, what can I do for you?" He simply replied.
"Hello, thank you both for coming." Raza said getting up and shook the Romulans hand. "Im Lt Raza, Safety officer aboard ship. I thought we could have ourselves a little meeting sense I will undoubtedly be seeing you both on more unofficial business sooner or later." Raza said pouring both Grax and Nal some Saurian Brandy. "Here, We arent officially on duty yet." He said handing them each a glass. "Ok, So I called you here, because I have a few things I would like to discuss with you. Though I will go one at a time, so which of you wish to go first?" Raza asked simply as he looked to both Romulan and Reman.
Taking the glass as a shot and empty in one swing as Grax placed it on the table looking at the Saurian "Romulan Ale is bit stronger, so bring it on table you wish to discuss. I got more things to do" Thought on this ship he was a mere civilian with a good experience on paper.
"Another?" Raza asked pouring Grax another. "Ok down to business and no pleasantries, very well." Raza said looking at the Romulan and gave a crooked eyebrow out of sight of Grax giving the impression 'This should be fun'. "Ok, I need to talk to you about setting up weapon drills for everyone onboard to familiarize people with the operation and use of the type 3 phaser rifle's, I recently brought onboard. We have 10 of them so it is plenty to work with. I can train people with all phaser types but seeing as despite your civilian attire you are essentially the ranking security officer onboard the ship. So it is under your observation that the others will be trained in their usage. This also means that I will set up times on regular intervals, usually when certain people are off duty to do these courses. While training them with the rifles, I will train them and refresh their abilities in the type 1 and 2 phaser usage. In addition to this." Raza said as he was glad the medical officer was here just incase.
"We will need to train all civilians onboard the crew as back up security should we get boarded and teach them if needed how to survive in a confrontation, I will also be leading them in regular work outs threw out the ship on a daily basis. After all, we have only so much security personnel onboard, the additional crew training in this matter should be a high priority. After all, train them now and we wont have to train new people later if we can keep the current crew alive long enough. Do you have any suggestions or comments, Civilian Grax?. If not this should be employed immediately." Raza explained.
He observed the Saurian that explained what he wanted to propose and some things already needed to be addressed "First, call me Grax, not Civilian nor my former Reman rank. Just Grax" He took a deep breath as he looked at him "Second are we going to train the civilians on this vessel that are operating on this vessel or the guest? Because I believe records state that only guest should be trained to use weapons not higher then level 2 phasers. Third I will train the people here how to handle rifles, no worries about that but how did you get those?" Grax was not going to play stupid, stealing from the Federation in any regard is dangerous.
"It isnt an insult, Civilian Grax. Its the way I talk to people. Rank and name if no rank is inserted then professional rank is required. Starfleet Academy bred this into us." Raza explained the meaning for the rank and name. "Only permanent residents aboard the vessel will be trained with the phasers. Officers will be required to be trained with the rifles but every permanent resident onboard should have some familiarity with the rifles just incase. You dont need to know how I acquired them." Raza said smiling.
"Grax will do..." He insisted again as he smirks a bit "As for the weapons....okay, but if I find out they are not legally here they are out of the airlocker without any remorse" Grax pointed out as he takes another glass of the alcohol and points at the Romulan "I got nothing more to ask, the Romulan is next"
"The Romulan has a name," Nal Rehu said dryly as he sipped at the Saurian Brandy. It was fairly weak, but that could have been his own tastebuds. He was, after all, much more accustomed to stronger, harder, liquors. He thought how the weapons were being handled was a bad idea, but he was fairly confident the Reman and Saurian would figure that out eventually. All preconceptions, such as Starfleet, the Romulan Military, or even the Reman contingency, had to be thrown out the window when it came to the merchant services. But, he was just the doctor and scientist, what did he know? "And that name is Doctor Nal Rehu, but you can refer to me as Doctor." Nal had no issue with Remans, though he was taught from a young age to think of Remans a sub-class; Nal never bought into that. To him, all should be equal. Though, he could give just as good as a cranky Reman.
"What questions do you have of me, Lieutenant?" Nah asked, he took another sip of the brandy.
"None, though, Your services will be highly more required than Grax here. I need from you, a triage protocol set up incase we have to take on people quickly if we arent near a starbase, this means we will need to convert a cargo bay into a makeshift triage center within two minutes or less. We will also need you to train people in basic medical triage and medical training, this means, the basics, Put pressure on a bleeder, keep them from dying, stabilize and wait for rescue. I am sure we wont need it but if we have too I would prefer to have an army of people who have a basic understanding of medicine to help than no one at all." Raza said pointedly.
"We three will need to also discuss, Bug out bags for all personnel as well as Evacuation kits for each person onboard and train people in what is a priority to take and leave should we have to leave the ship and evacuate which will also lead into the Evacuation drills that I have planned for all personnel. These bags or kits will allow myself, as well as everyone else to be able to grab the bag and leave, this will ensure peoples survival and also cut down on evacuation times and increase survival of the crew if they have these bags. Its better to be safe than dead, which I am sure you both can agree too. I will also be teaching a series of SERE variant classes. Though SERE is all about escape and evade, I will also be teaching everyone tracking and how to determine if a source of water on a hostile planet is safe to drink or not. I know this may be strange for you all, but their are many layers to safety and my job is to have multiple layers of contingencies to ensure peoples safety and survival." Raza explained to the Doctor and Grax.
"Now, if you dont have any questions, I would like to discuss a few items that will be placed within the grab and go bags or Evac Kits." Raza said looking at both of them as he refilled their drinks and blinked rapidly to help moisturize his eyes.
Nal's first thought upon hearing all this was that it seemed like overkill. Even Romulan precision wasn't this... precise. "Before we get into that... I do agree with your plans, it is always good to be prepared, however..." he paused for effect, "the Star of India is a refit ship, the escape pods should have all that is needed for short term survival. Also, a lot of us have come from some type of military background, so we have all been trained in some sort of survival training. If they aren't former military, they have been apart of the merchant services which teaches survival training." He placed the glass onto the table, he didn't want to much more alcohol at this point.
"Now don't get me wrong, I am all for training. It's important for everyone to be prepared, but we also don't need to be redundant about it. I think it would be more prudent and efficient to go through crew files, and see who might need what in the way of training." He wouldn't dismiss the plan, no, but he did feel there was way too much, especially when most were already trained in such things. He for one wouldn't have to go through any training, he was fully certified to use weapons, he had survival training as part of the Romulan military and the Merchant Services, and was the doctor - so no medical/triage training was necessary.
"I understand your position, Doctor. But consider this training to be a refresher course. Part of my job is to ensure the smooth, efficient, workings of evacuations and safety aboard this vessel, and I take that job seriously." Raza said putting his glass down as well. "Even if people are trained in weapon uses, Grax and I both need to know this personally by all crew onboard. I cant allow and I will suggest to the Captain that no personnel onboard can use weapons unless they either take a refresher course taught by Grax and I in our perspective areas, until then, no one can use weapons onboard. So even you will have to go threw this course so I can make sure that you havent forgotten which way to point the phaser. Also survival training is mandatory as a refresher course regardless of position. Even the XO and Captain has to show a face and take part in both courses, Lead by example sorta thing." Raza told the Doctor.
"As for the medical training, you will be teaching triage and basic medical courses for the crew. So while you teach this class, my presence is mandatory to refresh my memory of basic medical knowledge and how to triage people since my medical knowledge is mostly in herbs you find on planets. As I believe that if we do crash we may not have access to a medical bay, what if we get captured by pirates and someone is injured, I only know how to treat the injury with herbal remedies and naturally. So my presence in basic field medicine would require me to show up to the course you teach. Just like my presence despite my security background would be required to appear for Grax, teaching the operation of type 3 phasers, so you see everyone has to attend these courses, I will set up in conjunction with you and Grax. So our courses do not overlap with each other. Have I explained to your satisfaction? or can we move onto the Evac kits that the escape pods will be upgraded too?" Raza explained.
"The grab bags will be up to your own needs for what you would grab if you were stuck in medical, would you grab a phaser?, sure, would you grab a medical tricorder sure, but the bags would fit what we each do, and all we have to do is grab the bag and go, not run around trying to figure out what we need and then go. That takes time. That takes time that could kill you. With a Grab and go bag, this would prevent everyones deaths and evac from the ship would be decreased and no one would have to go looking for what you already possess in the bag. Get it?" Raza asked politely.
He could detect the condescension, and Nal wasn't going to have any of it. "I get it," Nal said, nodding. "However, these quote unquote grab bags need to be standardized and I believe you are over doing it. There is such a thing as being too prepared you know." The Romulan shook his head. "The simple fact of the matter is, we could be as prepared and the unthinkable happens that we aren't prepared for. You can't account for every scenario, but you have to trust that everyone, repeat, everyone knows their job. They wouldn't be here if they didn't know their job. But, I am not taking time out of my day to get certified in weapons training when I've been certified by not only the Romulan Star Empire, but the Merchant Marines as well... and if the Captain has issue with that, he knows where to find me!"
Nah Rehu stood up.
"I will decide how the first aid training will go, and when I draw up the schedule I will let you know, but until then..." he offered a smile, "you will just have to make do with the doctor you have on board." He wrapped his fingers around the glass, brought it to his lips, and drained the contents of the glass. He brought the glass down with a bit more force for effect, a ringing sound bounced off the bulkheads. "Mister Grax, Lieutenant Raza, pleasure to meet you both, but I must bit you adieu. There is work to do after all." With that, he tipped his head and turned and left the lounge.
As he watched the Romulan leave, Raza turned to Grax. "Well, That could have gone better, is it me or does he have an ego, we should be concerned with?" Raza asked Grax with a crooked eyebrow.
Seeing the Romulan leave he took a deep breath and nodded "It's nothing to be concerned about, it's in their nature" Grax stands up and walks towards the exit "Good luck with this pleasant cruise, see you around" He stated as he left the room as Grax had other things to attend to.
'Superior complex, Romulans!' he thought to himself as he tidied up a bit as he sat back down and drank the rest of the Saurian ale before he had to go and look for the Captain to get things straightened out.
Jesse continued the walking tour of their new home, striding purposefully through the nearly empty corridors. There were some skeleton crew keeping the Star of India running, while the refurbishment team put the final touches on their remarkable renovations, with the main crew slowly finding their way to the vessel. There was an alert on his PaDD whenever a new crew member arrived and he was excited to see both the Chiefs of Security and Medical were now on board too. He made a mental note to meet with them both but he had a more pressing matter to deal with first.
The Marine had intently been plotting a course through to the dining hall, figuring out the most efficient way to get there from the Bridge. An officer should always know the fastest way to the food, he thought.
As Jesse entered the Mess, he immediately spotted the vivacious hair of a woman in the kitchen. He walked casually over to the galley window and cleared his throat.
"Good afternoon, ma'am," He spoke.
Ma'am?... What kind of lily-livered, pudding head would call her that? Anne thought as she moved her stir fry pan off the heat and finished it up with a few spices. Then she turned to the man to look him over, her head tilted to one side. "Hey. Something I can make for you? Sandwiches, stir fry and drinks are about all I can make right now. Everything else is in storage still. Otherwise, there's the ration packs." As she mentioned the rations, she pointed over the man's shoulder to the case of rations on a far table. "I suppose I could make a nice rice dish with them..."
Jesse smiled at the chef's suggestion, "No, ma'am, I'd prefer not to eat the rations. Had my fair share of those in boot camp. That fry smells awfully nice though, if you've got some to spare?"
"Yeah, I can make some more up. Best I not eat alone, I guess. You might want to chat or something." Anne then set about making another batch of stir-fry.
He watched as the lady moved effortlessly about the kitchen like a choreographed dance. "I'm Commander Temple, by the way. I'll be the Star's Chief Officer."
"Chief Officer, huh? I'm Anne." Anne was adding in a few more ingredients and was almost done when she caught herself about to put in her super hot spices. Pausing, she looked over at the commander. "Spicy or mild?"
Jesse's face broke into a broad smile, happy to answer the question, "I'm from New Orleans, ma'am, I don't do mild."
"Fair enough." she replied, tossing her usual amount of spices, turning the stir fry red and producing a small burst of flame from the stove. Then after a few more seconds stiring it up, she plated the lot and set it in front of her guest before coming around with her own plate to dig in.
As he received his plate, the Marine gave his sincere gratitude to the chef and immediately tucked into his meal. He savoured the plentiful tastes and crunchy vegetables. The mixes of spices and flavours sending choruses of sensations through his mouth. He gave a little smile of approval, nodding to Anne as he did.
"You do make a mean stir fry, Anne," He spoke between mouthfuls, "How long have you been on board?"
"Not that long. Few weeks I guess. Long enough to stock the kitchen right, at least." Anne replied before taking a few bites from her own plate. "I suppose I should ask you something now, huh? Anything you'd like to volunteer?"
"Just a regular grunt turned officer," Jesse shrugged. "And now turned Merchant Marine. Actually, I've been used to Federation run ships for some time, most of the necessary functions are streamlined and automated, there's a large crew covering everything. So it's going to be a steep learning curve keeping a ship like this flowing smoothly."
He took another big mouthful of food, chewed on it heartily and continued, "So please don't hesitate to come to me if you need anything, or if something's not working. Ways I see it, I'm here to work for you."
"Then as long as everything works fine, I'll feed you well. I might need to order more chilies though. Half the shipment I ordered got mixed up with chili mix. Now I'm waiting on a case of cornbread mix to go with it." Anne said before taking a few more bites.
Jesse's fork scraped loudly around the bowl as he quickly finished his meal. He chased the last green bean around before decisively stabbing it with gusto and popping it into his awaiting mouth. As he chewed, he stood up and moved to walk into the kitchen. Placing his bowl in the sonic washer, like his grandmother always taught him, the Marine returned and gave the Chef an appreciative smile.
"Well thank you very much for the meal, ma'am," He spoke, still licking his lips some, "That was the best darn fry I've had in a long while. I'll be sure to come back again soon."
With a nod, he exited the Mess and made his way towards the Cargo Bay for his next destination.
|Into The Wilds
Jesse had received notification from the computer that the Star of India's Chief Medical Officer was on board and promptly made his way to Sickbay for his regulation check-up. The marine was used to being scanned and hyposprayed by doctors throughout his many away missions and postings, and always believed a good soldier was a healthy one.
So he entered the Sickbay with gusto and his usual boyish enthusiasm, giving the Lieutenant a broad smile.
"Doctor Rehu?" He exclaimed; less a question and more of a greeting.
The sickbay on the Star of India was quite small, not that Nal Rehu expected more than that. He had been a Merchant Marine for five years now, every ship was different, which meant that every sickbay was different. This one had a Starfleet design, and he only knew this because the Horizon Bay had a sickbay with the look and feel of a Starfleet design. Either way, it would do, and that was all that mattered.
At the sound of the door opening, Nal looked up from the inventory PaDD he was looking at to be greeted by a man who was smiling. The man was approximately the same height as himself, and they both sported a beard that was neatly trimmed. Nah himself offered the other man a smile as well. "That would be me," he said, "how can I help you?"
"Sorry if I've interrupted your preparations," Jesse sheepishly remarked. "But I wanted to get my induction medical done as soon as possible. If you've got a moment?"
"There is certainly no need to apologize," Nal replied. "An induction physical far outweighs what I was doing previously before you walked in." He patted the nearest biobed to have the Commander sit. "Besides, it isn't everyday that I have someone willing to actually come in for their physical without prompting to do so." Nal reached into a crate and pulled out a medical tricorder. When he first joined the Merchant Marines, he had to get used to all the medical tech the Federation used. There were pros and cons to it's Romulan counterparts, but one major pro was the sleekness. Romulan medical equipment could be cumbersome, and some of it was still at least fifty years behind the Federation's medical technology. Romulans did value health, but it typically medical was one of the last areas in the military to get funding - unless it had to do with the senior member of the military.
The medical database, from what he had seen had been installed. However, Nal knew crew files would take a while to transfer. "First question, can I get a name? Second question, anything current I need to know about? Allergies? Medical conditions?"
Jesse had lumbered onto the nearest biobed and watched as the Doctor negotiated his way around the medical bay.
"Major... Wait, sorry. Commander Jesse Temple." He responded with a mawkish grin. "Still getting used to some changes in affiliation, I guess like we all are."
He gave a casual shrug, "A few battle scars, a preference to favour my right shoulder but no medical conditions. I keep to a Marine level fitness regime, which I detail in my personal files."
"I suppose it can be hard to adapt to change, even if it's change we welcome," Nal replied. "But, it's a pleasure to meet you, Commander Temple." A long finger tapped against the tricorder control panel, and he started the scan. Human physiology was rather easy to look at, nothing stood out special concerning humans. Though Nal's training was treating Romulans, over the past five years he had gained quite an extensive knowledge of physiologies of many other Federation species. "It's good to see you are healthy, over the past five years I've seen many humans who have not taken good care of themselves."
Jesse nodded, "There's a difference between Marine life and Star Fleet life. Our regiment is probably a lot closer to the Klingons." He gave a short sniff, looking distractedly around the room. "Star Fleet has down time on Risa, comfy quarters for junior crewmen, unrestricted holodeck access. You don't get that where I served."
He gave a nonchalant smile to the Doctor, "If you don't mind me saying."
"I like Risa," Nal replied as he continued his scan. "Though, I've never served with Starfleet, but from what I gathered it can be fairly cushy. I suspect the Romulan military has a lot in common with the Marine branch of Starfleet."
Jesse nodded as he watched the doctor work. He could disassemble and reassembled a Squad Rifle in seconds but ask him what all the numbers and beeps from a medical tricorder were all about and the Marine was stumped. That's why they had trained folks like the good Doctor.
"I suppose too," He nodded in agreement. "I heard we may be going into some unchartered territory. Possibly Gorn world. Just rumours at the moment, you know how crew like to chat. But I like to be prepared no matter the contingency. I want every new crewman to be checked up before we arrive, think you'll be able to do that?"
Nal nodded. "That is certainly prudent," he replied. The tricorder continued to beep and make it's familiar noises as it showed him the internal make up of the Commander. "How are your bowel movements? I'm showing a bit of blockage?" As for the Gorn, well... that was going to be interesting.
Jesse laughed and raised an eyebrow, "I'm sure that'll work itself out eventually, Doctor, but I appreciate your concern. I met the new Safety officer earlier on the bridge, too. A very organised chap, he has some interesting ideas pertaining to his duties that I think you'll need to discuss with him. A Lieutenant Raza."
An upswept eyebrow arched at that. Nal's last assignment didn't even have a safety officer, and the Horizon Bay had one only once in a while. He didn't have much dealings with them. He assumed they served a purpose, of course, but it wasn't like he was new to the rodeo either. He could handle himself in an emergency if needed. "I'm sure he will be gracing my doorstep very soon then," Nal finally said. "Well, it looks like you are in perfect health, Commander. You are certainly fit for duty."
The Marine practically launched himself off the bio bed again and reached out enthusiastically to give the Doctor a firm hand shake, "Well thanks Doc, I appreciate the clean bill. I think we'll have our fair share of hairy situations now we're trekking off into the wilds here, but I'm sure glad we've got a Doctor like you on board."
One corner of Nal's lips pulled up into a half smile. "Thank you, Commander," he said. He had hoped they wouldn't run into too many hairy situations; though the sickbay was considered state-of-the-art for a Merchant Marine starship, it was still small. "I hope we don't get into too many scrapes, but I will be prepared if we do." He tipped his head toward the other man. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Commander, I'm sure I'll see you around."
Jesse gave the man a gentle slap on the shoulder before heading off to his next destination.
|Above And Beyond
Jesse was standing formally on the cargo ramp as crewmen guided hover-dollies stacked with supplies onto the Star of India. He watched each load as it drifted by, ensuring to mark off every shipment on his PaDD as it arrived onboard.
The officious Marine made certain that he randomly oversaw regular duties in all aspects of ship activities. While he knew it would at first intimidate or annoy the junior officers, Jesse felt it important to be familiar with a wide range of duties. And he wanted to show that he was willing to do any job.
For this shipment, however, he required some additional approval, and had called down the Star's new Chief of Security. As the doors opened, Jesse turned and gave a respectful nod to the Reman soldier.
"Afternoon, Grax," Temple spoke, "Thank you for joining me."
Grax enter the room and gets his jacket good, he was not used towards the civilian outfit. But this was currently the best he could get to change into duty again "Your welcome mister Temple" He was not going to use ranks, but mere titles as this was in his eyes a civilian ship.
Temple raised an eyebrow but smiled, "First I want to thank you for joining the crew. I had actually planned on trying to run the Security detail myself but I'm very glad to have a man with your experience and skills running the team."
Nodding towards the man "Good to know, I will do my best to serve this vessel"
Jesse stopped a crewman and asked him to open up one of the crates.
"This is what I wanted to show you," He began, pulling out a special issue Marine corp Squad Support Phaser Weapon . "A little gift from a buddy in the Marines, for your team to use."
Seeing the crate of weapons Grax smirks a bit "Are we going into war Mister Temple? Or am I not being told the whole story of what to expect on these journeys?"
Jesse gave a laugh, "Hopefully not. And I'd rather not break out the hardware unless required, but I wanted y'all to have some extra firepower. Should the situation require it."
Nodding towards the man "Good to know that we are not going into a war" Grax stated looking at the man.
The Marine pulled up another crate, "Plus there's some body armour and training equipment. I want to ensure your team is up to scratch before we get to our first mission, or at least on their way to achieving our standards. We won't have Star Fleet watching our backs out there, so we've gotta cover our own asses."
"Well lets hope we wont find anything nasty then out there" Grax said as he took a deep breath "Any news on the mission we are going for?"
The Marine shrugged, "Heard we're headin' off soon but won't know the details till I meet with the Captain later. Have all of your team signed into the ship yet?"
Grax shrugs at the mention of the team "You mean the 5 people that consist of former Starfleet credits...yes they are here and tucking their gear away" Grax did not had lots of leverage to work with and he did not like the odds.
Jesse frowned at the old Reman's comment. Of course he would be used to a more organised militia but they had to make the best with their recruits. "I've moulded soldiers and been moulded myself through rigorous training and a clear plan. I, of course, defer to you on how to best implement that plan, but please rely on me should you require it."
Looking at the man "Understood Mister Temple, is there anything else you wish to discuss with me?" Grax looked at him as the work was cut out for him.
The Commander looked around and shrugged, "Think that's all for now. Oh, I want you to meet with Lieutenant Raza sometime today. He's the Safety Officer, he wanted to organise phaser training with the regular crew. Think it'll help us all out should the Star get into some tight scrapes."
Nodding towards the Commander "I will when I can Commander, but for now I focus my efforts on security" Grax stated as he gave a polite nod towards him and walked out of the door of the Cargo bay.
Temple gave a small smile as the Reman departed, pleased with how the meeting went. He finished off the shipment requisition and handed duties back over to the proper crewman then made his way to sickbay for his next meeting.
Jesse looked to the map on his PaDD as he made his way through the Star of India's corridors, focusing on his intended destination. The Marine was surprised to hear how the Captain had managed to recruit their Chief Flight Officer, in fact a part of him still disbelieved the story a little. Still, life in the Merchant Marines was already throwing up some interesting dilemmas.
As he stood before Lucian Jax's quarters, Jesse wasn't sure which expression to use. Jovial and friendly? Solemn and official? Painfully stoic? He looked down at the present he'd brought along with him, and decided to let that do talking. He pressed the door chime and waited.
The doors opened with a swish and a man stood in the doorway. He was wearing black pants and nothing else. He raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything.
When the door opened, Jesse just held up the bottle of whiskey and shrugged, "Hey."
Lucian took the bottle of liquor, looked at it and then back up at the man. Without a word, he pressed the button that closed to doors.
Jesse gave a wry smirk before loudly calling out through the door, "This is why the Captain had to drug you, aint it?"
A few moments passed and the doors opened again. Lucian still didn't say anything but walked away towards the small kitchen he had in his quarters. He grabbed two glasses and poured a some of the liquor into each.
Jesse walked into the quarters and nodded, it was pretty much as he expected. Smaller but just as Spartan as his own. Moving over to the kitchen, the Marine took the casually offered glass in his large paw and raised it up to the pilot.
"To first impressions." He toasted, that sly smile still on his lips.
Jesse downed the drink in a quick gulp, his throat taking a second or two before sending that familiar burning sensation through to his senses. He savored it for a moment before nodding approvingly.
"It was either this or flowers." He said, attempting a joke.
"Are you attempting to date me?" the Trill asked, finally saying something.
"I don't enter relationships with senior staff." Jesse replied seriously, "Despite all the witty banter we have."
Jesse shrugged and decided to get to business, "So I heard you were basically conscripted onboard the Star of India. The Captain's assurances aside, I still have concerns over having a man with your history flying this boat. So I wanted to come to you, man to man, and talk to you myself."
Lucian looked at the man, "You know nothing of my history, nor does the Captain. So please, inform me of what history to which you are referring. Perhaps I can set the record straight?"
Jesse felt the tension. Or maybe he could see it as the man wasn't wearing a shirt. Still, he wished he had more diplomatic skills. He was used to dealing with grunts and Marines, they tended not to ask questions.
Instead, he leaned over and poured the man another drink, before speaking.
"Piracy? The Maquis?" He raised an eyebrow, more casually suggesting then actually accusing. "But if that's not the true story, or the whole picture then I'll listen. I know a bottle of whiskey ain't much proof but believe me, I'll listen."
"I have dabbled in both," Lucian stated, taking the glass.
Jesse nodded again, appreciating the pilot's honesty. "I guess my question is, why? I mean, I've done some bad things in my time too. I won't be chastising anyone for past mistakes. But were you following their worldview and purpose, or just getting by?"
Lucian shrugged his shoulders, "A man has to make his way in the world. The Maquis was a bit before my time, but my symbiont was involved. My previous host believed in their cause. The piracy was all me. I don't particularly agree with the act, but they paid quite well."
The Marine smiled, more out of relief than anything. He knew where Jax was coming from. He'd been there himself. While he wasn't about to trust the guy completely, he was relieved that he probably wasn't a security threat.
"I understand," Jesse replied. "And I want to thank you for your candor. I hope I didn't offend in my forthright questioning, but I like to know who I'm flying with."
"Those are your only questions?" Lucian asked, taking a few steps toward the man. He put a hand on the man's side and pulled him closer. "You want to get to know me?"
Jesse smiled his usual dorky smile. Internally, his combative mind was considering ways to subdue the man if his calm demeanour appeared to be a disguise. But he knew his abilities well enough not to over react, he continued to act nonchalant and unthreatened.
"I had my personal doubts, which I had to satisfy," Jesse replied, never losing eye contact with Jax, "But I fundamentally trust the Captain's judgement. He wanted you for this ship, he has my support in your appointment."
He laughed, "Unless there's something else you wish to show me. I mean, tell me."
Lucian gave the man a sly smile as he leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips, "I have a lot to show you."
Jesse didn't respond to the man's advances, he just remained stoically still. He merely gave a smile and replied, "I'm happy just to take your word on that."
The Marine gave the Pilot a firm pat on the shoulder before turning and strolling towards the door. "You can keep the bottle. But you better be fit to report for duty first thing tomorrow morning. You'll be getting drilled on Federation standards, to get y'all up to speed before we depart."
"You're passing up on a good drilling here," Lucian said with a flippant attitude. He grabbed the bottle and turned away, walking back towards the far end of the quarters.
Jesse laughed as he exited the door. Interesting dilemmas, indeed.
|Adding a Little Spice to Life
||SS Tornado | Mess Hall & Captain's Dining Room
||June - 30th -2388 [19:00 hours]
A few areas of the SS Star of India had been revamped, refitted, and had a damn good interior decorator assigned to them. One such room was the starship's Mess Hall which back in her glory days when she was state of the art ship of the line was a rather small and bland space by today's standards. However, aboard the SS Star of India, that room was no longer serving as the Mess Hall. It had been converted into a small recreational room. Instead, the crew of the SS Star of India would dine in converted VIP quarters. Six tables lined the main dining room in a open floor plan small tables sat two while larger tables sat six comfortably. On some starship's the Captain had his or her own mess or dining room which was cut off from the Mess Hall. Aboard Captain Singh's Star of India, there was a cozy room within the greater Mess Hall that was sectioned off and housed one table that sat four, the Captain and three guests.
This, on the eve before the starship's disembarking, Captain Avininder Singh had asked Chef Anne Chouvie to prepare an evening meal, traditional to his home cuisine back on Earth. It was to be a celebratory meal in the Captain's private dinning room after the hustle and buzz of the scheduled dinner crowd had died done in the Mess. Avin had invited his First Officer and his Chief Engineer to join him at 19:00 hours in the Captain's Dining Room 'casual dress is fine' the invitation. He, himself had honored his words by coming out of uniform in a pair of white trousers and an olive green shirt.
As the meal was being prepared in the kitchen, and the main Mess Hall was clearing out for the evening, Avin took refuge at an observation area, looking out into space with a his fingers laced around a steaming mug of chai tea. The scent of cardamon permeated his immediate surroundings as he waited for his two guests to arrive.
Behind Avin, the door hissed open with the characteristic noise of Federation door servos across the ages. Ibrim Dakar stepped into the room, adorned in an outfit of grey, long-sleeved shirt and trousers. Having received the Captain's invitation, the Cardassian had realized with a moment's panic that he owned very little clothing that could be considered 'casual dress'. He had rummaged through his uniforms until he had found this attire, something he only dimly recalled wearing a handful of times in the last few years. He paused just within the door, allowing it to slide closed behind him. He surveyed the room before spotting Avin, and after a moment's further hesitation he walked across the room towards the human. Pausing a respectful distance away, Ibrim brought his heels together with a click and nodded in salute. "Captain," he said by way of greeting.
The Captain responded by promptly tensing up a bit and straightening his posture to a more militant stance though he himself was anything but militant to say the least. Yes, he had been in Starfleet, but he was always in the Science Department and avoided most combat. "I am glad that you could make it. I am also glad that you came casual...part of me was concerned that you'd come dressed for an interrogation" said Avin with a small smile, a tiny joke to lighten the mood albeit a bit dark for usual human humor.
Ibrim frowned for a moment, unsure of how to take the Captain's comment. Seeing the smile on Avin's face, he decided that the Captain was making a joke and duplicated the smile himself. "I am somewhat unaccustomed to an informal setting," Ibrim admitted, still standing at an attentive stance. "Whilst we Cardassians are great lovers of high entertainment, it is uncommon for us to be out of uniform except in familial situations."
Jesse had been waylaid by his duties and was running late to dinner. He cursed himself - well, it was actually more out loud and using general expletives - as he quickly dug through his rucksack for clean clothes. He found a fresh white t-shirt and pulled that on, grabbed a faded pair of jeans, and shoved his large feet into his well-loved khaki boots, before jogging out the door.
He used his reflection in the turbolift panel to smooth out some wayward strands of hair, finishing just as it arrived at his intended destination. Thanks to his earlier scouting tour around the ship, the Marine already knew a few short cuts to the Mess and managed to arrive just after the Chief Engineer had entered.
Jesse took a breath and strolled in as casually as possible. "Evening, gentlemen," He exclaimed with his usual broad smile.
"Commander Temple, I am glad that you were able to attend. Both of you" said Avin as he finished nursing his mug of tea. "You both are welcome to grab a drink while we wait. Chef Chouvie is in the kitchen finishing our dinner" explained Avin. "I wanted to have dinner with you both to discuss our plans for tomorrow. We will be setting sail as it were and taking on our first load of cargo."
Jesse gave Lieutenant Dakar a gentle pat on the shoulder as he walked further into the room. He saw that the Cardassian was rather neatly dressed, and the Captain was also in a shirt. Suddenly, looking down at his basic tee and jeans, the Marine realized he'd taken the "casual" attire a little too casually. If only he owned a collared shirt.
Jesse spied the open bar and bee-lined towards it. He was about to reach for the whiskey when he remembered his earlier encounter with Jax and thought better of it. Instead, he made himself a soda with ice and turned back to the others.
"Leaving already," Temple commented with an approving nod. "Glad to hear it."
Ibrim gave the Commander an awkward nod in response to the pat on his shoulder. Physical contact with humans was going to take a while for him to find normal. He followed Jesse to the bar, looking over the options available. The India's selection of liquors was impressive, and the Cardassian raised his eyebrow at the unexpected pleasure of seeing a bottle of Kanar. He picked it from the lineup of drink containers and studied its label. 2327; an expensive and highly sought-after vintage. For a moment he considered pouring himself a glass, but seeing the Commander's temperate option, Ibrim hesitated. His training told him that it was important to follow his superiors in all fashions, so the Cardassian reluctantly replaced the bottle and poured himself a glass of ice water from a teeming pitcher. He turned back to the others, the glass in his hand frosting at the edges of his skin's contact with its surface.
Captain Singh gestured for the two men to accompany him towards the private room which housed their table the evening. "I heard stories that Captain Janeway of the USS Voyager had her private Mess made into a proper galley kitchen for her Talaxian cook. Personally, I like the thought of keeping my own private dining room for special events and in the event we have an Admiral or dignitary come aboard" he explained on their way over.
Temple thought back to his own experiences. "I've been a grunt eating slop in a mess tent while officers dined away on cutlery and fine china. It was just part of the career. You started from the bottom and if you were a good soldier, a Federation man, you made your way up the ladder to one day sit at the fancy table."
He nodded to Mr Dakar, "Probably the same regardless of which army you serve, am I right?"
Ibrim thought for a moment about the Commander's assertion. Jesse was essentially correct; the senior officers aboard Cardassian warships often dined much better than their subordinates. Ibrim remembered the junior officer's rations aboard the warship 'Imtar' with an internal shudder. He did not want to appear disloyal to this people or the military that he had served for so long, so he debated how to respond. In the end he decided that it was enough to make an observation without appearing to complain. He gave Jesse a small smile. "I believe your human saying 'rank hath its privileges' is fairly accurate across almost every military force in the known galaxy," he replied. Then the Cardassian's smile got a little wider as a humorous thought - at least to him - came to mind, and he added, "Although in the Cardassian military, being a 'Federation man' is generally not a promising indicator for advancement."
Avin took a seat at the table and admired the cozy atmosphere of the room, being somewhat isolated from the main Mess Hall. "I have to admit that all of this is new for me as well. I've been with the Merchant Marines, but I was with Starfleet before. This is my first command of any sort. The highest I reached while in Starfleet was the rank of Lieutenant and Second Officer, but I was a career Science Officer" explained the Captain. He did not say much more on the matter and omitted any information on the incident that lead him to face court martial and walk away from Starfleet.
Ibrim took a seat about half-way down the table from Avin, leaving room for Jesse to sit closer to the Captain as per the hierarchy of the vessel. He took a sip from his water before placing the glass on the surface in front of him. "I myself have been an engineer all my career," he said. "Most of my service was aboard a Galor-class cruiser named the Imtar. By the time I was demobilised, I was a Dalin - what you would call a Lieutenant Commander." The Cardassian's eyes briefly became a little distant as he recalled the bare metal corridors and the dim, heated atmosphere that was standard aboard a Cardassian vessel. "We spent most of our time policing our borders from raiders and privateers," Ibrim continued. "Although, we did spend a year's tour of duty in the DMZ facing off against the group you call the Maquis." He took another sip of water, a thoughtful expression passing across his features. "They were...persistent enemies," Ibrim remarked.
Most 'enemies' are when you invade and occupy a planet that does not belong to you. It was only a matter of time before the Maquis or something like them formed thought Avin privately to himself, though he concealed the surfacing of anger. Avin did speak up a little about the topic though. "They no doubt were...persistent. After all, the Bajorans had to be to in order to.... I probably shouldn't say drive out the Cardassians he thought. "Bring about the conclusion of the Cardassian presence" finished Avin. "In Earth's history, the area that I call home had been invaded and colonized by others for centuries. It made for a very unique culture overtime" added the Captain.
Ibrim took a deep breath, debating how far to push the topic. Cardassian pride warred with Cardassian respect for hierarchy and the chain of command. He took a sip of water to buy himself more time, and when he put the glass down once more his response was more measured. "As you say Captain, the Bajorans were persistant. They were, however, entirely of our own making." Ibrim shrugged. "The Maquis are just as much Starfleet's daemon of creation as they are ours. Both sides signed the treaty that created the DMZ and exchanged planetary sovereignties; we did not invade anyone in that case. I don't seem to recall the Maquis being too fond of the Federation either."
"They didn't like anyone unless you were smuggling them weapons or supplies." Anne said as she came into the room with a rolling cart full of food. "I checked all your allergies just in case. Ibrim, yours is missing a couple spices, but I added a few Cardassian spices to counterbalance. Let me know if you have any issues." As she spoke, she set the plates and curry bowls in front of each of them and a bowl of breads and a couple communal dishes in the middle of the table. Then she set a shaker of her hottest spices out as well. It was a larger bottle covered with warnings. "And there's something extra if you want it."
Temple had seated himself between the Captain and the Engineer and politely sipped his soda as they conversed, turning his head back and forth between the two as if he was watching tennis. Of course the Marine had an opinion on the subject; albeit a more simple one. At any given time prior he would have shot either Cardassian or Marquis dead without a single hesitation. But that was a different time.
When Chef Anne entered, Jesse immediately stood up. He was not used to being served sitting down. "Evening, Anne, nice to see you again. This looks amazing."
"Chef" said Avin with a pleasant nod at the woman he had used in his means to recruit an unwilling helmsmen.
The Commander seated himself again, immediately reached for the extra hot sauce and dabbed a few drops of the good stuff into his curry.
Ibrim looked up at the tall, purple-haired woman as she entered the room. The India's chef, he presumed. He remembered from studying the vessel's manifest that her name was Anne. Beyond that, the vessel's database seemed rather lacking in information about her past. Ibrim found such discrepencies in detail to be suspicious by their very nature; in his experience, anyone trying to hide their past would potentially cause problems in his future. He looked down at the food with a degree of apprehension, unsure of where to begin. "I...thank you," he said, looking back up the woman and giving her a polite nod. "I am appreciative of your dietary considerations."
"No problem. That's what I'm payed to do." Anne replied with a smile before retreating with the cart back into the kitchen.
Avin watched as the woman retreated with her kart and headed back into the kitchen. "She's one to keep an eye on" he said with a nod to the two gentlemen. "She may simply be a Chef with an excellent culinary background, but something in my gut tells me there's more to that woman than a fine and tender rack" he said in a calm tone. "Of lamb" he added, looking at Commander Temple. "She makes an excellent rack of lamb" he further explained.
The accidental innuendo seemed to go over Ibrim's head, or at the very least he did not react to it. He picked one of the breads from a bowl and dipped its edge into the curry in front of him. He placed the edge of the bread tentatively into his mouth and bit off a chunk. He raised his brow in an impressed manner and nodded. "Very pleasant," he remarked once he had chewed & swallowed, and took a second, larger bite.
Captain Singh pulled apart a large piece of naan, holding it in his right hand as he studied the various curries carefully before making his selection. Palak Paneer he thought as his eyes locked onto the bowl of green curry. He reached forward and took a swift swipe with his naan into the green curry and brought it to his mouth savoring the fresh hot naan and the satisfying Palak Paneer. "Her Palak Paneer is just like home. Mmm it has been so long since I've been home" he added as he reached for a glass of water to wash the naan down with and clear his throat.
"We will be heading to the Federation station in a few hours. I would recommend a few hours of sleep after dinner, gentlemen. Once we arrive at the station, we will not be there for very long. It is a quick dock and load of our cargo. We will be taking on simple supplies for the Federation colonist on Cestus III" explained the Captain as he thought about the Beta Quadrant colony world. It was rough terrain, a smaller world with a breathable atmosphere and could sustain human and Gorn life. In fact, the colony was home to both Federation and Gorn colonist. Though the planets history was not always so peaceful. in the 2260s a Federation colony had settled on the planet, only to be completely wiped off the face of the planet by Gorn who did not take kindly to the Federation laying claim to the planet. It took years of complicated diplomatic relations well into the 24th century, but eventually Cestus III became a beacon of hope for Federation and Gorn relations.
Ibrim frowned thoughtfully as he chewed another mouthful of bread and swallowed. "If I recall my history, there has been some fighting over that planet before," he remarked. "I'll make sure my engineering team does a full double-check of the shield & propulsion systems before we enter the area." He glanced up and around at the bulkheads of the room. "We may not be able to put up a tremendous fight in this vessel," he observed. "But I can make sure that it is ready to dodge anything thrown at us."
Avin nodded at that response, thinking before replying himself. "There was over a century ago" said Avin "Our cargo has no real significant value from what I've read, but Chief Klem is more aware of exactly what is coming aboard. I could not see anything that would merit pirating, but I'd rather be safe than destroyed" he said in a calm tone. "It is true that the Star of India is not tactically fit for a thorough beating. However, we do have a Yellowstone runabout in one of the Shuttlebays."
"I'd like to run through drills with Grax and his team, just to be on the safe side." Jesse spoke. "I had some extra special toys delivered on board earlier, a little more bang for our buck. I'd prefer not to show off the hardware unnecessarily though. Last thing we need is the Gorn knowing we don't trust em."
The Captain leaned back a bit and thought about the words of his Chief Officer, his XO. "To be on the safe side, proceed with it. Our relations with the Gorn have been at the best they have been since the whole Cestus III incident. We finally seem like we are getting somewhere with them, at least enough to co-colonize a world together" said Avin. "But I do agree that drills would be beneficial. I am also curious how our resident Reman does with his new life aboard a Federation Merchant Marine vessel...no doubt more fast pace than than that War Bird he came off of. The Romulans do take their 'we lie in the shadows' quite literally sometimes."
Jesse gave a chuckle, "He seemed unimpressed with the Security team so far, but I trust he'll whip 'em into shape quick smart. And I'm on hand to help out should he require it."
"Very good" replied the Captain. "I can imagine how unimpressed a Reman would be with the security 'forces' of a Merchant Marine vessel. I do not like overstepping him when it comes to their training, but do make sure that he does not over exhaust them, Commander. The past thing we need is what little security we have not returning to the ship when we dock."
It was the Marine's turn to lean back and consider the other man's words now. Where he came from, folks worked as hard as they could, there was no 'over-exhausting' in his line of work. But Temple knew he had to adjust his way of thinking; these weren't all career officers serving onboard. Some of them were doing it as a means of employment - to get paid - a thought that Jesse couldn't quite comprehend. So of course the Captain was right, we couldn't go treating them like grunts on the first day of boot camp.
"Aye sir," He said finally, though not entirely convincingly, "We'll ease them into it."
"Very well" said Avin as he and the others continued their evening meal together. They would spend the remainder of the hour trading stories and discussing the times, though the Cardassian Chief Engineer was not the most talkative company, he did undoubtedly contribute a few things to the evening. The three would eventually retire for the evening and get a few hours of rest before the big departure.
|It Takes Two to Triage
||SS Star of India | Medical Bay
||June - 30th -2388
When Nurse Omari finally arrived outside of the Medical Bay, she knew not to expect too much. This was not going to be some lush medical facility like on a Starbase nor would it be as spacious as a Galaxy class Sickbay, nor as cozy as that of a Definat's, though the latter was closer to reality when the doors parted way and she found herself walking into a room with just a couple bio beds and a lot of equipment compacted into some tight work space. Of all my issues...thank the stars claustrophobia is not one of them she thought to herself, standing their in awe for a moment.
It was not like anyone could really be hiding in the room. So the first and only person she caught sight of matched the personnel file she had just read through on her way from her quarters. Anatomically, the man was rather attractive to just marvel at. Though being as sapiosexual as she was, it would be this man's with, intellect, and vast professional knowledge that would attract her. The perfect facial structure, the curvature of his ears, the model contour of his physique, and those bright grey eyes would not get in her way.
She looked at the man, her face rather expressionless despite her mind and heart in a competitive race to reach the finish line. "Doctor" she said calling out to the man as she cautiously approached the man. Her experience with any Romulan was limited and the few she had met personally were cold, calculated, and gave her the coldest shoulder she had ever felt. The young nurse raised her arm, extended her hand which held a PaDD. On the PaDD were her orders and assignment to Doctor Rheu. Nurse Omari would be serving on the SS Star of India as his nurse and by what she learned from the computer, so far the Doctor's only helping hand that he would have in the Medical Bay aside from the Safety Officer who had some basic first aid training.
Doctor Nal Rehu looked up from a small work station to see a petite Benzite standing there. The Romulans had mixed feelings concerning Benzites. Benzites were classified as weak physically, but intellectually that was a different story. However, Nal hated how xenophobic his own race had been. He had done a lot of hiding his true feels toward other races, but still years of having these messages ground into his head day in and day out did have some effect. For instance, knowing there was a Reman aboard brought out instincts in him that he thought were long buried. However, what saved him, was that for the past five years he had been working for the Merchant Services, which meant he had encountered many races over his travels.
Nal offered a warm smile as he took a hole of the PaDD that the Benzite woman offered. He looked it over briefly, his gray eyes scanning the contents. He looked back up at the nurse. "It's good to meet you Nurse Omari. It's also good to have a nurse on board with me, I haven't always been lucky enough to have help on my previous assignments." He gave his thumb print on the PaDD, and handed it back to the Benzite nurse. "Orders accepted."
The Benzite Nurse took the PaDD back and gave a polite bowing over her head, a silent thank you in her own way. "It had not really dawned on me, Doctor, just how small most of these vessels are. This is arguably frontier medicine in a way" she said in response to his fortune of having assistance this time. "The Star of India is my first assignment Merchant Marines or otherwise" she confessed. "My parents had wanted me to go to Starfleet Academy, but I chose this career instead" she added.
"It is true, a lot of the vessels that are a part of the Merchant Marines can be quite small. A lot of the vessels are derelict, or holdovers from a bygone era," Nal replied. "This sickbay is quite lavish compared to my last two assignments, but that is neither here nor there." He recalled his first assignment with the Merchant Marines, it was a Raven-class vessel. Most of it had been gutted to accommodate cargo, and then fitted with a bridge, some small quarters, a small mess hall and an even smaller sickbay. The sickbay he had to work with was nothing but a biobed/surgical bed, a work station, and a cabinet to hold the basic supplies. A lot of times, he didn't even use the small medical bay. After a moment, he continued, "What made you decide to choose this life over one in Starfleet?" Nal, of course, never really dealt with Starfleet beyond accidentally running into them at a port.
Neema found herself drawn to this man and his harrowing physician stories. "A Raven class...really? Now, that sounds enchanting" she said almost swooning over the idea. She knew the class well enough. It was a lot newer than this Oberth class, but also a great deal smaller too. There were typically only five actual decks to that type of ship and a much smaller crew compliment even to the Star of India's skeletal one. "It must have been quite the experience, Doctor. I chose the Merchant Marines because less people join the Merchant Marines than Starfleet. The Academy was smaller, I had less of a graduating class than I would have at Starfleet Academy, and there are more opportunities to stand out" she explained.
"Makes sense," Nal replied simply. Due to his own military training, he didn't have to do the full Academy, he just had to do the six months of training that would bring him unto speed onto what the Merchant Marines were. He had been surprised when he was offered a commission. "A Raven-class is good for those who either like small groups, or don't really want to be bothered at all." He was in the latter, but didn't want to get into all that with someone he just met. "I'm glad you are on board, it will make things easier for me, plus it will give you great experience in patient care, and also experience in manning sickbay on your own."
The young Benzite nervously looked at the Chief Medical Officer. "I was not expecting to be manning Sickbay all by myself, but I guess I should have been prepared for that on this assignment. I'm only an LPN, Doctor" she said softly with a shrug. "I will do my best though with your guidance of course. I have a background in microbiology and an interest in infectious diseases" she added as she told him a little more about herself.
Nal nodded. "Which will definitely help incase we encounter a plague of any sort," he said. "But typically we will only see minor cases, scrapes, cuts, broken things... stuff like that." Throughout the past five years, he had only had to perform surgery a handful of times. One of those times was a minor procedure after one of his shipmates got into a bar brawl and had to have his septum realigned. "I'm sure you will do just fine, you are trained to handle most minor cases, and if it's something major you know I won't be that far away."
Nodding, Neema walked over to one of the storage lockers that had medical equipment securely tucked away. Basic medical kits ready on standby and a few medically configured tricorders. "It is a very diverse crew even if a somewhat small crew compliment. I was looking through personnel files and saw a Tellarite, a Cardassian, a Saurian....and well you of course" she said with a sigh. "I've taken a course of Xena Anatomy, but class cannot prepare you for a crew this diverse. I'm used to seeing a crew majority wise being Human" she explained.
Smirking, Nal said, "Well you are in luck, we have some of those too." Then a reassuring nod followed. "Sometimes the best learning comes from being on the job, believe me, I was in the Romulan Military Medical Corp., and was not as prepared for xenobiology as I had assumed I was when I crossed into Federation space. But, I learned, and what I learned is that most bipedal species, though arranged differently on the inside, tend to have the same parts. That's where calibrated tricorders are a nice thing to have."
"Tricorders are a physicians best friend" she said with a small, quick, and quite subtle smile at her own little attempt at being funny. Though her facial expression was short lived and she resumed her normal expression and posture. "So, you did once belong to the Empire as a citizen? I did not know that. I kind of figured any Romulan aboard a Federation starship would have been born and raised Federation."
"Yep, was a citizen of the Empire," Nal confirmed. "My personnel file only has my service to the Merchant Marines and the Federation. My Romulan military records are sealed, and burned for all I know." He shook his head at that as he crossed his arms over his chest. He leaned against the workstation as he regarded his new nurse. "Since the whole mess with Shinzon, the Federation and Romulans have been more relaxed with the Neutral Zone. I was allowed to cross into Federation Space, and the rest is history."
Neema nodded understanding what he had said to her, but it did raise a few questions for her. One of which did involve the potential medical care of a shipmate. "There is a Reman serving aboard the Star of India" she said matter of factly. "How will that affect you? Do you hold any hostility towards them, Doctor? I am not sure how I would feel if I were in your place."
Nal shook his head. "I don't hold any hostilities toward Remans," he replied simply. "It's hard for me to have hostilities toward a race that my people have oppressed." His whole life, he had been taught how Remans were the lowest of the low in the Romulan caste system. Nah always had to go along with it, even though on the inside it angered him how his own people treated others. "However, I can't speak for our resident Reman and how he will feel,"
The nurse simply nodded. "It will be my first time ever seeing Reman" she confessed. "Is it true as a people that they lived underground?" she asked.
"It's true," Nal confirmed. "Remus' orbit was locked, one side facing the Romii star so the Reman's were forced to live on the dark side of their planet. My people felt it was necessary to keep them as slave labor, and to use them as cannon fodder as needed." Nah shook his head in disgust. "I'm not sure how this Reman will react with me on board, but hopefully it will work out."
"Indeed, Doctor" replied the Nurse shaking her head at the barbarism of the Romulan Empire. "I guess we better continue our work" she said pleasantly as she began to see what still needed to be done in the small medical bay.
|Meeting the Captain
||SS Star of India
Raza left the lounge a bit perplexed as to the confrontation with the Doctor, he couldnt figure out why the Doctor was so resistant to his ideas. 'Maybe he has control issues or have a thing against Saurians, maybe racist?' he thought to himself in quick succession trying to figure out the possibilities for his hostilities towards himself, but then the meeting didnt end in bloodshed like most engagements with Romulans end up so perhaps that a bonus. He continued to walk around the ship trying to figure out the best way to confront the Captain about this, a man he never met and this could be a horrible first impression to meet the Captain with a sudden issue with a crewmen, the Doctor none the less.
Captain Avininder Singh had been checking out some of the rooms aboard the SS Star Of India when he came walking down the same corridor as Lieutenant Raza, a man he knew only from the personnel file that had come across his desk, but he had not had the opportunity to properly meet the man yet. And properly he was not about to. Turning a corner and being distracted by the book in his hands and he 'cracked' it open with glee, the Captain came crashing into the Saurian and ended up stumbling backwards loosing his balance and taking an embarrassing fall onto his ass.
Not realizing who he had bumped into or what, the Captain quickly scrambled to his feet after snatching the book from the deck floor around him. Standing back upright, he found himself nearly face to face with the Saurian. "Ah my apologies Lieutenant...Raza, correct?" asked the Captain as he mentally grasped for the name to come to him. "I should have been paying a little more attention where I was going" explained the Captain.
"Oh, oh, umm, Hi sir." Raza said a bit shocked as to who he ran into. "I think I was looking for you, or Commander Temple. I know we just met and I would hate to make a horrible first impression on my first meeting with you, so far all your crew I have met has been a pleasant experience until recently. I have a personnel issue and lack of discipline to bring to your attention of your Doctor. He believes because he received, Merchant marine training in weapons, and Romulan training with weapons, he is above a refresher course, His lack of discipline will filter down to the rest of the crew and cause dissention in the ranks and cause chaos in the event of an actual emergency. I know I'm new aboard but if he fights me on simple procedure, how will he react to others or to yourself. He agrees to assist in the medical part of this new procedure I'm setting up for all crew but unless he takes all the courses, he is useless to me." Raza said most likely making a horrible impression.
The Captain took this information slowly as the Saurian he had bumped into, his starship's Safety Officer definitely was a talker. However, before the Captain could answer, his mouth just ajar, the Saurian added more. This caused Avin to just close his mouth and wait as well as listen.
"I am sorry, Captain, I have never met a Romulan before and I don't know if hes challenging me or not, we are both the same rank so I cant order him to do anything and I believe he only takes orders from you which is a problem in the event of an actual emergency. I am not sure if its his ego, or if he is racist towards everyone, but in the event your not around, and I am, how am I to trust he will follow the orders of his superiors in a situation that he may know nothing about. So far he is the only one fighting me on these procedures I wish to implement, I have a recording of my meeting between Grax, the Doctor and myself. Personally I liked Grax, but the Doctor believes my new procedures are overkill which I know they may be but its a bit presumptuous to believe my procedures account for every emergency scenarios which they do not. But it will lower the chances of people dying in the event of an evacuation and increase survival chances by at least 10% in a hostile environment. I am just trying to do my job sir, the doctor is making that a challenge to say the least, in a position I take quite seriously." Raza said hating to bring this to his attention like this.
"I would talk to the XO as he deals with this sort of thing but he made it quite clear that he would only take orders from you and as I said before, that will get people killed and do the opposite of his so called oath he took as a Medical Chief. 'Do no harm'." Raza said as he blurted things out at a rapid pace as he wished to get his say, he stood there quietly as he looked at the Captain and thought 'Why couldn't the CMO be a Saurian.'
Avin, contempt with his determination that the Saurian was finished, proceeded to discuss the matter. "Normally, I would run all personnel matters to Commander Temple. However, we are here now and you've briefed me on the situation so I take what you had to say and deal with it accordingly" replied the Captain diplomatically. "I respect and admire your seriousness and commitment to your position, Lieutenant Raza. You are quite correct that everyone aboard, myself included should receive the necessary refresher training on weapons. So, I will personally speak with the Doctor when I have the opportunity to" said Avin with a nod.
"A Romulan he is, but an officer of the Merchant Marines he is as well. Though we must remember that we are civilians in the eyes of the Federation unless a war is declared or localized conflict is determined that calls upon us as Auxiliary to Starfleet. We move cargo, Lieutenant. Sometimes we ferry around equipment and personnel, but above all else our missions will involve cargo" said Avin with a small pleasant smile. "The Doctor is a physician and a scientist, a man dedicated to studying life and preserving it. I am sure deep down he has some respect for you and what you are doing. As for his taking orders directly from and only from me, I'm flattered by it of course, but I will discuss it with him along with the training.
Avin reached out and placed a hand on the Saurian's shoulder, looking him squarely in the eyes. "You do your job and focus on the rest of the crew. Leave the Doctor up to Commander Temple and myself. You are doing a good job, Lieutenant" added the Captain with some encouragement.
Raza was a bit flabbergasted that the Captain seemed to genuinely take me serious which gave him some reassurances to say the least. "Thank you, sir. Glad you understood me. I talk quickly when speed is required, it cuts down on time and I have a higher chance of people getting the important bits of the conversation and less of the useless stuff but then sometimes the useless stuff reinforces the important stuff for proper understanding. Ill work on it, sir." Raza said grinning the best he could. "Grax, will be working with the crew on the phaser rifles and the marine rifles temple brought onboard, ill be working on the type one and two phasers for everyone else. I would also like your permission to run medical triage and security drills in the event we are boarded, so everyone knows where to go and what to do. Grax, has graciously agreed to help with this if I understood him correctly. Though, until the holo emitters throughout the ship gets repaired ill limit my training to the holodeck for the time being." Raza said trying to speak more slowly.
Taking in all that information and processing as much as he could in his state in between some good caffeine, Captain Avin Singh nodded as much as he could between the bits of information presented to him. "It all sounds fine, Lieutenant. I am sure the crew will learn to use the rifles just fine. Just remind Grax to be patient with the crew. Not all of them have Starfleet training and some of us definitely do not have much in the way of combat training, myself included" admitted Avin. "I was in Starfleet, but I was a Science Officer. Aside from basic training on type II phasers, I did not touch anything more powerful" he said shaking his head. "And I am not a fan of weapons myself. But we do need to be prepared."
"If you dont like use of phasers, I could teach you hand to hand combat if that is more comfortable and techniques to get close. But anyways, you have more pressing matters to attend too, I am sure." He said smiling. "Thats all I needed to tell you about. Have a good day sir and I hope our next meeting will be less formal and more casual." he said trying to slow down but failing a little bit.
"I said I wasn't a fan, not inept" replied the Captain with a small nod. "You have a good day, Lieutenant. I am sure we will be seeing each other soon... not really much room for a Commanding Officer to hide on an Oberth."
|Boy From the Bayou
Feeling content, Chief Officer Jesse Temple made his way back to the crew quarters. It had been a busy first day onboard the Star Of India. He was glad to have completed a tour of the ship, met most of the other crew, dined with the Captain and Second Officer, as well as getting used to his new surroundings. He could tell this old bird he now called home was unlike anything he'd travelled on before.
As the Commander strolled into his room and the automatic lighting illuminated his sparsely furnished quarters, Jesse noticed the ground crew had delivered his crate of personal belongings. Marines live a Spartan life and a career dedicated to marine service meant Temple had very little in way of possessions. This medium-sized, beaten-up metal box followed him around the galaxy, and contained all the trinkets and memorables he owned.
He kicked the crate across the carpeted floor to land just in front of his couch, swaggered over and dropped down to look through this box that contained his life. After entering his security code the lid popped open, and immediately objects began to shift and fall about. Jesse could pack his uniforms and clothes into perfectly neat squares into his rucksack, but his personal belongings were often just swept into the crate and closed up as quickly as possible.
Reaching in, his long fingers inmediately came into contact with a familiar soft piece of cloth. A smile formed across his hairy lips, his face broken into a jaunty grin as he pulled out his well-worn New Orleans flag.
"There she is." Jesse smirked.
The old municipal flag; three gold Fleur-de-lis bordered with red, blue, and gold stripes, on a white field. The flag he'd carried throughout his late teenage years, through the Academy, and every posting since. Jesse was not a Louisiana native, it was his adoptive home, but he'd swear on every Red Fish he'd caught that he was just a boy from the bayou. So the flag adorned wherever he bunked; be it a field camp or comfy officer's quarters.
Holding the cherised canvas in his hands, Jesse couldn't help but remember the last time he'd held it so dearly...
==Three Months Prior - San Francisco, Earth===
It was a cloudy, grey day in San Francisco as Jesse leaned against the cold glass window and stared out across the city. Transport shuttles flew silently in the sky around the Federation building where he'd been staying during the last week, and he watched them pass with a sombre glare. The Marine had just returned from the funeral of his beloved grandfather, Rear Admiral William Temple. He had stayed stoically calm through the day, but once back in his private room, his heart sunk. There was a subsequent memorial service at Star Fleet Academy but Jesse didn't feel like attending, he'd been to the funeral and that was enough pomp and circumstance for him. Instead he returned to his room, slung off the monkey suit, poured himself a drink and started staring out the window.
The passing of his grandpa was a significantly depressing ordeal for Jesse. In a single person, the older Temple was his family, father figure, best friend, and mentor; his heart and soul was darkened by the loss. And lost was exactly what Jesse was now; a sad young man who just missed his grandfather. In his passing, Jesse had lost a giant from his life, there was an emptiness that would never be filled again. Never again a conversation, a joke, a lecture, a fishing trip, a warm shoulder. Grandpa would never see Jesse command his own ship, marry the person he loved, meet any future great-grandchildren, or become the man he had always guided Jesse to becoming.
'A life without him will always be that much dimmer', He thought.
Jesse lifted a small glass tumbler to his lips and just lightly sipped the soothing dark whiskey; ice cubes clinking together as he did. He couldn't wait to get back on a ship and blast off this planet. He had originally returned to Earth for his Commanding Officer Interview; a promotion he felt he was ready to receive and would have made his Grandfather so happy. Yet, Star Fleet felt differently about his readiness and abilities. The pain of losing grip of his ambitious dream was quickly surpassed at the gaping wound his Grandfather's sudden death now caused. What had been a happy trip to progress his career, quickly turned into a nightmare.
The door chimed cheerily behind him and Temple lazily called out to open it, without bothering to look around. He didn't need to turn, he knew it would be Admiral Thurston. The older officer walked in and sighed at the forlorn Marine.
"Your transport will be here soon." Thurston spoke first. "I'm sure you'll be happy to go."
"Aye, sir," Jesse replied flatly.
"I know this is a dark time for you, son, but you'll come through once more." Thurston commented, "You always do."
Jesse wanted to keep his stoic obedience in the company of Admiralty, but the drink and the week from hell pushed him to snap back. "So frelling sure about that, sir?" He hissed, turning around suddenly.
Thurston sighed again, patiently taking the younger man's anger, "Yes, Marine."
Temple sneered a little and took a deep drink of his whiskey. "I didn't tell him I was coming back to Earth for my CO interview with you. I was going to surprise him," He laughed a dry, resentful laugh. "With the good news."
Admiral Thurston took a seat in a nearby arm chair, relaxing back and clearly thinking over his words. "Major, I thought you understood the reason we couldn't promote you yet."
"The only thing I understand, Admiral," Jesse snarked, "Is that the last conversation I had with my grandfather was a lie. A white lie, sure, but a lie. And I promised him I'd never lie to him or fail him again. Guess I was wrong about both those things."
"You wanted to make him proud," Thurston nodded, still trying, "He would have understood. I spoke with Rear Admiral Temple on a few occasions and I can assure you, there was nothing he was more proud of than you."
Jesse's eyes burned as he looked at the man; first in a rush of anger that he'd spoke to his Grandfather, but then the yawning sadness washed over him again. He leaned against the window as a single tear rolled down his cheek.
"He said that?" Jesse whispered.
"Every damn time I saw him." The Admiral replied with a smirk. "You will find a way to put this sadness behind you and continue on. Everything you have done in your career has been to impress him, now you will honor him."
Jesse nodded, wiping his cheek. "You think the Merchant Marines will do that?"
"Yes." Thurston replied firmly. "The ship I had in mind is still in refurbishment and could take a few months, so you can either choose some shore leave or a black ops mission."
Jesse looked over to him without hesitation, "Ops."
Thurston laughed as he stood. "I expected as much. The transport coming was already to take you to the mission zone."
The Marine stood up straight and put down the drink. "I will be ready, sir."
The older man nodded and walked towards the door, stopping as he noticed the Louisiana flag neatly folded and ready to be packed. "Once the mission is done, spend some time back home. Raise this flag over it's native land. That's an order, Marine."
Jesse smiled and thanked the Admiral, the warmth returning to his gaze. "I appreciate your visit, sir. And everything you've done for me."
Thurston gave a chuckle, "He raised you there, didn't he, son? In New Orleans? He told me you'd both go fishing on the Bayous some weekends."
"Yes sir," Jesse replied with a smile. The Admiral tossed him the flag and the Marine caught it in his hands, holding it tightly.
"Before you start on the Star of India, when you head back home, I might find myself in the vicinity. If that's okay with you?" The Admiral asked tenderly.
"I'd like that, sir," Jesse nodded enthusiastically, holding the flag close to his chest. "Very much so."
=== Crew Quarters - Present Day ===
Jesse finished attaching the flag to the wall above his bed, took a step back and smiled in reflection. He had completed the Black Ops mission and let his trigger finger do the talking. He'd made the trip back home to the Bayou and fished with the Admiral. He'd made it to the Merchant Marines and onboard this new ship, with a future still ahead of himself. Life had gone on since that horrible week, even if the loss was still evident behind his smile. All Jesse could do now was work as hard as possible to honour his grandfather and that New Orleans flag.
He stripped off his clothes and neatly folded them into squares inside his cupboard, before hopping into bed. Tomorrow would be a new beginning and a brand new mission and for the first time since that day, Jesse was excited to get started.
|The Needs of the Many
||SS Tornado | Mess Hall
||After "Ship out of a Bottle"
An officer, Ginny was not. However, that had not prevented Captain Avininder Singh from placing her in a position of authority aboard the SS Star of India. Despite having left Starfleet and signing up with the Merchant Marines, declining going through the Academy, Avin allowed the woman to maintain her enlisted Starfleet rank even if it was not technically within the Merchant Marines rank structure. He had even given her the duties of Supply Officer or Logistics Officer albeit under the mantle of 'Supply Chief' which was what had her called away from one of the storage rooms and walking with a PaDD in hand, skimming through a list and a request.
Captain Signh had just left the Bridge moments ago, having let his First Officer oversee the departure from the shipyards. Ahead of them now? Open space for the next several hours until they reach the nearby station, a Federation outpost and supply depot. It was where the SS star of India would be taking on supplies in the sense of cargo they would be ferrying to Cestus III. Avin had been watching where he was going for once and avoided the near collision with Ginny. "WOAH" he said as he arched his hips in a near miss, curving around the determined Tellarite who charged on down the corridor.
Ginny had apologized, but her little hoofed feet and small legs were carrying her onward. "Care to join me, Captain?" she asked politely over her shoulder. "Had a formal request come in for some supplies for the ship. Request is from...Anne Chouvie?" she said shaking her head at the name. Poor unfortunate exotic dancer or an intelligence operative? pondered the Tellarite. "Smells fishy....no pun intended. Well, maybe just a little."
Oh? Anne needs something thought the Captain as he turned and headed down the corridor to join the Chief. "She's a real person, Chief. Now, I cannot confirm or deny that her real name is Anne Chouvie, but she came recommended and I did not feel I needed to question it. "All I know is she's masterful with a knife and her food is amazing" he added. The two soon found their way into the Mess Hall.
"Is there a Ms. Chouvie here?" said the Tellarite. Chief Klem snorted upon hearing her own voice say the name. "Anne Chouvie...anyone? No? Onion, Sour cream...anyone?" added the Chief. But the Captain pointed the woman out to Ginny as the Tellarite made her way over to the bar. "So, you are Anne Chouvie" she said trying not to snicker or snort.
Finishing up a pan of stir fry, Anne took a break and headed towards the kitchen bar to greet the two. "I'm Anne Chouvie. And who are you then? Tom Ato, or Caeser Salad? Or are you here for something to eat?"
"I'm Miss Por Kroast" replied Ginny with a shaking of her head. "Well, stuff me with an apple and call me done...smells wonderful in here. Wonderful if you like the smell of bland nearly burnt vegetables and boring ass iceberg lettuce" she said very Tellarite. Her 'insults' were more along the lines of compliments. "I'm Chief Klem, the Supply Chief. All requests for new equipment and supplies comes through me" she said setting the PaDD down on the bar.
Avin pulled up a seat and sat down at the bar. "I'm just observing. I wanted to see how my Supply Chief does" he said with a shrug. "But I'll take some Roobios tea" he said with a pleasant smile.
"High praise, coming from a swine like yourself." Anne knew how Tellerites worked well enough so she returned the complement as she poured a cup of the requested tea and set it in front of the captain. "I assume you're here about my request for three dozen sonic disruptors. Why would a cook need weapons, right? I need them for a souffle."
"Fascinating" said Avin.
"Disturbing" added Ginny who made a note of that on the PaDD. For souffle she put beside the request. "Yes, I was here about the request for three dozen disruptors. I have been in some seedy little bars in my day, but never one that needed three dozen sonic disruptors. Now, I am curious what you could do with other things...but really. How does one make a souffle with a sonic disruptor?"
Anne grinned wickedly and described the process. "You start by removing the power core and cracking it open. The elements in that particular model are quite tasty when combined with freshly baked protomatter, a white lithium sauce, and distilled essence of pulse grenade."
Ginny looked rather perplexed, a bit disturbed, and bordering on wanting to vomit. "Okay, forget I asked. Where the hell did they teach you to cook? The Culinary Institute of Cardassia?" she said shaking her head. Ginny quickly looked around to make sure the Chief Engineer wasn't off duty and in the room.
Avin patted her on the shoulder. "Ibrim's in Engineering. You are safe. The Obsidian Order isn't going to come get you on the Star of India" said the Captain.
"Will that answer do or do you need the real reason?" Anne asked as she pulled out a few vegetables and started dicing them.
The Tellarite looked at her. "The real reason would be preferable, Ms. Chouvie. I would like to have all the paperwork done before we arrive at the station" replied Ginny.
Anne nodded and waved her knife in the air a moment as if to brush it off. "Some old friends of mine on one of the planets we're visiting need the weapons for a resistance cell. They have an abundance of local produce so I've agreed to try to get them some less lethal weapons for enough to feed this crew for months. The lithium grease is for the chain drive in the rotisserie. The protomatter I mentioned was a joke. Like I said, it's for a souffle. Or the ingredients for three hundred souffles."
"Hell no" replied Ginny taking the PaDD and clinging it to her chest. "You want to put weapons in the hands of a resistance cell in trade for some produce?" she question the sanity of the woman. The Tellarite looked at the Captain. "Sir?" she said bewildered that she was even hearing any of this.
Avin had nearly spat his tea well across the bar and into the galley kitchen. "Anne" he said shaking his head. "We might not be Starfleet per se, but we are an auxiliary of it. Even that aside, we are a Federation starship under the authority of the Federation Secretary of Transportation, a member of the President's cabinet. We cannot simply arm citizens of a planet" he said firmly.
He lowered the tone of his voice as to be discrete. "What planet? What people? Is it a Federation world or a sovereign one?" he asked with concern. "We move supplies around to and from. We get clients and contracts, but we are not smugglers and certainly not arms dealers" added Avin.
Anne looked up momentarily, digesting their words. "It's a Federation colony on a sovereign world called Taralak 4. I'd ask for it from my contacts in Intelligence, but they need these weapons from a legitimate source for whatever reason."
Avin did not know the world off hand. "Federation colony, but a sovereign world. Arming anyone without going through proper channel would put us in very hot waters, Anne. Let alone the fact that we have no idea what these people would do. You are asking us to arm a 'resistance cell' which in most cases practically straddles the line of being a terrorist group. Who's to say we wouldn't be supplying arms to an uprising or a political coup?"
"Then I probably shouldn't mention that my friend is a former Starfleet Black Ops coordinator or that some of his people are former Maquis sympathizers." Setting her knife aside, Anne headed to a secluded part of the kitchen that seemed to have just a blank panel. She pressed a couple spots and the panel popped open to reveal actual paper copies of something. Rifling through the papers, she pulled one out and resealed the panel. "This is his profile." Anne said as she slid it in front of the captain and returned to chopping veggies.
Groaing Avin sighed, only to see Ginny set the PaDD down near him and back away. "Where are you going?" he asked ashe looked over his shoulder.
She shrugged "She's making souffles with them. That's what I heard in my old age. Gave it my approval and passed it along up the COC to Commander Temple and or yourself to look over" said Ginny. "Whatever happens, I don't want to know and I do not want to hear about it" added Ginny as she scurried off.
This left Avin and Anne to converse. He looked at the woman. "I'll be upfront with you. I would have loved to have joined the Maquis myself. However, I am a starship Commanding Officer of a Federation Merchant Marine vessel. I cannot put arms into these people's hands, Anne" he said shaking his head. "Now, I might be able to request these for...defensive purposes as a security request. If they come aboard the Star of India I'm responsible for them. However, if they go missing and are not aboard my starship...that's on someone else's shoulders."
"That's up to you, of course." Anne began, setting her knife aside again. "I could do a lot with the boma meat and tubers, but if you decide not to, I'll forward the request to Intel and let them deal with it." Coming around the bar to sit next to the captain, she nodded and poured herself some tea as well. "So... I'm sure you now have plenty more questions."
"Get in touch with whomever you need to. We are scheduled to arrive at the station in about five hours" he said simply. "If you know anyone near, I'd suggest you have them arrive at the station and intercept some particular supplies and make them vanish before we or the station's personnel realize things are missing" said Avin. "The less I know, the better."
Anne raised an eyebrow, slightly surprised. "No questions at all then? Too bad I'm out of the game and only doing this as a favor to an old friend. All I can do is forward the request to Intel and hope they don't try to drag me back into their schemes. Thanks Captain. And sorry about all this."
"NONE" he said sternly. "If I know things, it will make me feel morally obligated to report things. I rather you stay aboard my ship." He grabbed another a PaDD that had been sitting nearby and plugged in some information into it before passing it over to Anne. "You did not get this from me" he said with a sigh. "He's a Ferengi with a small ship, one that is running around with a questionable reputation and a illegally modified Romulan cloaking device. Pay him enough and he'll get his hands on the disruptors before they can get loaded onto the Star of India. He'll take the cargo to Taralak IV for you if you pay him handsomely."
"Ugh... Ferengi..." Anne grumbled as she looked over the info. Yeah she'd heard of him. He'd been one of her old crew's competitors. "Thanks. I'll see what I can arrange. I might have enough in my retirement..."
"There's a small bar and casino on the station. If you need extra to pay the man, you probably could win some" said Avin. "Good luck, Anne" added Avin with a nod.
"Thanks." Maybe there was another way... She'd have to pull some strings though. "How long will we be at the station?"
Avin shrugged "However long it takes to load the cargo, inspect it, and then get cleared to disembark. At best, I'd say an hour and a half, but probably closer to two." He looked at the woman and smiled slightly. "If you need a leave of absence, Anne...you are welcome to take shore leave and take a trip to Taralak IV. We'll be on our way back to the station after we drop off the cargo at Cestus III, could pick you up when we get back?" offered Avin.
"No, I think I can arrange things from here." Standing, Anne walked back into the kitchen to access her computer terminal from there. "If you'll excuse me, Captain, I have some calls to make."
He nodded. "And if you'll excuse me, Anne, I have some calls I want to make sure I do not hear" he said with a nod before leaving the bar.
As soon as he'd left, Anne punched up the comm line and after a few seconds a strange scruffy looking man covered in scars popped up on the screen. "Mister Chuck Waggon, I presume. This is Miss Ali Katt. I can get your souffle, but I was hoping you had a pan for it..."
|Ship out of the Bottle
||SS Star of India | Deck 1 | Bridge
At long last the time had finally come. The SS Star of India had received confirmation that she was clear to take off albeit still a little underhand and short staffed, but Avin would see to that another day at another port station or starbase. His crew would have to buckle down and be united if they were going to survive their voyages ahead. Like everything else on the Oberth class starship, the Bridge
of the SS Star of India was.... compact to put it kindly. She was small, damn small. In a way it was like being on an old Constitution class yet with more contemporary technology albeit still a bit dated by appearance. There were several stations about the Bridge, aside from the Captain's chair, four stations were 'fixed' meaning they had seats, two others (Engineering and Science) were mostly transient in nature. It was clear that Engineering had been deemed not very needed on the Bridge and the Science set up was clearly for when the starship had been converted from scientific based to cargo.
There was a communications station though. One that was certainly not necessary per se. Captain Avin Sign had walked onto the Bridge with several crew following closely behind him (Science, Security, Safety, and Engineering) as Commander Temple was in the Captain's chair on the Bridge with Lucian Jax right at home in the helmsmen's seat. Avin looked around the Bridge, all the circuitry and wiring was finally back into place and all the panels were in place.
"Stations, gentlemen" said Avin gesturing for them all to have a seat or stand at their work stations. "Doctor Rehu, have a seat at the communications stations. You should be able to access what you need from there. If not... well the plus side is you only have to walk a few steps to the science station" commented Avin shaking his head slightly.
Nal nodded, and then followed that up with an, "Aye sir." He took the seat that was at the 'communications' station. It was sort of a ridiculous station to have since most communications routed through operations or tactical these days. He tapped at the console to do some rerouting so he could at least gather continual sensor data.
As soon as Avin was close, he noticed Jesse was about to budge and surrender the Captain's seat. Avin came up from behind the chair and firmly pressed down on the man's left shoulder. "At ease in the chair. You have command of the Bridge until further notice. I want you giving the commands to take us out of here" said Avin crisply. "I haven't overseen a departure from dry dock or shipyards. You have more experience in that regard" confessed the Captain.
Jesse gave a nod with a smile creeping across his bearded lips, this becoming a very proud day for him. He looked back to the LCARS screen on the chair's armrest. "Aye, Captain, as you wish. Stations are reporting in as we speak, I'll make the call."
The Marine tapped on his screen for a ship wide announcement, the tannoy whistled cheerily throughout the Star of India, =/\= All Xavier Shipyard crew please return to base. All hands prepare for departure. =/\=
"Ibrim," Captain Singh called out to his Engineer who had taking position at the Engineering station. "I want that Communications station properly converted and functional as a science station before the day is done" instructed the Captain. "For now, make sure nothing breaks when we start to disembark from the shipyards. I don't want a nacelle breaking off" Avin teased grimly.
Looking at the Reman on his Bridge who had now found his seat at tactical, Avin smiled. Reman on the Bridge of a Federation starship
. "Grax look pretty and remember Federation good, other things are potentially bad. Don't shoot anything with a Federation warp or power signature" Avin said as he made his way around the Bridge.
"We do not have an Operations Officer or Ops Chief at this time. Until further notice, I want you at Ops, Lieutenant Raza" ordered the Captain.
"Yes sir." He said grinning as he took operations station.
And then came the helmsmen. "I guess we shall see if I paid a fair price for your skills and talents, Mr. Jax or if you sold me a lemon."
Lucian rolled his eyes without replying to the statement.
Temple's chair beeped again and he announced to the Bridge, "Shipyard crew have departed, all stations are prepared for launch." He tapped and looked around the small but bustling Bridge. This was a big moment for this new crew. "Docking clamps are released on three.... two... one."
There was a slight drop as the Star of India was released from dry dock, now flying by it's own steam for the first time in decades. Jesse looked to the Helmsman, "Mr Jax, you may take us out of dock. Quarter impulse."
Pressing the buttons on his console, Lucian set the ship in a forward motion.
Taps on the console as Grax smirks a bit, those last security checks of the base were not required in his taste. But he was okay with the fact that these people were just doing their jobs "Security teams have checked in and weapon systems look good"
Temple smiled to Mr Grax, acknowledging his response. "Thank you, sir. Hopefully we won't need them just yet."
The Star of India sailed gently away from the dry-dock and into the yawning darkness of space. Her destination was not far this time, but the resurrection of this magnificent, old bird was significant for all who called her home. This flight, the first in a new life for the Oberth vessel, was a momentous occasion. She was not perfect, she was not top of the fleet, but she was theirs to navigate through a new world of adventure.
Once clear from the dock, Temple released a breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding. "Mr Jax, set a course for the Federation Station, warp six if you please."
The Marine looked to the Captain and smiled, "And away we go."
Captain Singh nodded "Onward to the station to pick up our cargo" he commented. "I will be checking in on some things around the ship, Commander Temple. Keep me apprised of any changes" he added before disembarking from the Bridge.
||SS Star of India | Ready Room
The doors parted to reveal a darkened, powered down bridge. It had been a strange sight, but considering the SS Star of India had still been docked, a powered down bridge made sense. Doctor Nal Rehu stepped onto the darkened bridge, and found it not as spacious as he had imagined. There had been a few spotlights that cast it's bright, white light onto some of the bridge, but his superior eyesight could see just how small the area was. In all honesty, he hadn't expected anything less, though he didn't have expectations either way. He was about to turn and go back into the lift when the sound of thumping had caught his attention. It was a beat, musical in nature, a four four time in rhythm. Curious now, he moved away from the lift, and followed the beat to the ready room. The ready room door was open, and there, dancing around singing into a banana was the Captain.
Nal smiled, and almost laughed at what he was seeing. He stood there, hands folded at the small of his back, framed by the door portal. He stood there, waiting to see if the other man would notice his presence.
Avin had left the doors to his Ready Room opened as to not suffocate himself in the intoxicating scent of the white sage and honey sickle incense he was burning in his quarters, the sweet scent spreading out in his Ready Room and dispersing outward onto the vacant Bridge. The four four rhythm music having transitioned, changing into the music and songs of Avin's ancestors. String and wind instruments playing off one another as Avin bellowed from his soul, his heart's lament echoing about in a sing-songy tone as he swept and swooped about in his Ready Room with a warm smile on his face as he sang into the banana he held in his right hand.
The Captain was not expecting anyone on the Bridge for another couple of hours. They were still docked into place at the Fleet Yards and would not be released to leave for another hour and half at the earliest. He had 'ordered' or at least recommended that to most of the crew that they got some sleep before disembarking. A crew of twenty something was only as good as the sleep they got. It was true that a lot of the Star of India could be automated and cut down to an operational skeletal crew of five if need ever be, but Avin hoped to keep his crew count in a nice cushioned area.
When Avin did finally catch a glimpse of the Romulan standing there framed in the open doorway, Avin stopped singing and dancing. He gently placed the banana down and looked at the Chief Medical and Science Officer. "It's called Dekha Na Dekhay" said Avin as he called for the computer to lower the music volume to a more reasonable level. "And you would be Doctor Nal Rehu" added the Captain gesturing for the man to come in. Avininder observed at the smoke moved about the room from the incense sticks burning off in the corner of his Ready Room "Don't tell the Safety Officer I had fire suppression systems temporarily deactivated on this deck."
"Your secret is safe with me," Nal replied. He took a few steps forward, the smell of the incense tickled his nostrils and he sneezed. He sniffled and didn't say anything for a second in case another sneeze came on. When it didn't, he continued, "Sorry about that, but yes, I'm Doctor Nal Rehu and I have to say I have never heard music like that before." Over the past five years, he had heard various types of music but nothing quite like what he just heard.
Avin smiled ever so slightly, somewhat embarrassed by being caught dancing and singing around his Ready Room. "It is music from Earth, my home actually. I'm sure Romulus had various forms of music and different sounds depending where one was geographically" said the Captain. "In my case, the music I was playing was from a place on Earth known as India. The music is from a particular region of India where I was born and raised."
Had. There was that word again. Had. There were a lot of 'hads' when it came to the Romulans and Romulus. However, there was a time and place for these thoughts, so Nal pushed those thoughts away. He nodded. "There was music, sure," Nal answered simply. At that, he sneezed again. "Excuse me, sorry about that."
"No apologies are necessary" replied the Captain as he went to extinguish the smoking incense sticks that had been producing what he found to be a delightful aroma, but apparently not something a Romulan nose enjoyed. "I should apologies to you for leaving the door open and lighting these. I guess they don't necessarily agree with everyone" said the Captain. "So...." began Avin as he searched for a way to bring it up. "You were a little reluctant to go through the Safety and Weapons training" added the Captain with a hesitance in his tone.
Nal shook his head at that. "No, not reluctant," he corrected. "I simply pointed out that our new safety officer was going overboard on what he wanted to do. I fully advocate safety and weapons training, but it has to be more reasonable as well." What he didn't say was that he thought it was unreasonable to expect those who had been doing this for a long time to go through something they had already been through multiple times. Plus, he thought it was overkill on a very massive scale. "I'll gladly shoot a target for the lieutenant, and participate in a drill but he has to take into account that not everyone can drop everything on his whim."
Avin crossed his arms and looked at the Romulan. "Look, I understand. I have been doing this for a while too. Well, having been in Starfleet" said the Captain. "Not going to expect you to drop everything on a whim, but I do want everyone even myself to go through a basic refresher. I know that the Lieutenant is...essentric?" said Avin seeking an appropriate description. "Regardless, if you'd rather just go through some basic refresher with Grax, that's fine. I am going to go through some training myself. Actually, to be completely honest with you, I've never touched a phaser riffle" added Avin.
"Fine." Nal replied simply in a tone that was deadpan. Because the Saurian snitched, he would never trust the lieutenant. In fact, the next port, Nal already knew he would be disembarking and requesting a different assignment. "One weapon is like all the others, you aim and shoot."
The Captain shook his head and let out a frustrated sigh. "Perhaps not quite that easy, but I know what you mean, Doctor" said Avin. He thought about everything he had seen over the years. "Sometimes, they find their way into the hands of children. Other times in the hands of madmen. Personally, I'd prefer to strip people of phasers and disruptors and arm them with the knowlede and power of a good book."
Nal couldn't get totally on board with what the captain was saying. He understood it, he did, but in a galaxy full of hate and intolerance, that just seemed to... optimistic maybe? There was just too much tyranny, devastation, and corruption to that. However... "I agree, as a doctor it would be nice not to have to fix up broken bodies due to the damages of a weapon." But..."Weapons, unfortunately are a necessary evil that we must all deal with whether we like them or not, or agree with their use or not. It's just what it is..." The little bit of Earth history that he knew; it seemed humans were rife with these types of problems. Weapons had been a large part of the culture, and heaven forbid if those weapons were regulated or gasp taken away. But, how could he say Romulans were more enlightened? Earth got past social issues, there were some social issues Romulans would never get past. But, did that matter now? Romulus was gone, would people still cling to the old ways?
Avin smiled and walked over towards Nal. "Doctor, evil and I have tangled before. We have been as intimate as can be. I walked away no worse for wear. The others who were with me did not get the chance to walk away" he said with an anguished tone and heavy sigh. "War" said the Captain. "War may sometimes be a necessary evil, but no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never good" quoted the Captain.
He obviously never served in the Romulan military, Nal thought to himself. On ships, even science vessels, all Romulans carried a weapon each and every day. It was a mandatory part of the uniform. The Romulans were constantly at war with someone, within the their own borders, or outside of them, it was constant. But now, now the Romulans were decimated. It would take generations to gain back what was lost, and in a way Nal felt sad about this. But the part of him, the part that hated his own people for their backwards way, felt it was deserved. He didn't like that feeling, but even after five years, he couldn't extinguish that feeling. He doubt he ever would.
Nal raised his hands in front of him. "You won't get an argument out of me on that one, Captain," he said. He had wondered how the conversation went from being confronted about what happened between he and the Saurian, to this, but he wasn't going to question it. "I know you don't know me, sir, but you have to trust me when I say I wouldn't do anything to endanger the ship or crew. Even Romulans have their own version of the Hippocratic Oath, and the safety of this crew is always going to be of my utmost priority." Now, part of him was itching to show that Saurian just how proficient he was in all of this.
"That I have no doubt of, Doctor" replied Captain Singh. "I do not believe you nor anyone aboard this starship would put my crew or the ship itself in any danger intentionally. Well, I can't say much for our helmsmen. He's too much of an unknown variable to me, but he has the necessary skill set that I was looking for in a pilot" admitted Avin. "Truthfully, though aside from possibly trying to sell us to the Orions or someone, I believe he can be trusted not to endanger us."
Not knowing the helmsman, Nal couldn't comment. "I can handle Orions," he said confidently. "Romulans have had their fair share of dealings with them as well." Which was the truth, Nal himself had his fair share of dealings with Orions. In fact Romulans tended to be duplicitous when it came to the Orions. They would use them to their advantage but then turn around and then blow their ships to space dust after. It was shameful, and unfortunately he had been part of that. There had been a lot of blood on his hands, despite his profession as a doctor. Nal had been correct, there had been a Romulan version of the Hippocratic Oath, but the caveat was that the Romulan, no matter how minor the injury came first above anyone else. Which meant if a Romulan just had some minor burns, but the human next to him was internally bleeding and near death, the Romulan would have been treated first. It was a shameful way to practice medicine. This was why he was glad to not be apart of that anymore, despite of how he ended up leaving the Empire.
Avin nodded. "Well, then I believe we will in good shape then. I look forward to having you as a member of my crew and working with you. Our missions may not typically be scientific in origin, but the places we will have to venture may be of some scientific importance. We can always make a detour to investigate if something peaks either of our curiosities" offered the Captain. "I would like to avoid running into the Orions if at all possible, but we will be ready for them if we must."
Nal nodded. "Sounds fair enough, sir," he said. After a few beats of silence that passed, Nal smiled. "I suppose I should get down to the medical bay, there are some final inventory checks that need to be done." He paused. "Unless you had anymore questions for me?"
The Captain gestured towards the entrance and exit of his Ready Room. "Nothing further, Doctor. I look forward to working with you. Please, enjoy the rest of your evening."
|Snap, Crackle, and Pop!
||SS Star of India | Cargo bay - (Federation Supply Station)
The Captain had allotted the crew of the SS Star of India a maximum of two hours to take on the cargo and supplies from the Federation Supply Station. It was a smaller Regula class starbase, older and argulably more archaic looking than the Star of India herself. Two hours, however, should have been more than enough time for Lieutenant Raza and Chief Klem to operate the transporters and beam the cargo supplies from the pads on the station over to the pads in Star of India's cargo bays. It had taken about forty five minutes for everything to come aboard.
Then, came a dozen or so minutes using a anti gravity unit to 'wheel' some cargo off the station and onto the SS Star of India. Some things were simply too volatile to attempt use of transporters. It had been a lot manual labor, at least for the 24th century. As they neared the hour thirty mark, Raza and Klem had met up again, crossing paths in one of the cargo bays. It was time for the last of the inventory and safety checks.
The two were side by side as they began walking down the rows of crates, containers, barrels, and boxes. "Now the fun part begins" she teased as she let out a tiresome sigh. The Supply Chief held a large PaDD in hand, over sized for ease of reading. Terllarite's did not have the best sight. A stylist was held in one of her hoofed hands. "Well, there's the duranium and tritanium" she said as she gestured her stylist and began marking it done. "Care to inspect it and confirm it is genuine?" she somewhat teased.
Raza took out his scanner and knelt down next to each container to make sure everything is good, no bombs, no trace tags, nothing to put themselves in danger with. The scan turned up clean and nodded to Gini for the all clear. "Go ahead, Satyr Breath." Raza called out.
Shaking her head and going about her business, she rounded a corner of barrels. "Found the dilithium crystals" she announced. She gave them a quick inspection. "Definitely not grade A quality, but they will make due with them down in Engineering" added the Tellarite. "Looks like the crap we sometimes had to use on the USS Hera" she joked to herself as she remembered sometimes watching that little deviant imp, Ensign Rhett Beaumont who was Chief Engineer of the Hera when she was aboard. She had seen him making use of much worse.
The woman then headed down an area with supplies marked with the distinctive logo of Starfleet Medical. "I'm checking out the medical supplies now" she called out the Raza who had broken off from her a while back and took the other side of the cargo bay. "Oooo" she said intrigued. "Hey, Raza, we took on some of that Bio-mimetic gel. Maybe we can make a clone of you" she teased shaking her head, making sure that it was properly secured in a dormant state. Better slap a warning label on this one she thought as she sat her enlarged PaDD and stylist down. The Tellarite unclipped a tricorder from her belt and ran it over the canisters of gel and marked it with a warning.
"No sir, their is only enough room in this galaxy for one Saurian like me. However, we could make a clone of yourself, maybe even make it better tempered then we can replace you and put your doppleganger in your place, ship would be quieter atleast, Siren." Raza called out jokingly.
"RAZA!" she shouted as she neared the section with supplies set aside for the 'food pantry' down in the Mess Hall. "Get your Amphibious ass over here" she added as she whipped the tricorder of hers once more. "My eye sight might suck, and my hearing isn't superb, but my sense of smell is like a blood hound" she professed. "I smell saffron, sage, other Earth herbs and spices, a few from Cardassia, and one or two from Bajor...but there's something else" she said.
"Are you joking me? its most likely another spice you are smelling. Bloodhound my scale." Raza called out as he headed over to where she was.
She glared at the Saurian. "Shush" she replied. "I'm serious...I smell something. Like really bad ammonia" she explained. "These containers of grains. It smells like it is coming from in them, but my tricorder can't read anything suspicious. Too many alloys and substances in the Cargo bay interrupting my readings" she added. Then came a sound...an odd sound that was not the sound wheat, grain, and seed should be making if at all.
"I say call the bomb squad personally. See what they think, worse case scenario, we get an explosive device, best case they get pissed. Because my own tricorder is being disrupted, its possible whatever is inside it, is distorting sensors, Monotanium alloy can do that easily." Raza said calmly as he watched the Goat man freak out.
"That's it" she said shaking her head. "I don't like it, Raza. I'm calling in Security" she said storming off over to the nearest control panel. The Cargo Bay and the rest of the starship soon was dimmed with a yellow illuminating glow as Chief Klem opened the shipwide comm channel. "ALL HANDS NOW HERE THIS, We are under Yellow Alert, I repeat Yellow Alert" she said sternly.
The Tellarite then made the necessary calls although she was sure Grax was undoubtedly already on his way. "Commander Temple to Cargo Bay One, please" she said over the comm channel.
Temple was finishing up afternoon training in his quarters when he saw the warning lights illuminate in yellow. Wearing his Marine Academy singlet and shorts, he had been crunching on the floor to a soundtrack of the loudest, noisest rock songs. At first he thought the Yellow Alert was accidental, or perhaps just a test of the systems.
Curious, he silenced the music and waited, just as Klem made the call for his attention. Jesse cursed loudly and sprang up from the floor. Acting quickly, the Marine grabbed his phaser and comms badge before sprining out to the corridor.
=/\= On my way =/\= He replied.
Temple arrived swiftly; still a sweaty, puffing mess but with phaser drawn and ready to go. As he jogged into the Cargo Bay, he saw the junior officers looking decidedly worried.
"What's the situation?" He asked in a commanding voice.
Klem snorted and threw her arms up in the air in a sigh of frustration. "Unknown, Commander" she said shaking her head. "Lizard lips over here thinks it is nothing, but I smell something off putting from these here containers of grains and spices" explained the Supply Chief. "I swore I heard something in them too. Lizard suggested an explosive device, so we called you immediately."
Temple looked quizzically at the Chief Petty Officer, making a mental note to have a conversation with her regarding racism in the service. But first, he moved cautiously towards the containers, "They've just been loaded from dry dock, which is a secure base. They would have detected something untoward. What do our sensors say?"
"About as much as Ferengi without being offered a substantial bribe" replied the Chief. "We have nothing to go off of, Sir. Too much interference and the containers are composed of alloys that are rather limiting to invasive sensor scans. We can't get much in here at the moment" she added.
The Marine frowned, grabbed his comm badge and placed it onto one of the crates. "Mr Raza, use my badge to beam this crate two hundred kilometers off the starboard side. We'll be able to scan the contents out there and destroy it if need be."
"Yes sir, and dont need to get her into trouble, shes a walking Satyer to begin with." Raza said smirking as he walked over to the console.
Chief Klem approached a work station, powered up the console and had herself a look. "Commander, I'm reading life signs in those containers!" she said in a half snort half shout. "Tiny little life forms...animals maybe?" she added a bit perplexed
Temple gave a curious murmur, "At least it's not a bomb. Whatever they are, we can't very well kill living creatures, but I don't want to risk anything. I suggest we quarantine the cargo bay until we reach the Federation station and can offload our stowaways. Thoughts?"
Klem grunted "The quadrant might be better off if we killed them. If these scans are correct, their bio signs seem to indicate they are Tribbles, Commander" she said with a sigh. "I wonder if Chef Anne could use them to make us a nice meal? Always wanted to bake a Tribble...oh or roast one. Maybe we can stuff an apple in their mouths and have her roast them?" teased the Chief. "We could wait for the station to off load them, but that may delay us even longer with getting to Cestus III. I'd recommend just letting our Tribble contaminated cargo go adrift in space until the station can send out a shuttle to recover them"
"Tribbles!" Jesse groaned, "I think I'd rather a bomb. Especially if they've been chowing down on our grains, they’ll be bustin' out any time now. Okay, I agree we should eject the crates for now. What do you think, Mr Raza?"
"I dont think that would be humane, sir. If we are just going to kill them, lets do it right, sir. A level 16 phaser setting would vaporize the containers and it would be a quick death for them. Klem's suggestion would put her in the brig and then a penal colony for mass murder of a sentient race, sir. After all they do meet the requirements for sentient life." Raza told them.
Jesse nodded and tapped his badge, =/\= Stand down Yellow Alert. =/\=
|The Engine Room
Jesse had never spent much time in the Engineering section of a ship. It was all a little too technical for him, and he was constantly worried about touching the wrong thing and accidentally ejecting the warp core. He knew that was a ridiculous thought but the fear was ever-present in his mind. So when the Marine walked into Engineering to speak with Lieutenant Dakar, his arms were still pulled tightly behind his back.
"Mr Dakar?" He called out, looking around.
Chief Petty Officer Ginny Klem had been many things her life time and in her service to Starfleet. She's been in Ops and in Engineering, she had been an Engineer, a Transporter Chief, and even the Shuttlebay Manager aboard a Nebula class starship. All of this before her new career with the Federation Merchant Marines. One thing she had never been, however, was a Cardassian. She was concealed behind an Engineering console busy at work replacing isolinear chips and lending a hand in Engineering when she heard Temples voice. Ginny let our an squealing snort as she got back up to her feet. "I'm not the Cardassian, but Good morning to you, Commander" she replied jovially.
Then came a woman walking around the room with shoulder length purple hair and an Engineer's jumpsuit on. "Lieutenant Ibrim Dakar is no longer aboard the Star of India" she added simply. "Chief Klem has been down here helping me out. I apologize for coming aboard rather unannounced, but if you check with Captain Singh, you'll see that I have his approval to be here" she explained.
Ginny nodded "And she's good at what she does. Been here less than a day, and she has fixed some of our power supply and power transference issues we've been encountering" commented the Tellarite. "Her hair is absolutely atrocious though. Looks like a bad dye job until I realized she's not human" jested Ginny.
The purple haired woman shot a cold glare at Ginny. "And I thought you were a vertically challenged human with hoofed deformities due to genetic inbreeding. Fortunately, you are just a Tellarite" she added, trading the 'insults' that Tellarites loved. She then looked at Commander Temple. "Lieutenant Dakar is remaining on the station. He's had a personal matter come up and had requested leave of your Captain. I happened to be on the station myself and kindly offered my services to your Captain as a temporary replacement for Mister Dakar."
Jesse was confused and annoyed at the same time, displeased at the bickering between these officers, "Please conduct yourselves with the civility of your positions. Even if this isn't a Starfleet vessel, I expect appropriate behaviour."
Ginny snorted in response and shook her head. Aren't you a good little Starfleet boy she thought privately to herself.
Kenny, however, nodded and replied promptly "Aye, Commander. I will be sure to act appropriately."
"Very well," Temple replied with a sigh, "I'm sad to see Mr Dakar leave us so suddenly but glad to see we have a capable replacement. If you don't mind, I would like to see how we're holding up after launching the ship."
The purple haired Warrant Officer gestured around the small room that was comprised of a hulking warp core that took up about 70% of the room and two working consoles. "I'd give you the grand tour of Engineering, Sir, but there isn't anything grand about it. Aside from a few gremlins in the systems and our power issues, the Warp Core is operating well within normal parameters."
Jesse looked around, and the officer sure wasn't wrong about how compact their Engineering room was here. He was noting everything down on his PADD for his report to the Captain. "I see. Tell me about the gremlins and power issues. It's not every day they launch a ship like this, I want to be methodical in our recording of how she's fairing."
Kenny scoffed "That's for sure. I was surprised to see an Oberth arriving at the supply station. You do not see them around in service anymore, especially not one in this good of shape. Then I came aboard...she looks better on the outside and from afar after a few glasses of wine" she said. "Response times aren't as rapid as they should be. You try to reroute reserve power to any of the Bridge stations which should be instantaneous...I've found about a five to seven second delay."
"That could make a big difference in an emergency," Jesse replied, "Is that what you've been working on, Officer Klem?"
Ginny snorted "Chief will be just fine, Commander. Officer sounds...awkward" she replied. "But yes, I have. I have training with Starfeet's Corps of Engineers and had been a Transporter Chief before leaving Starfleet. If there's a power problem, this Tellarite will find it and fix it" she said.
"We still have some time before we get to the Federation station," Temple shrugged, "We can contact their maintenance team and see if they can help us out? I know we've got to wing it out here, but I don't like flyin' into the dark with a taillight out."
Ginny nearly hissed with her snort. "Nobody is touching these systems but us" she said with a wink. "I'm very picky about things. I don't want to be flying into the dark without whatever you said either, but I can get it fixed on time. If I don't you can roast me for our next big crew meal" she said with a promise.
The purple haired woman was in an agreement. "I trust her word, Commander. The two of us will have everything sorted. By all means, walk around and watch us work if you want, but the Chief and I need to get back to work."
|Fun With Phasers
Jesse stood in one of the Star of India's small holodecks, running a basic Phaser Training program, as he often liked to do. He was in a white room, standing at a weapon's station, with a range of targets appearing in a field in front of him. It was an old default program on the Oberth's system, so the holographic baddies were a variety of anachronistic Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, and even a hilariously out-of-date depiction of a Ferengi.
"Computer, start next level." He ordered and she acknowledged cheerily.
Temple focused his vision on the targets that materialised before him. He let out a slow breath before swiftly pulling the trigger on his Squad Rifle; his arm dancing left to right as he connected sharply with each hologram and they derezzed into particles with every successful hit. Very quickly, the round was complete, so the Marine lowered the rifle again and moved to a nearby LCARS screen to check his score. He was pleased to see several kill shots, sitting around eighty-percent on target. But he was off on a few, only managing a critical but non-lethal hit. Jesse didn't accept being off by one, let alone a few. He would have to work harder until he got the one-hundred-percent he expected from himself.
Nal Rehu felt determined. He felt determined to prove to the safety officer just how capable he was with a weapon. Instead of coming to him personally, the Saurian went to the captain instead. That irked Nal to no end, but the by product of that was he didn't trust the safety officer now. What Lieutenant Raza failed to realize was that Nal's own training before the Merchant Marines far outweighed any namby pamby training the Merch services ever taught. If this would have been a Romulan ship, Raza would have been killed without even anyone batting an eyelash. Raza was lucky he wasn't on a Romulan vessel.
Entering the very small holodeck, Nal had seen that it was already occupied by the XO, Commander Temple.
Jesse raised his phaser rifle back onto his shoulder and called for the program to start again. However, just as the first hologram appeared before him, the Holodeck doors opened and safety protocols kicked in, freezing the program immediately. Temple turned to see the Doctor had entered.
"Morning, Lieutenant," Jesse gave a beaming smile. "Here for a bit of a shoot out?"
Nal tipped his head in greeting. "Good morning, Commander, and as a matter of fact I am," he replied.
The Marine looked back to see the program had unfortunately frozen on a rather-cartoonishly evil looking Romulan hologram. Jesse gave an embarrassed laugh, "I'm sorry, it's an old system."
Nal moved closer to where the commander stood, and there right before him was a rather... antiquated looking Romulan. Nal's left eyebrow lifted at that. He had to admit, his own people went through a period of history where uniforms were colorful, and helmets were worn, but that had changed. He had recalled Starfleet's blunders with uniforms throughout the years... it seemed every species had gone through a fashion faux pau phase. "Well, in humans defense, Romulans were not widely seen, all Earth knew was we were the enemy." He smiled at the commander. "No worries," he aimed his weapon at the Romulan hologram and made a 'pew pew' noise.
The Marine moved over to the LCARS panel again and tapped away until he found a newer program. He quickly made sure to delete any Romulan representatives from the targets, giving a raised eyebrow to the Doctor as he did.
Turning back to Lieutenant Rehu, Jesse gave a smile, "I've just been sharpening up for the phaser training," He broached the subject, knowing it would be a point of contention, but feeling it necessary to discuss. "Even the Captain and myself will be participating."
Really? Seriously? Nal resisted the urge to roll his eyes, it seriously took all his will power to not only roll his eyes, but turn on his heel and leave the holodeck. Why is everyone bowing down to the Fvadt! Saurian, he thought to himself. Why not see how people would do first before making them do this hhakh training. "I'm just here to shoot things." This time he smiled, but it was more of a 'watch your back' type of smile.
Temple raised an eyebrow again, sensing the tone in the Doctor's voice. He gave a shrug and turned to the panel to start the next program. Before he did, Jesse increased the difficulty and speed, deciding to test the Romulan for himself.
Jesse placed a phaser on the ground and kicked it across the concrete floor to slide about five metres away from Rehu. The Marine quickly slapped the LCARS screen to start the program.
"Then shoot." He said with a smile.
Nal crouched down to pick up the phaser, he toggled it to the 'kill' setting and nodded to the commander to start the program. Several aliens shimmered into life, and Nal stretched out his arm and pressed the firing button. He took the first then the second, and then the third out in rapid succession. He crouched, moved quickly, and took out two more. He moved toward a small workstation, and fired his phaser, he plucked off one, and then another, and then another, and then one more. The computer beeped, and multiple beings came to life again. Nal moved about the holodeck picking off one by one all while not even breaking a sweat. Another round came, and Nal took down another round of beings. Then the computer beeped and the program ended. He looked to Commander Temple and brought the phaser up and he blew at the business end as if there was smoke. He then twirled the phaser in his hand and tossed it toward the XO. "And there you have it..."
Jesse looked on with a pleased smile. "All targets hit. That was very good, Mister Rehu..." His smile darkened. "...For a warm up."
With a press of a button the holodeck changed dramatically around them. The blank white room morphed into a smoke-filled corridor; the lights flickered, a Red Alert klaxon whined hazily in the background. There was a faint "Evacuate" call over the tannoy. It was the worst nightmare for most officers.
Jesse had disappeared, hidden amongst the chaos, but his voice sounded out to the Doctor. "The ship has been boarded by an enemy force. You are the last man standing, you must find your way to rescue me before the enemy finds you. Only kill shots will stop them."
"Hmm okay mister damsel in distress," Nal said then smirked. This felt more like a silly horror movie than an actual issue, but his military training took over and the thought of a silly horror movie had fled his mind. He checked his phaser, and it was still on kill.
Around the corridors there came the familiar sound of heavy, clunking footsteps - the monotonous, mechanical noise of a robotic army. They were hunting the Doctor in their methodical, unceasing manner, and sensing his present they called out to him.
In one voice they droned, "Resistance is futile."
Really? The Borg? Nal thought to himself. "That's what you think!" he snarled as he readied himself. He had never personally encountered the Borg, but the Romulans had extensive information in their databases concerning the wretched creatures. There had been training at the military academy concerning the Borg, so he knew what he needed to do. However, it was him against them, and the odds were not in his favor. Just like most, he had the urge to fire his phaser but knew that would be suicide, he needed to save the shots.
The one advantage Nal had over most species, was his strength. Just like Vulcans, Romulans possessed superior strength despite their lith frames. The first Borg had approached, the half man, half machine was short and stocky. It didn't take much to get around it, and take it down with a pull of some tubes. The Borg fell to the deck with a hard thud. One down, half a dozen more to go.
Nal moved quickly, he popped off one shot to distract one of them, and it was enough for him to break the Borg's neck. He took another one out, but now he was breathing heavy, his muscles were tiring. He blinked some sweat from his eyes as he moved forward. However, one grabbed him from behind and put him in a choke hold. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the tubules come down toward him. He struggled, but was tired. He swallowed hard, grunted, and then elbowed the drone. It was just enough to loosen the grip on his throat, and Nal raised his phaser, pressed it under the drone's chin and fired. The Borg fell.
That was four down, and the drones kept coming.
Continuing to move forward, Nal dodged one of the drones but was confronted with one that looked to be a former Romulan. This was going to be tough. The drone lunged at him, and Nal just barely dodged the blow. The second go around, he hadn't been so lucky and the saw like appendage caught him in the arm. He cried out, even with the safeties on he still felt the pain. The pain was very real. Green tinted blood soaked his sleeve and dripped down his arm. However, he fought through the pain, and fought the drone with all his might. Took the phaser, and shot the thing in the belly, and he almost breathed a sigh of relief that the particle beam didn't get absorbed by an energy shield. The shot was enough to help, but it didn't deter the drone for long. Nal felt a hand grip his throat and begin to squeeze. "No... no... no..." he managed to squeak out as he tried to pull the cold fingers from his throat. He kicked his legs and his foot came in contact with the drone's knee. The drone's grip loosened and Nal broke free. With a war cry he ran toward the drone and tackled it to the deck. The drone swung at him, catching him on the cheek, and then his side. The pain, once again felt real, but Nal continued. He finally pulled at some tubes, and the drone shook below him. Nal gripped the drone's throat and squeezed as hard as he could. He felt the windpipe break under his grip, the resounding pop was a satisfying one. In one final act, he twisted the Romulan drone's head and there was a snap of the neck.
Breathing hard now, Nal pulled himself up. He swallowed hard and looked at the dead drone. He snarled and moved forward down the curved corridor. He found the commander standing there. He managed to smile as he held up the phaser. "I didn't really need this."
Temple could only breathe out an impressed sigh, though he coughed a little from all the fake smoke around. "Well that was certainly efficient. We have never seen a Doctor do anything like that before." He wiped away a bead of sweat, realizing he'd gotten quite excited to watch the Doctor work. "We are impressed."
"Where I come from doctor's are military soldiers first, doctors second," Nal huffed. His breathing began to normalize, but his heart was still beating fast. But, something struck him as odd, and a dark brown eyebrow arched. We?
Temple tried to smile but ended up coughing again, trying to wave away the smoke. "We will have to speak with Lieutenant Raza about your training. We will have great use for you amongst us... On the ship, we mean."
"Well that's good to know," Nal replied. He had noticed the commander was coughing more and more, he knew the holographic smoke was bad, but it shouldn't have been that bad. "Anything else? Are we done here?"
Jesse leaned against the wall, giving a small groan. "For now, you should probably get some res...." he coughed. "You should res.... Res... Res... "
Finally he doubled over onto the floor, a holographic Borg eye piece materialised onto his face. "Res... is... stance... is futile..."
The final test for Mr Rehu. Of course the Borg weren't known for leaving survivors. Now, as his Commander transformed before his eyes into their nemesis, the Doctor had to quickly shoot or face assimilation himself.
Nal backed up a couple of steps, he was annoyed, and frustrated, and he was tired. He just wanted a hot shower now and get to his duty station. "Sorry, Commander, it's either me or you." With that said, Nal raised the phaser quickly and popped off a shot at point blank range. "And I choose me."
As Temple fell backwards, the simulation finished and the room morphed back to it's blank, white interior. No more smokey corridor, no more Borg. All was well that ended well. Feeling the warm tingles of a holographic phaser hit to his chest, Jesse gave a loud, chuckling laugh on the ground.
"Oh man, you are one tough S.O.B!" Jesse exclaimed. With a kick of his legs, he did a back-spring up onto his feet again, then reached out to give Doctor Rehu a firm handshake. "I am very glad to have you on board, sir. Sorry if that was not what you were wanting to do here today, but I hope you got to let off some steam nonetheless."
Nal nodded and smirked. "It was certainly unexpected, but it certainly was a good workout." Truth was, it did blow off some steam, he hand been so wound up since his encounter with the safety officer. He obviously just proved himself. He figured Commander Temple would surely explain this to Raza, at least that was his hope. He watched the commander jump up, and was impressed with the other man's athleticism. The handshake was firm, it was a good man's handshake. He dragged his hand over his forehead to gather the sweat. "I think a shower is in order."
"Well you go get that shower, Doctor," Jesse smiled, putting a warm hand on his shoulder. "I believe we're both on Bridge duty tonight but I owe you a drink. A big one."
Chuckling, Nal nodded. "I'll hold you to that drink," he said. "Thanks for the work out, sir. I'll see you when duty calls." He handed the other man the phaser, and offered a smile to the other man and then made his way to the exit of the small holodeck. He felt much better now, he felt much more secure in his position, and that fact he had just proved himself boosted his self-esteem. It proved his training wasn't in vain, it proved that all that time in the Romulan military wasn't for naught. He gave a quick wave to Temple, and than entered the corridor to head back to his quarters.