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Mission Orders - 11305.03

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INCOMING TRANSMISSION:
STARFLEET PERSONNEL, SAN FRANCISCO, EARTH
PRIORITY ONE COMMUNIQUÉ
AUTHORIZATION TANGO-ZULU-ONE-FIVE-BRAVO-NINER

TO: Captain John J. Adams, Commanding Officer, USS Pandora NCC 80113
CC: Captain Satok Zul Marek, Station Commander, Deep Space 102
Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer, USS Pandora NCC 80113
Stardate: 11305.03
From: Admiral William Crenshaw
RE: Mission Orders

Congratulations on the deployment of the USS Pandora. You have been assigned to long-range exploration of the section of the Alpha Quadrant on the Federation border nearest the Galactic Core.

Captain Marek, you will reposition your station at the best possible speed to nearby the Epsilon Librae system in support of the long-range exploration to be undertaken by the USS Pandora. You are to keep all current support vessels to add to defensive and patrol capabilities.

Captain Adams, while the station is relocating itself, you will take the USS Pandora on a shakedown cruise to fine tune your new ship and crew. Your route is at your discretion, though you must remain on call for any assistance required by DS102 during transit.

*****CLASSIFIED Level 8 and above*****
Deep Space 102 and the USS Pandora are to be the first line of defence against a new agressor species identified as the th'Alcair, a saurian predatory race. Little is known about them at this point, other than their weapons capability, which can cause immense damage with a single shot that hits. Your joint mission is to gather as much intelligence as possible regarding this new threat to the Federation and seek to neutralize it by any means possible, the best of all being by peaceful negotiation. If peaceful overtures fail, you are authorized to use more drastic measures.
*****END CLASSIFIED*****

Good luck.

Admiral William Crenshaw
Starfleet Command
San Francisco, Earth

bbaldwin's picture

To: Senior Staff, USS Pandora NCC-80113
From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
CC: Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
Captain Satok Zul Marek, Station Commander DS-102
Stardate: 11305.03
Subject: Mission Briefing

Senior Staff,

Welcome aboard the USS Pandora! I look forward to meeting and working with you all. I expect you will all check in early, find your bunks, stow your gear, and report for duty to your assigned stations. Our mission is simple – launch on time without incident, ensure this new ship works the way it’s supposed to, and make our way to the Epsilon Librae system. Once there, we will embark on our primary mission – exploration of unknown territory.

Captain Marek of DS-102 will be joining us while the station is also making its way to Epsilon Librae. Once in position, DS-102 will be our “home base” for quite some time.

I expect that each of your departments will be fully staffed and ready to depart on schedule. Once underway, I will address the entire crew.

That is all.

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora
SN 950306-001-3

Diplomatic Log, Stardate 11305.03, Lieutenant Junior Grade Trix recording

At present time, there is little of long term note to report from a diplomatic viewpoint on board. We are still in the Sol system, enroute for a rendezvous with Deep Space 102 at it's new location, but as such there is nothing that can be called "contact with a foreign species" and that is unlikely to change for some time. However, that does not mean there is nothing to be done along the way.
I have begun a project to categorize and analyze the biological and sociological data on the various species the ch'Tan have in their database as a start of a guide to the beings of the area of space we are looking to enter. While this will never change from "a work in progress", I am hoping at some point we will have a database that will provide some assistance to Starfleet, Federation Civilian and allied ships travelling through this section of space. However, initial looks at the database show me that there will be a lot of interpretation, a lot more "take this with a grain of salt", and perhaps a little bit of filling in blanks before we get to even the beginning of a usable database. In all fairness, I am fairly certain that if we had a Romulan, Klingon, or Cardassian database it would have similar issues. The Federation is the most Diplomatic power that we know of, and the ch'Tan database's bias will need to be ascertained. For now, however, the bias and the spotty information in some areas is better than going in blind, so I am hoping I can get some usable information. At least there are a few languages we can prepare for the Universal Translator, although given the interface ability of the ch'Tan computer systems that may take a bit more work than it could have.

Personal Log, Stardate 11305.03, Vertan Trix recording
For the second time, I've contributed to the experience of my Symbiont with a new bit of knowledge outside of the realm of anything any of the other hosts have ever experienced. And again, it felt good to realize that this is more than Vertan taking advantage of Trix's knowledge. But today, I got to be part of the inaugural launch of a new Federation Starship. While the procedure was similar to my previous launches aboard the Scorpius, there were several things different. For one thing, the crew seemed to be a lot more busy, probably because this ship is brand new and every step needed to be checked to ensure we don't have any errors. Plus there are a lot more people here today, not just a crew thrown together to fit a projected mission need but really department head types with a permanent connection to the ship. But it was more than that. This is a part of history. Sure, there are many ships in Starfleet, but all in all the total cannot be that great to make this kind of launch event less special.
The ship itself is rather impressive. Smaller than the Ambassador Class, the only other active duty class I've served on, I have not yet seen her in action but her ratings certainly show she has a lot of capability to offer our missions. The sensor pallets have a great deal more ability to handle data, although the graviton data I was glancing at still seems a bit over summarized for my tastes. Still, it's a good deal better than even the station sensors on DS102. She should give us a good set of eyes with which to see what we're coming at. Given what the Scorpius saw from the th'Alcair, I can only see this helping.
The crew seems an interesting bunch. The Senior Staff I've not really had a chance to meet most of them, outside of Captain Marek and Lieutenant Sergon who I got a chance to get to know better on the trip from DS102 to Utopia Shipyards. But I have had a chance to look at the crew records some. Four humans, four Vulcans, a Lurian, a Cait and another Trill, although that Symbiont is a lot more experienced than we are...it's a fact Trix. No, I don't think less of you for it... We all seem to be feeling out how this is going to work. Trying to get an idea of where we are going to function, what our interactions will be. I had a few concerns when I was picking this assignment, but I think those are over now. There are still questions, but I am looking forward to getting to know how this is going to work. I think I'm going to like it here.

gbrinkman's picture

From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
Stardate: 11305.03
Subject: Captain’s Log

The launch of any new ship is certainly majestic for those involved. This is no less true for the USS Pandora launch from the docks at Utopia Planitia. The workers and techs feverishly finished their tasks and disembarked. There is still work to be done, but most of it can be done by the ship’s crew, and was not anything that would delay the launch schedule. The assigned crew reported aboard in timely fashion and all found their places without mishap. If ever there was a definition of organized chaos, the launch of a ship should be definition one.

My yeoman apparently managed to get my gear aboard, separate what went to quarters and what went to my Ready Room without need of my oversight. I still have unpacking to do and there will be plenty of time to settle in once we are underway. So, I made my way from quarters on Deck 3 and headed to the Bridge. I am not sure if I will ever get used to so many crew acknowledging my presence and hopefully, once underway, the seemingly overflowing passageways will be less occupied and the crew will come to realize they do not have address me every time they see me.

I arrived to the Bridge and before I could make it to my Ready Room, it seemed my immediate presence there was necessary. Time passed and it seemed suddenly, it was time to launch and get underway. Senior officers made their acquaintances and before I knew it, we were running down the pre-launch checklists, making sure the ship was ready. My First Officer ensured preparations were completed and assured me those not joining us on the journey were off-ship, while those who were going along were all aboard. My Engineering Chief had ensured all was ready to go. All other station Chiefs indicated we had green lights across the boards as well. Finally, it was time.

I do like for things to be “on time,” and the USS Pandora did launch on time. Helm wanted to know where to go and I chuckled inside when stating, we should just get out of dock first. I hoped that defused some of the tension and pre-launch jitters, but the ship has a good group of professionals who were hand-picked for this mission, so not much showed outwardly. Our engines came to life independently of dock power and all the umbilicals and other connections disconnected without a hitch. As we pulled out of dock, our speed increased incrementally and all too soon, we were clear – not a single scratch to the “new paint.”

As we spiraled away from space dock, I asked for aft viewscreen and immediately Mars came up in the backdrop of the dock. It will be a long time before returning home and I will miss it, family and friends. Not that I had been home much since joining Starfleet, but I will miss it none the less. Pandora is staffed mostly by humanoid species, which seems a bit unusual for these Luna class ships, and the missions they will all be undertaking, but, that longing feeling one gets when leaving home seems to get all of us, almost regardless of species. I’m not sure about some of them, but most….

I ordered Helm to continue us on a spiral out of the Sol Star System and set our course for the Epsilon Librae System to rendezvous with DS-102, which is being moved there to be our new home base of operations. I do not understand why Starfleet is moving that old station from the Argolis Cluster instead of something a little more “modern,” but we get what we get and as long as they can provide what we need when we need it, I suppose we will just simply have to live with it.

I am concerned about our underlying mission and will need to clue the Senior Staff in when it becomes more appropriate to do. We are well equipped, but primarily for exploration, not as a part of a defensive line. We are not yet in another fight with yet another aggressive species, and I have seen enough combat and war to last a lifetime, but I hope that weapons module I requested shows up. I also hope we do not need it, but nevertheless, it will be good to have it available should the potentially inevitable circumstances arrive. I am hoping our Diplomatic Officer continues to make progress on her analysis of the accumulated data and finds a way to come to some sort of peaceful diplomatic solution to these th’Alcair, should we encounter them. However, should they decide to pick a fight, I want to make sure we have a bigger stick.

But now, it is time to fire up the warp drive and see what this new baby of mine can do. Engineering is reports all is ready. Let the shakedown begin…

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora
SN 950306-001-3

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C'Triel makes her way down to Deck 5. Slowly she finds her office and enters. It looks pretty basic, but C'Triel already has some things in mind to soften up that sitting area and what to put over there on the opposite side. She makes her way to the desk, glad that it made it, and taps a control.
"Computer, open duty log for Ensign C'Triel, Stardate 11305.03."
At the soft beep she begins, "I have boarded and checked in with Captain Adams on the bridge. I was present at the launch of the USS Pandora from the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yard. I have checked my office space and will make some changes to the decor after I check in with the ships quartermaster."
She grabs a PADD and begins to make a quick list of what she needs for the quartermaster, "Computer, end and save duty log."
She then leaves to find both the quartermaster and her quarters.

USS Pandora NCC-80113
OPS Lt. Qui

Kehari sat at the shiny new operations console on the bridge smiling quietly to herself. She had been extremely excited from the moment she received her new orders which she received after teaching her last class for the day at the Academy on Earth. It had also been a long time since she was out in space and working the bridge operations console; so it was only natural that she felt a little apprehension with her new assignment.

Qui had only a few hours to prepare before leaving the Academy and her superiors there had already been made aware of her new assignment … which made her meeting with them and the her teaching transition with the new instructor run so much more smoothly. She loved it when things worked out without complication … something else she knew would change when she returned to the stars. Very few things, if any, worked out smoothly when serving on a starship!

She didn’t have much to worry about seeing how when she got to her apartment Starfleet had already sent over people to start her packing and they were almost done when she arrived. She just double checked the information given them, signed off on the manifest and picked up the already prepared bag for her trip. “Seamless,” she said quietly to herself as she glanced around her apartment one last time. It was a quaint place within walking distance of the Academy and one with a rare balcony which had a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the beautiful blue waters of San Francisco Bay. She would miss seeing the sailboats on the water, the sound of the hungry gulls crying far above, and the music from the jazz bar close to her place.

And now, she was on the bridge of the newly acquisitioned Luna-class vessel named the USS Pandora and they had just left the Utopia Planitia yard. All systems were looking good; all power readings were within acceptable parameters. She knew of the Earth tale Pandora’s Box and was happy the vessel wasn’t shaped like a box, or cube for that matter, and she hoped that on the Pandora’s maiden voyage that all sorts of mayhem would not be set loose amongst her decks.

For now she could sit back and enjoy this part of the ride, until a systems light activated to forewarn of a pending problem … at which point she sat forward and entered her log….

All systems are at the green and the newly commissioned Luna-class vessel, the USS Pandora has now set sail from Utopia Planitia. I am anxious to be back among the stars as it has been a very long time since I was flying among them. How beautiful they are … how I’ve missed seeing them from this perspective; how I will miss my life on Earth. But I’m sure there are new adventures out here to experience as there are new faces, a new crew and new command officers to work beside. I look forward to this challenge, to this new opportunity, and to the new worlds and new civilizations that we as a ship and crew may boldly encounter.

Kehari quickly closed her log and turned her eyes towards the viewscreen and the oncoming stars just in time to see the kaleidoscope of streaking colors as the ship crossed over to warp drive….

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T'luminareth stared at the sensor screen. Nothing but the usual suspects out there. After all we have not gone beyond known space....yet. But that was precisely where they were going.

She smiled to herself. Another of many firsts for her. Her first time to not only see a ship launch, but to be onboard and on the bridge when it did. She was excited.

Unlike her last "first" 3 years ago when she went to Vulcan for the first time in her life. Oh, sure she was excited, but, also apprehensive. If she were being honest with herself, she was scared.

She had been raised by humans when her parents died and she was born prematurely. She had been exposed to Vulcans on Earth, she had to be, but, to be on Vulcan...well, that was different. Where everything, everyday, was logic. Marriage, birth, death, absolutely everything. She hadn't fit in there and was stared at and basically shunned. Even the children look at her with disdain and she heard their whispers of "she must be Romulan". That had hurt. But, it shouldn't, she was a Vulcan and nothing should hurt her emotionally.

She shook herself out of her reverie. She was here now and Starfleet didn't condemn her for being who she was. She looked around the bridge, no one here would condemn her either. Her eyes rested on the CEO for a moment. He was Vulcan and he seemed to be more like her than the typical Vulcan. Maybe she would make the time to get to know him and find out what his story was. Then there is the Lurian, she hadn't met many of them and it would be fascinating to talk to him. And the Catian, that would prove an interesting conversation as well.

She sighed in contentment. This was where she belonged.


U.S.S. Pandora
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant T'Luminareth

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Johnny sat in his seat on the bridge and looked around at the activity around him. He was completely jazzed about his first starship assignment, and his position as a member of the senior staff.

He thought about his dad for a moment. He was definitely in a better position than his father would have thought he would ever be in. He felt good about that. His thoughts turned to his father for a moment. He was dead now, and Johnny was truly sorry about that. However, he was doing a-okay without his progenitor, and had no wish to return to the terror he knew as a child.

He watched the stars streak by at warp as they moved toward the Epsilon Librae system. This trip would be part of a shakedown cruise to make certain all the bugs were worked out of the vessel before it went on active patrol. If the rest of it went this smoothly, they should reach their patrol sector in a few weeks, and all of them would be boldly going and all that.

He took the padd a yeoman handed him and signed it with his thumbprint and handed it back after a quick look. No matter what happened for now, he was content. He began paging through his own padd device to learn about his crewmates. He stopped momentarily on the Doctor's file. She was cute, he thought. He shook his head and turned the page. He had a job to do...

Gaeb's picture

Stardate: 11305.03
Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
USS Pandora

Executive Officer Duty Log,

After quite many trips from Earth to the Fleet Yards I have seen the USS Pandora evolve from the blue lines on the screen of the project manager to the fine ship we are going to send to the edge of known space. At the beginning the building process seemed almost frozen but eventually it took a quicker pace.

The crew is now all on board and the ship is ready to launch. The next hours and many day will be devoted to testing the systems, a critical if not that exciting task. Then we will proceed to Deep Space 102.

*******************************************
Commander Gaeb
Executive Officer
USS Pandora
*******************************************

FCO Lieutenant Jinx, 11305.03, Log
USS Pandora

Jinx turned back as the Captain gave the order to go to warp one, something she had been wanting to do since sitting down at her console. Gently she tapped the warp controls sending the Pandora rushing forward in a blaze of technicolour light.

She wasn't sure if this assignment was going to be a good one, but Jinx knew somewhere down deep that it was going to be an exciting one. Sitting back in her chair she glanced around the bridge, watching each of the officers as their eyes danced around their own stations, each one so intent on what they had to do.

The Captain sat in his chair, and to Jinx he seemed a bit nervous or maybe it was the excitement of a new ship. This was one of only thirteen such, a brand new Luna class as yet untested. Captain Adams wasn't one of those youngsters with something to prove, but Jinx was happy about that. She liked the experience that older officers had earned which made her more comfortable some how.

Jinx hadn't met any of the crew before now, except she had acknowledged the operations officer, a Trill named Qui. Perhaps they would have a good working relationship, at least Qui seemed friendly enough. Jinx hoped her meeting with the new counselor would be as friendly. Medical people were not on Jinx's favourites list, but they had to be dealt with regardless. She would deal with the counselor and the doctor if need be, but she would keep them at arm's length just as she did with most people.

She glanced over at Qui and was sure she saw a slight smile as the warp engines kicked in. Ok, so she could smile and certainly seemed to know her way around an operations station. If everyone else on the bridge were as competent, Jinx might just work out here, Well maybe.

So where were they going and what was out there that the Pandora crew would encounter? Suddenly Jinx remembered the girl on the Sheridan's shuttle and her ominous words to her. "Oh boy. A ship named Pandora and a crewman called Jinx? I'm sure glad I'm not headed there."

Jinx resettled herself in her seat and tapped her console. "Engineering, this is the bridge." She waited for a voice to respond. "Lieutenant Jinx, flight control, letting you know that all flight systems seem to be functioning at nominal levels. Impulse drive at ninety five percent, warp holding and power levels acceptable. Jinx out."

She closed the com and stared up at the screen.

pdelsoglio's picture

Deep Station 102 Station Commander Officer Duty Log.

Captain Satok Zul Marek reporting.
Stardate 11305.03

Captain Adams and the crew took the USS Pandora for her maiden voyage.
As I record this entry my log, the ship is clearing the outer markers of the space facilities of Utopia Planitia.
This is a brand new ship, with state-of-the-art design and equipment, not to mention one of the best crews ever assembled.
And I am honored for the decision of Starfleet Command to have selected Deep Space 102 as the USS Pandora base, and I am very grateful that Starfleet granted me to be aboard during this initial test flight.
I am sure that this type of ships and crew will make the true original ideal that those great men and women followed when they established the United Federation of Planets.
Great adventures, great discoveries, great findings and also great dangers are to be face by this crew during the following years.
And I am sure we will be up for the challenge.

The USS Pandora. A new vessel with numerous logical upgrades. This is a big change from teaching at Command on the McKinley station. It has come to a time in my live were I must move on and explore and to continue to learn all I can. In all my 150 years this will be the first opportunity I have had to leave our known space. And to work with diverse crew.

One thing I haven't been able to understand was the Vulcan engineer. He seems to express emotion. In my experience, this isn’t a optimal course for a Vulcan to follow. The emotion themselves, if allowed to be expressed, is a very dangerous endeavor. I must keep my eye on him and watch for any uncontrolled outbursts. It would please me to talk with him and express my concerns.

For now, the entire senior staff hasa shakedown cruise of this new vessel to preform. And so far, these new controls are working better then I had expected. As I was reading the reports from Ens Morgan, I was informed of a last minute change in my staff. I do expect this Ens Sampson to be competent enough for the duties I have in mind for him.

bbaldwin's picture

Silek scanned the report from Lt McKenzie

Impulse Drive - Optimal
Fusion Cores - Optimal
Accelerator/Generator - Optimal
Vectored Exhaust Director - Optimal
Reaction Control Systems - Optimal
Initiators - Optimal
Fuel Systems - Optimal
Magnetohydrogynamic Field Traps - Optimal
Vectored Trust Nozzles - Optimal

Warp Core - Optimal
Space-Time Drive Coils - Optimal

Power Transfer Conduits - Optimal
Nacelles - Optimal

Inertia Damping Field - Optimal
Shields - Optimal

Miscible Distiller - Using new mixture will be ready for testing at 1900
hours.

Silek could not help but smile. Mr McKenzie was unorthodox but quite
efficient. He had left no stone unturned in his report.

It was fortunate that he has had a conversation with a Starfleet engineer
on Argelius. Even tho he claimed to have been and engineer before "....your
great great grand dad was in diapers", he seemed very well versed in many
aspects of engineering. As a parting gift for listening to his stories and
engineering minutia that one night, he had gifted Silek with his own
private "recipe" for making the best "damn engineering hooch in Starfleet".

The distiller, like all the systems on the Pandora, should be the best they
can be.

bbaldwin's picture

Glory sat at her station on the bridge watching the stars streak by on the viewscreen. She smiled as she sat there watching and thinking. When she returned to sickbay she would need to go over the roster of medical staff and meet with them. It would be important to get to know them before making assignments. For now she would enjoy settling in.

"It's too good to be true," she thought as she sat there, barely resisting the urge to pinch herself to make sure she wasn't dreaming.

bbaldwin's picture

To: Senior Staff, USS Pandora NCC-80113
From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
CC: Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
Captain Satok Zul Marek, Station Commander DS-102
Stardate: 11305.10
Subject: Mission Briefing

Senior Staff,

USS Pandora is underway! Congratulations to everyone for a job well done. Please pass my appreciation along to the rest of the crew.

Next step – Fire up the warp drive and shake this ship down to see what it can do. We will do a step by step incremental increase until we are at or above maximum.

Engineering - ensure the bolts are tightened down.
Operations - ensure inertial dampeners and structural integrity fields are a full strength.
Tactical – ensure our way is clear and closely work with the FCO.
XO – ensure all other departments are at the ready.

That is all.

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora

bbaldwin's picture

From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
Stardate: 11305.10
Subject: Captain’s Log

USS Pandora launched from the Utopia Planitia docks on schedule and without major glitch. A good sign I think. So enraptured with the events, I did not realize I was still standing instead of sitting in the Captain’s Chair until we were underway. While this is not my first ship launch, by far, it was the most elegant. This new Luna Class ship is sleek and will do quite nicely. The entire crew should be commended for what everyone did to make launch uneventful, another good sign. The FCO laid in the course I requested and gradually accelerated to full impulse. Next, time to test the warp drive.

I had Flight move the ship from full impulse to warp 1 and then incrementally up to warp 6. My intentions were to also start putting stress onto different teams to begin preparing for whatever lay ahead, Flight and Ops need to work hand-in-hand and know both each other’s job and what the other was going to do so that in fact, they would be almost interchangeable. Engineering needed to multi-task as well, both in testing, diagnosing and implementing all systems at our disposal. My Chief Tactical Officer stepped up to request testing targeting and actually firing our weapons. I like that, but limited him to phasers as our current inventory of torpedoes is relatively limited.

My First and Second Officers will do well aboard the Pandora. Both are fully engaged and I will gradually turn more and more duties off to them to work with the various other ship departments. Tossing in a training drill was by design, though I should let them all in when I plan to run one. I had Ops cut warp power while Flight was occupied and Tac was playing with their toys. Decelerating a starship from warp 6 to almost a dead stop and firing at designated targets is certainly a readiness test of Flight, Ops, Tactical, and Engineering. Unfortunately, this drill did not stress either Science or Medical; however, their day will come soon enough. Today, however, this drill went off relatively well, considering it was the first. I am sure the XO and SCD will continue to make this ship ready for anything that comes our way.

Once everything was secured from the drill, I turned things over to the XO to continue testing our propulsion. For the moment, I plan to sit back and observe as we plummet ahead at ever increasing warp factors. This will take a few hours and we all need to take a turn as we never know when something happens and somebody else needs to step in. I hope to have a long, long tour on this ship, but that does not mean I will not ensure its survival should something happen.

Flight is taking us on a “casual” route, rather than a direct one, so navigation and maneuverability can also be certified. I am impressed so far by the crew’s quick study of this new ship. They are all good at their jobs. I will make them better at it.

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora
SN 950306-001-3

FCO Lieutenant Jinx, 11305.10

USS Pandora

Finally there was a break. A slightly tired pilot returned to her new quarters and and threw herself into the nearest chair. "Computer, white wine, chilled." A slight whir came from the station in the far corner of the room as a glass materialized. Jinx got up and plodded across the room stopping for a moment to release the collar closure on her uniform, before reaching the replicator. She picked up the glass and took a long sip ending with a slight "sigh" as the cool wine ran down her throat. "Ah, I needed that today." Making her way to the small window, she stood there thinking about the day's events.

The bridge had been busy, a real beehive of activity with the crew running through all the new drills and equipment testing. The Captain was coordinating several scenarios including an intruder alert in engineering. Jinx knew they had a crack engineering staff along with security personnel that would handle any challenge thrown at them.

Her concern was for her own performance as she tested the warp engines and their response to give her more. The Captain had ordered engines to warp five and true to the engineering specs that she knew, the Pandora glided forward, the hum of the warp drive sounding like the purr of a kitten. During the testing, Captain Marek had stationed himself at the flight console, making a young pilot slightly nervous. Jinx wasn't used to having someone over her shoulder, but Marek seemed satisfied with things for the time being, making Jinx a little more comfortable. Captain Marek might be one of the good guys, but Jinx was reserving judgment for the moment. She would need to watch him for a while.

Then there was the chief tactical officer. She wasn't sure about him at all. He seemed eager to test his weapons, but he was almost too eager. It seems to Jinx that he was still a boy with much bigger toys to play with now.

Qui, she thought was more of the open book type, friendly yet professional, although Jinx really didn't know her well yet. They were bridge mates, the kind that needed to work together, to get the job done. When Captain Adams ordered Qui to cut power to the engines, Jinx watched the operations officer spring to action, tapping her keys with a sense of confidence. Perhaps she was another of the good ones but certainly one to watch as well.

Jinx took another sip of wine and headed back to her chair. " Well tomorrow we get to take her all the way. I hope that the ship is really up to the testing Captain Adams is asking of her. I hope I'm up to the task too."

The glass slipped from her hand as Jinx snuggled into the chair, and fell into a relaxed sleep, perhaps to dream of adventures yet to come.

FCO Lt. Jinx
USS Pandora

Duty Log, Stardate 11305.10, Lieutenant Junior Grade Vertan Trix recording

Our shake down cruise continues, and I am attempting to make full use of this time to try and figure out just what my role will be aboard. I have reviewed the Starfleet directives on the position of course, but Starfleet directives tend to tell you more what situations you are responsible for taking care of rather than what kind of things you should be doing when your responsibilities are not pressing. Does that sound right? Maybe not. What I mean is I can see a lot of situations where having a "Diplomatic Officer" would not help. Or rather, situations where I could lend assistance to try and make the mission run smoother that are hardly a "Diplomatic Solution". So to start with, I need to get an idea exactly what I’m dealing with here.

Seems like I’m doing more "getting used to" new situations than I’ve done actual Starfleet Duty in the six months since I graduated. A week after graduating I got to Trill, waiting on a Symbiont ready to be implanted. It took two weeks for a Symbiont to be found, so for those two weeks I was trying to figure out my roll on a small Starfleet vessel investigating stellar flare activity of the home star. After the implantation I spent a couple weeks getting used to the "new mind" as the doctors called it, then travelled to my first official post on Deep Space 102. A few very active weeks later and the Scorpius's battle with a previously unknown enemy, the th'Alcair. A battle that drove me to a moment of "clarity" and prompting me to request assignment on the Pandora. Then the trip to Utopia, going through all the screening and preliminary testing and taking additional training classes over the three months it took to get launched. So now here I am again, although at least this time we’re all new faces on a new ship. At least my previous experience has made me good at finding my role.

As the ship goes through it’s battery of shakedown tests I’ve chosen a duty station on the Bridge to try and make my own. I had learned the seating protocols at the Academy for the "Center Seats". Captain in the middle; First Officer to his right; and either the Counselor or Chief Medical Officer to his left. On a few of the last generation ships they actually built benches out from the "main" three seats to handle additional crew or guests as needed but that practice seems to have been abandoned. Now, with the addition of the Diplomatic Officer that makes three Bridge Qualified Officers with one chair between them. So I found a solution that will work best for the ship…I think. I work from mission ops station as long as it isn’t needed by others and move to the Captain’s side if the mission requires I give him direct assistance. This station is more my speed than a fold over arm rest station anyway. It will let me review sociological and biological data from other species we may encounter, or it will when it’s available, and it will let me get a good look at sensors to either make these profiles or provide a more traditional scientific viewpoint.

After getting an initial request into Lieutenant Qui for a workable office space in Section 32 of Deck 3 I was about to ask if I could join Lieutenant T’Luminareth and Captain Marek for a tour of the sensor pod they were about to take when the Red Alert Klaxons went off. Apparently the Captain thought that this would be a good time for a drill. Well, in retrospect it was a good time for a drill, not that anyone asked me, but I did figure it would be a good time to start demonstrating what I’m capable of. So I turned the mission ops station into a kind of makeshift tactical analysis "lab". Might have been more impressive if the tactics of the foes I was analyzing were more than gravity driven inertia propelling chunks of nickel and iron through space, but you have to make the best of any situation, training or no. In the end I think I accomplished two things. Most important I was able to demonstrate my ability to analyze field interactions, in this case concussion blasts interacting with gravity. Undoubtedly less important for the drill but perhaps more telling of one of my ship mates I proved that Lieutenant Sergon is not much for clever witticism to color one’s reports. Can’t tell, but I think he liked the calculations I did at least. That’s gotta be something, right?

Personal Log, Stardate 11305.10, Vertan Trix recording

I am getting more and more used to the thoughts of Trix coming up at unexpected times. I spent years being told that "if you get a Symbiont you won’t even recognize your life anymore." Well, to be honest, I’m not sure that this was what I expected. It’s more like having a few little voices in my head instead of suddenly waking up a new person. Trix keeps telling me it’s old hat for him, and that the last 3 hosts went through the same thing.

I have noticed that my thoughts become my words a lot quicker than they used to. I am trying to keep track of all the quirky, out of what the commission called "normal" things that Trix is doing. I’m also trying to locate a computer file Artaka wrote with a colleague. Seems he had an idea of what caused this disconnect and was working on a way to fix it. Unfortunately his colleague died in the fire and the records of their research may have died as well. If it comes down to it I believe that I may be able to rebuild a bit of the database myself…or Artaka may be able to at least. With some major help.

Duty Log, Stardate 11305.13, Lieutenant Vertan Trix recording

I reported today for Away Team Tactical Competency testing with Lieutenant Sergon in the Tactical Information Center. Apparently the designers wanted to give a new name to a Security Office to indicate all the new tech toys they have to play with, but as I look around I still see a Security Office for what it's worth. The test itself has been SOP for decades. The being undergoing the testing is given a Phaser, placed in the center of the range, and has targets come at them to see if they can keep up a 75% accuracy rate on speed setting 15. While it's not a test I look forward to, I do understand it's purpose. Personally, I was more looking forward to a chance to pick the brain of our ship's Chief Tactical Officer...and one of the only other people on this ship who have faced the th'Alcair to this point.

My initial reactions to the Vulcan were not what I had anticipated. I expected the no nonsense attitude. I expected the lack of pleasantries. I was a bit surprised by his acceptance of certain things without question and lack of interest in the purely academic pursuits. Perhaps it was simply buying into the stereotypes, and if so I will need to be more careful about it, but who would expect a Vulcan to say it doesn't matter why a Phaser does what it as long as you hit the target? I could have pursued the discussion further, reminded him that Starfleet is more about understanding than about shooting, but I realized that the argument itself would be academic at best.

Same with the discussion on the th'Alcair. I fully understand that we have very little information to go on. A few scared warnings from the ch'Tan refugees, refugees who had been at war with these beings for 40 some odd generations. But to build a theory you need to start coming up with ideas. Do I expect final answers to come from this brief discussion? No, in fact I doubt that most of the ideas any of us build in the next few weeks will stand for long once subjected to real information. But I was hoping for some ideas on how to build our theories.

In reality I was actually more concerned with the tactics they used against the ship, but I guess for now I'll take the vague belief that this experienced officer at least somewhat agrees with my building theories. The th'Alcair attacked the Scorpius certainly, but I still do not believe they are the simple killing machines as described by the ch'Tan. Too many questions about them, true, but too many questions in that theory as well. I think they wanted to figure out who it was helping their enemies, and then decided it was better that their enemies did not find new friends. I'm not sure I can blame them on that.

In the end I don't feel any different about my place on the ship than I did before. I know I'm good at some things, not so good at others. I know for a fact that none of the Tactical Officers on board who could hit that 90% completion rate could have figured out the interaction of the asteroids with the concussion pulses to make that targeting solution work. Not in the time frame it had for being useful. In fact, I don't know how many people on this ship could have. Sure, there's probably a few. And sure if you took time to figure it most of the crew could handle it. But as I told the Lieutenant, there was no time to make such calculations.

So for now I'll just keep going as I've been going. Learning, getting a grip on who's who and how things operate. Build myself a more thorough job description. I'll also keep poking my eyes into that computer core we recovered. Is it as valuable as I thought it would be? No, in fact I'm kind of surprised how little information it has. But I suppose it makes a lot of sense. These beings don't seem as advanced as we are. Technologically we have more capacity in our computers than even we can use. Culturally we have the drive to fill said computers with a lot of information besides the bare necessesities. And with some luck, we'll add a few terraquads of data before this trip is done.

Steve Weller

Personal Log, Stardate 11305.10, Vertan Trix recording
I've begun the work of setting up my office, and so far it's coming along quite nicely. Whether it was an intentional bonus from Lieutenant Qui or simply luck, I managed to get an office with a forward viewport, and only about 40 degrees off dead ahead center. The room itself is rather generic, but that will change in time. For now I need to get it arranged in some way to keep Petty Officer Clark from driving Ensign Metron mad. I've already seen her doing it, or at least being herself which to an officer like Metron would be tough to deal with. I guess my efforts to soften her delivery haven't paid off as much as I had hoped they would, but we've got a long journey ahead of us. With luck we'll find a way to get her to play nicely.
As I was working I had the pleasure of Lieutenant Qui dropping in. It was nice getting this chance. Certainly we were on the Bridge today for a few hours, but how much can you get to know someone in a situation like that? She was busy keeping the ship's systems operating right, I was busy trying to figure out exaclty what I'm supposed to be doing on this ship when we don't have another species to deal with. Here we got to talk, person to person. More importantly, for the first time since I left Trill after joining I got a chance to speak with another joined Trill. Those at the Commission were so formal, all about how things "should" be, never getting into the interesting stuff. Like "what is life like once joined?" Qui's answer to that was better than words. She just grew silent for a minute, looking out the window, and smiled. She then said "It's been a wonderous life, Qui has lead. And far, far too long to recant", but it wasn't the words that actually gave the answer. It was the look, the smile, the kind of combination that says, in a single phrase, the work to get there was worth it. So far my life has been very interesting since joining, but that look tells me that it doesn't grow old too quickly.
We did talk about Trix's history. She was suprised he's had so many hosts as such a young Symbiont, and I can't say she's wrong. And she seemed concerned with the thought Trix has of having some "bad luck". I hadn't thought of it much before, he...Trix seemed to say it more as a joke, but looking inward, I guess it is something we need to figure out. When we were joined Trix said that Arkata's death, though unlucky in itself, brought us together. Maybe his luck is changing? I know I don't plan on dying early. There's too much we need to see before we go.

pdelsoglio's picture

::the old Vulcan finished receiving the response times reports from the drill in Engineering and transmitted them to the Chief Tactical Officer. Then he took a minute to write his duty log, in his usual spartan, cold Vulcan style::

Deep Station 102 Station Commander Officer Duty Log.
Captain Satok Zul Marek reporting.
Stardate 11305.10

The maiden voyage of the USS Pandora is still in progress.
So far, all the systems that have been tested have performed perfectly.
Several drills were performed onboard the ship, following the Red Alert Status protocols. Personally I was asked by the Chief Tactical Officer Lieutenant Sergon to perform a simulation on an Intruder Alert in Engineering Bay, and observe the crew response times. These ones were within acceptable parameters. Perhaps there are a few things to correct here and there, but it is logical to consider that, although this is a handpicked crew and Staff, there will be a very short period of time, that we can call “a getting to know each other time”. Once the Staff overcomes this period, I am sure this excellent crew will achieve results that other merely dare to dream off.
Also, several tests were carried by Tactical crew on the weaponry and targeting system, all of them with outstanding results.
As I record this entry, the ship has been brought to an abrupt full stop in order to perform a test on all the inertial dampening and flight control subsystems. The flying and maneuvering capacities of this ship are excellent.
The Chief Science Officer Lieutenant T'Luminareth has asked me to assist her in checking some of the ship science sensor grid, thing that we will perform once the Red Alert Drill is officially done.

Pulling on her uniform, JJ grabbed a hairbrush and continued preparing for duty. Seeing the console flashing, JJ activated her messages and smiled. Johnny was invited some people over for pizza and decided to include her. Memories immediately flooded her mind. The pizza shared over movies had began when they first fell in love. It had continued throughout their days on Arcadia station. Noticing the time of the party, she giggled. It only took a moment to return the message to Johnny. He’d be getting off duty soon and she, of course, was heading to duty. Glancing back over the message, JJ reread it to make certain she had included all she wanted to.

“1400 hours? Some of us have to work during the day. Thanks for thinking of me. I’ll stop by as soon as I get off duty. Save me a slice of ham and pineapple, okay?”

Pinning her hair back, she slipped on her boots and headed out the door.

6 1/2 hours later...

Only feet could be seen from beneath the console. They were slaying slightly as if to an unheard beat. The crewman bent down in an attempt to find the face of the person working. “Ma’am? Everything up top is clear.” The crewman reported.

Jaina slid out from beneath the console. “Everything under here is clear too. I’m liking the new adapters. It should help efficiency for engines and ship’s power. So, shall we move onto the next spot?”

“Maybe,” the crewman said, “Or maybe you should let a crew speak freely for a moment.”

She sat up and looked him in the eye. “Alright, Michaels, what is it?”

“Ma’am, our shift is over in little more than an hour. You haven’t taken a break or stopped for lunch since we started this morning. Now, knowing you from training on Earth, I know how hard you work. But, I really think you need to slow down a little before you burn yourself out.” He said with a soft smile.

Jaina looked at him carefully. “You sound just like a friend of mine.” She paused for a moment. “Come to think of it, you look like him too. Michaels, we barely knew each other on Earth. So, why the concern now?"

“Because...” Michaels blushed and looked to the floor. “Because if something happens to you, my grandfather will kill me.”

It took only moments for her to put it together. “Dr. Tom.”

“Yeah, Granddaddy Tom. When he found out that I was assigned to the Pandora’s engineering department, he made me swear to keep an eye on you. And, after being in the lounge after duty last night...well, I figured there are two people who would kill me if I let something happen to you. Winding up in sickbay with a stress headache on our first week out would be doomsday for my career.” Michaels admitted.

Standing, JJ checked the time. She smiled realizing that Johnny’s pizza party had started less than an hour earlier. “So, tell the boss that I’m stopping to eat something and if he needs me for anything, I’m just a comm away.” She handed over her tools. “And I’ll see you at 0800 sharp in the morning?”

“Yes, Ma’am. See you then.” Michaels nodded.

JJ smiled as she left Engineering. Perhaps the pizza would still be warm.

USS Pandora NCC-80113
OPS Lt. Qui

Qui’s replacement had come a few minutes early so a briefing could be made prior to his taking over the Operations console on the bridge. After advising him of the launch and various power fluctuations, what to watch for, what systems to be most aware of, she felt confident enough to leave the bridge.

On her way to her quarters, she encountered many on the crew … all new faces to her, all persons whom she had never had the chance to serve with. She was sure everyone knew exactly what their jobs were and she was confident they could do their jobs well. Like so many new assignments though, there was always a bit of anxiety associated with reporting to a new ship and new crew.

However, it seemed as though the Pandora’s senior staff were well seasoned and she had heard through the grapevine prior to arriving that all the senior staff were handpicked. How she got chosen was a mystery to her and who would have thought she would have ever been singled out from so many qualified Operations personnel to be the Chief of a newly commissioned vessel. It was one of those assignments that many waited years in their careers to fill … and again, she was stunned to have been chosen for such a position.

She exited the lift on Deck 4 and walked down the corridor to her assigned quarters … Section 420, Room 416. She found it quickly and entered her code into the pad on the door jam. The doors swooshed opened and she entered quickly.

“Lights to 75 percent,” she stated to the empty room and instantly the room brightened. She knew she had work ahead of herself since Starfleet had sent people to pack up her apartment and send her belongings to the Pandora. She looked at the numerous boxes around the room and stated on the first of many….

Three hours later and with most of her belongings unpacked, she took a break. Retrieving a glass of water from the replicator, she sat at her desk, tapped in her command code and once access was granted she began her log.

“Computer begin recording duty log Lieutenant Kehari Qui, Operations Chief, Stardate 11305.10,” she stated.

“Recording,” came the response from the computer.

“The maiden flight of the Pandora is underway and all went well as we left Utopia Planetia. Shortly after leaving the Sol System, the Captain and Executive Officer began a series of drills as we tested the crew and systems responses. I liked the numerous scenarios that were being run … of course all at the same time … and it seems as though this crew performed magnificently. The ship runs like a dream! She is faster and more responsive than any I’ve ever had the pleasure of serving aboard,” Kehari smiled a moment as she paused taking a sip from the cool glass.

“Though I have to admit I was stunned to be asked to take the engines out of warp … that’s Flight’s job and I didn’t wish to step on any toes with the Captain’s orders. However, I think he was testing both of us to see if we could work together. The bottom line of our tests and drills proved the Pandora to be very responsive with a ready and well-oiled crew! I look forward to getting to know my new crew mates and working the controls of a beautiful newly commissioned starship!”

“Computer end duty log and begin personal log,” she stated quietly.

Kehari began after hearing the computer acknowledge her request. “I look forward to learning about my new crewmates and getting to know this ship. She is magnificent and runs so smoothly! Power usage falls within acceptable parameters … and of course as with any new shakedown, you will have your power fluctuations and surges … all which are, so far, easily adjustable.” Kehari takes a long pull from the glass and swallows the refreshing water. “I am thankful to have Qui, my symbiont, for without my symbiont, I would be just another shy Trill working within Starfleet and probably would still be an Ensign!” Kehari giggles slightly here. “I am just about finished unpacking and setting up my quarters. I think as soon as I’m done, I’ll go and explore this new home of mine.”

“Computer end personal log and file,” Qui stated as she rose to finish unpacking.

OPS Lt. Qui
USS Pandora NCC-80113
11305.10 Supplemental Personal Log

Kehari had decided to take a walk around the ship to become acquainted with this new vessel and found herself at the office of the DO, one LtJG Trix. After a brief visit, she returned to her quarters to finish unpacking, but found she needed to get down her thoughts before delving back into organizing her quarters.

She sat back at her desk, in deep thought. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to put down. ‘Sometimes the first words in your head are the best,’ she thought to herself. Qui agreed.

“Computer, record supplemental personal log, Operations Office Kehari Qui, USS Pandora.”

“Ready,” came the reply.

“I needed to take a break from unpacking my quarters and after walking the corridors of this newly outfitted ship I found myself on the deck where I had assigned our DO some space for an office. We had a nice chat, Trix and I. However, I’m concerned with the symbiont’s feeling of having bad luck. I’ve never known a symbiont who has felt that way, though with as many hosts as this young one has had, I guess I can understand the symbiont feeling that way. I wonder what the Symbiosis Committee would think if they knew Trix was thinking that way.”

Kehari took a deep sigh and continued. “Guess the only thing I can do is to keep a close watch on the young one and try to advise her as best I can. Computer end recording.”

Kehari took a moment before moving from her desk to finish unpacking.

bbaldwin's picture

Kicking her boots off as she entered her bedroom, Jaina collapsed onto her bed in peaceful exhaustion. It was late but she didn’t care. As second officer, Johnny had the night watch. ‘It’s a good thing he had duty,’ she thought, ‘or we’d have talked all night.’ She still couldn’t believe her luck with this assignment...or was it fate? It hadn’t been that long since she had finished her Engineering training at the Academy. At a time when Jaina felt desperate for a new start, a life where she could leave the past behind her, a life where her skills as a pilot were not needed, she had fallen in love with Engineering. The pulse of the engines seemed more alive to her here than they ever had from behind a flight console. She’d looked forward to space duty again. With her body healed, she was anxious to get back to where she belonged. Oh, how that phrase would completely change its meaning so quickly. Just 24 hours ago, it meant something so different.

24 hours earlier...
The shuttle had docked at Utopia Planitia with no real flourish. It was the same trip the pilot had taken a thousand times and would, most likely, fly it a thousand times more. But that was fine with Jaina. She had enough excitement for the entire shuttle crew and passengers alike. Snapping her bag up, she headed into the station. Having already memorized the necessary passages, she headed directly to where she needed to report for duty. It was less than 30 minutes before she was on board the Pandora and entering her quarters. The professional level smile she’d forced herself to hold in the corridors stayed until the door closed. Then her lips parted into a wide grin. As always, her first duty was to check out the feeling of relaxation in her quarters. Leaving her shoes behind, Jaina rushed across the room and onto the bed where she promptly jumped onto it like a small child.

Current time...
“Heart of a child...” she laughed remembering the previous night. Jaina had always found a way to stay young at heart. Even after the kidnapping and attempted murder she endured on Arcadia station, that hadn’t faded. It had slowed a little after her mother died and the years of being unable to physically function out of a hospital bed had seemed to drain some of the life out of her. Until the day a special message had arrived. Ruusti, her older brother, had sent her a recording he’d found of their mother when Jaina was only six years old. It was the first time Jaina would be singing the Horath during their annual Batarael holiday and the little girl was nervous. The recording showed the advice her mother had given moments before the little girl would be going on stage. “Jaina, sing from your heart and you will be fine. You are blessed with a heart of innocence and joy. Do not ever let life take it away from you. Keep your joy. Keep your song.”

That is when Jaina realized that her health had robbed her in more ways than one. Slowly, over the next several months, she had slowly taken back the things that had been lost to her. The only thing she thought lost forever would be Johnny. But, perhaps she was wrong. Her first shipboard assignment as an Engineer had been to the Pandora. Before her first 24 hours were over, she’d found Johnny again or rather he’d found her. She smiled again remembering the sound of his voice as he said her name. She’d missed that so very much.

A chirp from the computer pulled her reluctantly from her reverie. “Oh crumb,” she muttered, “the report. I forgot to write my report.” Rolling off the bed, she moved to the small console and activated it. Sure enough, it was the notes she’d sent from Engineering at shift’s end. Glancing through them, she opened her log.

“Engineering Officer’s Log, Stardate 11305.10, Lieutenant Jaina Jankara...Tests on the engines today went very well. The engineering staff performed admirably for our first day out. I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish as we become more used to being a team. Commander Silek is leading the department with both strong authority and a soft hand, the perfect combination for such a new team. He will be a great leader and I’m sure the Engineering staff will learn much from his unique style. All areas passed the tests given with flying colors. We had no glitches during the run. Regards to the FCO on the bridge as well. Changes in speed were smooth which will make our job much easier. There is definitely no grinding of the gears, so to speak, with that one. Enclosed,” she reached up to the screen to attach the various test results from the day, “are all test results from today’s shift. We will continue with tests tomorrow but I’m not expecting problems at this point. We shall see if my optimism is warranted. End log.”

“Jankara’s Personal Log, Stardate 11305.10, I love this ship! I wasn’t so sure about having a Vulcan for a Chief Engineer but after getting to know Commander Silek a bit today, it was pretty clear that he leans more toward his human side. While I don’t think security enjoyed out jokes about shooting someone since the Commander had called for an intruder in order to gauge the Engineering crew’s lockdown time, I found myself biting my tongue more than once to keep from laughing outright. We finished the shift on a high note. And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did. Fate took me to the lounge for dinner. There, I met the ship’s second officer for the first time...in several years. I still can’t believe Johnny is here! It’s been a long time since Arcadia so we’ll see what the future holds. It is good to know that he doesn’t have hard feelings about the way I disappeared on him. I have wished every day that I could have told him what happened. Now, he knows and it is such a relief to me. I’m truly looking forward to life on the Pandora. End log.

Gaeb's picture

Stardate: 11305.10
Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
USS Pandora

Executive Officer Duty Log,

The USS Pandore fresh out of docks is being tested while enroute to it's designated port, Deep Space 102. The crew is getting accustomed to working together and with this ship. For now only the usual glitches, nothing major. I'm just happy that soon we will be departing Deep Space 102 for our first tour of exploring.

*******************************************
Commander Gaeb
Executive Officer
USS Pandora
*******************************************

"First Flight - Reunion"
=================
USS Pandora, 1830 hours
Officers' Lounge
Lt. Commander Johnny Walker - SCD (Gerry)
Lieutenant Jaina Marin Jankara - EO (Janaye)

Johnny entered the Officers' lounge with a data padd in hand. He hadn't felt like sitting alone in his quarters and doing work, though the work needed doing. He had arrived at the idea of taking his work to the lounge. He approached the bar and ordered synth-ale, recalling the last time he had real alcohol. Make that not remembering until the next morning's hangover. He had no wish to repeat that experience. Taking his drink, he crossed to the booths beside the window and sat so he could see the door.

Jaina rubbed her neck as she headed down the hallway. The day had gone well but it was still long. She grinned at the memory of the Tactical Officer’s expression after she and Silek had joked about shooting people. She was definitely going to enjoy working in Engineering. There was still a report to write, but first she needed dinner. Stepping into the lounge, she leaned against the bar ordering a salad and a glass of lemonade.

Johnny looked up from his padd full of personnel profiles and blinked. He surveyed the room casually, until his eyes found the Haliian female at the bar - and his heart skipped a beat. What was SHE doing HERE? His mind raced with a thousand memories - Jaina, Arcadia Station, OPS, their shared quarters, their parting - and then he was in the moment again. "Jaina - is that you?" He couldn't stop the delight that filled his heart. He hadn't seen her in a number of years, but she looked GOOD.

She was taking a sip of her lemonade as a familiar voice called her name. Turning, it took only a moment for her to find him. “Johnny?” The glass was set on the bar and quickly forgotten about as she crossed to the booth. Reaching a hand out to him, she smiled widely, “What are you...” she let the question fade as she noticed the third pip on his collar, “I thought you were still on Arcadia...Commander.” JJ added with a smile.

Johnny took her hand in both of his. "Hey, it's just Johnny to you. Never mind the costume jewlery," he grinned. "I was on Arcadia for a while, and then I did operations at Starbase 11 in the Omicron sector. How did you get here? I tried to look you up on Earth a bunch of times, but I could never locate you," he said. "Comm channels were just hard to get at times, even for me," he said. "How are you? Where have you been? I'm sorry, I have a million questions, and they're all trying to come out at once," he said, inviting her to sit with a hand gesture.

Taking the offered seat, she giggled slightly. “Well, if you’re assigned here too, then we have plenty of time to answer.” JJ curled a leg beneath her and looked across the table. She’d been on Earth to train, that much she’d told him, but only a very few knew the true nature of what had happened on Halli or of the treatments it took for her to recover from the damage caused by the virus and her injury on the Don Johnson. Information about the virus had been classified for a time due to the threat it could pose against the Federation if it fell into the wrong hands. That was changing now. “As for reaching me, well, I was probably still at Starfleet Medical. It’s only been about 18 months since I’ve been fully released. Doctor Tom wasn’t exactly in the mood to let me have visitors and such."

"Yep, I'm here on the crew," he said. "I'm Second Officer," he said. Basically, it means I watch the place from midnight to 0800 hours," he chuckled. "You were at Starfleet Medical? I'm guessing by your reference to Doctor Tom, you were a patient, not a Medical Officer," he said. "Besides, you said something about Engineering. That explains why I couldn't find you," he said as if the truth had just dawned on him - because it had. "Wow, there's another set of questions," he said. "Can you talk about it and do you want to?" He paused to allow her some mental time and space if she needed it.

'Of course, I want to talk about it. It cost me us.' Jaina thought. "I can now. It was classified for a while. Remember the virus on Halli?" She asked thinking back to the illness that attacked her family and caused the death of her mother.

"I wasn't sure," said Johnny, relaxing a little bit. "Yes, I remember reading briefings. You weren't there? That would have been horrible!"

"I left Arcadia because my mother was dying." Jaina began. "I got home barely in time to say goodbye. My dad and sister became very ill but a cure was found in time. What I didn't know until later is that I actually contracted a mutated form of it." She took a deep breath realizing how good it felt to tell someone.

"Jaina, I'm so sorry," he said sincerely. "I wish I had been there. Maybe I could have...I dunno...done something." His voice trailed off as his eyes look toward the floor.

"There was nothing you could have done." Jaina patted his arm. "I did not even know I was sick until I had already been assigned to the Don Johnson." She rubbed her neck again. "I fell. When my neck was re-injured without me doing anything to it, they found something wrong with the bones. That is what led to Starfleet Medical. By the time I knew I was sick, I was already a classified medical case and couldn't contact you."

Johnny listened intently. "Classified. I guess that makes sense. It also explains a lot. Still, I wish I had known. Leave it to Starfleet to keep it under wraps," he said with a bit of an ironic chuckle.

"They kept it under wraps because they were afraid the mutation was an attempt to get the virus further into the Federation. It took a while to
find a way to combat it and stop further mutations." Jaina explained. "After that, it still took a long time for my bones to strengthen again and for me to get back to normal. At one point, my bones were so brittle that I couldn't even use a transporter let alone go anywhere that would have needed artificial gravity." She paused and looked down at her hands for a minute. "Johnny, I didn't disappear from you out of any real choice. And, by the time I could have contacted you, almost three years had passed. I figured you had moved forward by then."

Johnny sat quietly for a moment, regarding the woman beside him at the table. There were a million things he wanted to say, to ask, to do. One thing at a time, Walker, he thought to himself. "Jaina, I haven't moved on at all. There has been no one since you, and to be fair, my feelings haven't changed towards you," he said, looking her straight in the eye. "However, as you said, it has been three years, and maybe yours have," he said softly, looking down at the table. "I'll be very honest here. I don't know what to do, and it is scaring the hell out of me. I'm not exactly the most confident guy around," he said, re-establishing eye contact and taking her hand gently. I would say this ball is in your court, Jaina."

It was Jaina’s turn to look down at the table. Her mind reeled with the hopes and dreams that she’d been slowly forcing herself to let go. She thought of the long days of treatment followed by the lonely nights when she yearned to feel her love’s arms around her. But, she also knew that the months stuck in a bed at Starfleet Medical had changed her. What if she had changed too much? Jaina reached across the table, taking Johnny’s hand. “My head is telling me that I’m not the girl you fell in love with. My heart is reminding me that I’ve never stopped loving you.” She squeezed his hand tight, almost afraid that he would disappear if she let go.

“Johnny, I don’t want to get a month down the road only to find that you can’t love the person I am now. Why don’t we take it a day at a time until we know each other again. Is that okay?”

Johnny exhaled with some relief. "I was hoping you would say something like that," he said. "I know my feelings are still the same for you, but I have also changed - grown even. I don't want to drag you down as much as you don't want to do that to me." He made sure she had restored eye contact again. "I want whatever happens between us to be real and a decision on both our parts." He smiled gently. "No matter what that is. We had something years ago. Maybe we can get that back, and maybe we can't. I'd like to try - slowly, as you say, one day at a time. I think it's what makes sense right now for both of us." He fell silent again for a moment and then said, "I'd like to start that right now. We both need to eat, right? And at the very least, we have about 5 years of stuff to catch up." His smile broadened. "What do you say?"

She couldn’t help but smile back. “I think that I’ve been on this ship for less than a day and I’m already being asked out to dinner by the cutest guy
on board. How could I possibly say no?”

"Well, in that case..." he smiled as he motioned for a server to come take an order...

Finally she was safe in her office and away from Lt. Pei. Yeu had been a thorn in her side back at the academy and she had hoped that she would never see her again, but here she was. Glory shook her head and tried to concentrate on her duties. There was a lot to do to get organized and she didn't need the distractions.

bbaldwin's picture

To: Senior Staff, USS Pandora NCC-80113
From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
CC: Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
Captain Satok Zul Marek, Station Commander DS-102
Stardate: 11305.24
Subject: Mission Briefing

Senior Staff,

I am quite pleased as to how quickly everyone is beginning to gel into a cohesive crew. Excellent progress is being made and I feel the Pandora shakedown is going well. So far, the various systems seem to be preforming as anticipated, with little or no difficulties being encountered. Not only are systems testing going well, but crew preparedness to the various drills being tossed into the mix is continuing to improve.

However, we need to be prepared for just about anything ahead, and the need to have both Tactical and all weapons systems on the ready cannot be overstressed.

All departments should continue to not only test and perform the necessary diagnostics, but I want the ship “combat ready” as soon as possible. Specifically, Tactical should take the necessary steps to ensure the Pandora is where it needs to be. Simulations and maneuvers should continue as needed until we reach DS-102.

That is all.

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora

Peaceful slumber filled the room, its lone occupant dreaming of times long past. Suddenly, Jaina was jerked awake at the call for senior staff to report to the bridge. “What?” She asked jerking up. Her console was showing a yellow alert as the EO jumped out of bed and pulled on her uniform. “Good thing I showered before going to sleep.” she murmured and grabbed a hairbrush. Moments later, she tossed the hairbrush onto her dresser and slipped on her boots. Stepping out the door, she glanced down. “What in Halii...” she stopped and turned back into her quarters. A splotch of pizza sauce was on the leg of her uniform. The mess had happened while cleaning up after the party. JJ realized with a groan that she had failed to put the soiled uniform in to be cleaned upon returning to her quarters. Grabbing a clean uniform from the closet, she changed quickly.

A few minutes had passed as JJ changed her clothes and renewed her trip toward the bridge. As she arrived at the turbolift, the ship’s alert status changed to red. She paused, then ordered the lift to Engineering instead. “The Commander is going to need me down there. At this point, I’ll be more useful there than at a bridge console.”

Jaina rushed into Engineering just as the ship shook from an attack. “Alright folks, this is the real thing. Let’s keep the ship at full power and make Commander Silek proud!”

11305.24
OPS Lt. Kehari Qui
USS Pandora NCC-80113

Kehari smiled as her toes wiggled into the warms sands along the coastline and she shielded her eyes from the sun as her gaze fell upon the beautiful purple waters of her homeworld. The sun felt good even with the slight cool breeze coming from the water. To Kehari, the Trill homeworld was a beautiful place she loved.
A sound jogged her from her dream … it was her combadge and Jefferson reported to her to get to the bridge on the double. She had fallen asleep on her couch and when she rolled to get out of her bed, or so where she thought she was, she hit the floor … hard. Good thing one of Qui’s former hosts had been a theater performer and was used to getting jostled around! But the slight bruise on her hip….
Now that the crisis was over Kehari had returned bridge OPS back to Johnson, but not before sending off kudos to the rest of the Operations Department for a job well done.
Entering her quarters, she released the collar on her uniform, sat at her desk and hit a button.
“Computer, begin recording duty log, Operations Chief Kehari Qui,” she stated as she leaned back and placed her feet on the edge of her desk. Upon hearing the acknowledgement, Kehari began….
Operations Chief Kehari Qui, USS Pandora NCC-80113, Duty Log for stardate 11305.24.
All senior officers were required to report to the bridge due to DS-102 was under attack. Johnson filled me in with all the particulars when I arrived and then promptly moved to the secondary OPS station on the bridge.
When we arrived at the scene of the attack, it was apparent that the station was under stress as there were many small and quick vessels maneuvering around like flies around rotting fruit! Our tactical chief was able to cut the number from many to about a dozen or so, so that when the station shield was crippled and a hole blasted into a portion of it, the Pandora was able to fit in front of it and defend that section from further damage.
It was through this hole that station personnel were transported from the station when the abandon order was giving. I give kudos to the transporter chiefs for getting the people off the transporter pads so the next group could be beamed over in a continuous stream after I initiated transport of all transporter systems both in the transporter rooms and the cargo bays.
Kudos also goes to the amazing flight maneuvering of our Flight officer, Jinx, and to Sergon for cutting the numbers down.
Repair teams were sent out to repair damages done to the Pandora … luckily damages were not major … unlike the repairs that must be undertaken on the station. I’m sure Engineering will be assisting with those repairs as well as Operations.
“Computer, close and file duty log. Open personal log,” she stated with eyes closed.
Personal log, Kehari Qui, Operations Chief USS Pandora NCC-80113, stardate 11035.24.
I am impressed with the professionalism of this crew and the ease in operations of this vessel. I have witnessed extreme calm under pressure before, but the eye of the storm was definitely present on the bridge of the Pandora when DS-102 was under attack. I am so very grateful to have been hand-picked for this assignment … though I still wonder how I got so lucky.
I believe I will enjoy this assignment. I believe this crew will work very well together as no other crew I’ve ever worked with. Boy, how did I get so lucky!
And though my time on the Pandora has been brief and I do miss my life back on Earth, I have discovered I have missed the stars and being in space. I look forward to being back among the beauty of the cosmos, the majestic scenery of the galaxy and being a part of the song on the galactic wind.
It’s nice to know Qui feels the same way.
“Computer, close and file personal log,” Kehari says as her voice softens and darkness overtakes her consciousness. The dream of purple seas and gentle breezes returns and Kehari sighs contentedly as she again dreams of the Trill homeworld.

The space around DS 102 was black again, with only the occasional flashes of light from the damaged station illuminating the darkness. She could see the fires inside, almost out now, the vacuum of space extinguishing them as the last of the oxygen ebbed. Debris floated past the window of her quarters, now unrecognizable as to what it had been. A bulkhead, a piece of the deck, perhaps even someone's favourite family treasure, now gone, lost in the endless darkness.

Her quarters seemed smaller now, the scene outside making her feel hemmed in somehow. Sleep would not come easily this night, the horror and excitement of the past few hours weighed heavily on the young Lieutenant's mind. Moving to her desk she sat momentarily, her stomach balled up, her finger paused for a mere second before pressing the console.

"Computer, open log for Lieutenant Jinx." "Recording," came the reply.

I am at a loss as to what has happened here, but unknown forces have attacked DS 102 and the station has sustained major damage.

Gamma shift was on the bridge handling the routine duties of being the night shift. Alpha shift had been retired for some time and I had already drifted off to sleep hoping to find tomorrow a better day. We were aroused by the alert klaxons, and Alpha shift was ordered to the bridge. I quickly reached for my uniform and headed to the bridge to relive Ensign Flight, my shift relief. One there we learned that DS 102 was under attack by unknown forces and was sustaining heavy damage. I relieved Ensign Flight after a brief scare. It seems the Captain prefers to stand behind the flight station at red alerts rather than sitting in his chair. I must admit that it bothers me slightly that some of the senior officers like that spot. It's almost as they don't quite trust me or my staff. Perhaps it's just my paranoia.

We changed course to DS 102 and increased to maximum warp. Upon arrival, we learned that we were the only ship close enough to assist and would have to protect the station until others could arrive. The enemy ships were small, faster and more maneuverable and were inflicting damage to the station's shield generators, eventually taking the ventral and dorsal ones out of commission.

I placed the Pandora as close as I dare to the station, to cover the ventral side of the station, the enemy would have to go through us first. The Captain tried to hail the attackers, and fired warning shots, all went unanswered. We then opened fire on the attackers and took several good hits ourselves. Our shields held and I must commend the engineering department on their excellent performance.

The damage to the station was substantial, and we transported station personnel to our sickbay for treatment of various injuries. I was happy to learn that no deaths resulted from the attack, and other Starfleet vessels have now arrived to assist.

The arrival of the Federation ships caused the enemy to retreat, but they headed toward the Galactic Core. Their identity is still unknown, and Captain Adams has decided not to pursue them at this time.

Computer, end log. "Log ended"

Jinx sat back and looked towards the window, the blackness now complete. She rubbed her stomach gently before standing and walking to the bed. Sitting on the edge, she wondered if this was only the beginning of something, but what? That feeling in the pit of her stomach was back.

bbaldwin's picture

From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
Stardate: 11305.24
Subject: Captain’s Log

Testing, simulating, and diagnosing have been the demands of launching a new ship and running its shakedown. So far, for the short time we’ve been away from our Spacedock launch, things have gone amazingly well and very much without significant incident. The crew is performing as admirably as the ship. Each department head is quickly learning to run the necessary drills and test their people without exceeding either their capacity or ability to perform. As things seemed to be going so well, I thought it a good time to leave the Bridge to others and take a respite in my new quarters. Once there though, I collapsed on the bed and dozed lightly only to be awakened by a comm from the Bridge. The Second Officer was alerting me that Deep Space 102 was under attack by unknown assailants.

The light fog my head was wrapped up in cleared rapidly as the report got my attention. Quickly throwing on a clean tunic and racing out of my quarters to the nearby turbolift increased the flow of blood throughout my whole body. I made it to the Bridge in were probably seconds that in my own mind seemed like hours. I found that the ship was already on an intercept course towards DS-102 at the ship’s top speed. Through the chaos of voices, my mind began to make sense of the information that was racing at me as fast as the ship was hurtling through space.

Long-range tactical sensors indicated there were seventeen relatively small vessels attacking the Station and at present speed, we would be there to intervene in no less than thirty-three minutes. No other Federation or Starfleet ships would be there any sooner. The Station was more or less holding its own, but desperately needed assistance. Until we arrived on scene, there was nothing to do but plan, prepare and wait, the hardest of all things. Part of that preparation, however, meant taking the ship to Yellow Alert. That meant warming up all weapons systems, having shields and all other systems at the ready.

Upon arrival, we did find the Station under extreme duress. They needed help indeed, so I had the ship put in the best tactical position between as many of the attackers as possible and the Station. Since we were still in Federation space, I knew both the Station and this ship were not the aggressors here. We were not yet in totally unknown space as we soon would be. However, we still did not know who the attackers were or why they were attacking such a relatively easy target. I asked for hailing frequencies to be opened and attempted twice to find out the whom and why. I also has a volley of phaser fire put across the bows of the attacking ships. We were met with a response of weapons fire. If it was a fight they wanted, it was a fight they were going to get. The ship was placed into Red Alert status and gave the order fire all weapons at the attackers. We’d all see just what kind of fire power a Luna class ship wielded.

The attackers proved to be more susceptible to the combined firepower of both the Stations and our weapons than they had probably hoped. In some ways, I was surprised as to how small a force was being used. “A probe of our capabilities,” I wondered? But then, Station shields began to fail, even while we were starting to decimate the attackers. I suggested to the Station Commander, who is aboard our ship, to begin the evacuation of the Station, before there was no longer a station for them to inhabit. The arrival of three Starfleet ships helped to send the attackers to oblivion. Several made their escape off towards the direction of the galactic core.

While not completely destroyed, Deep Space 102 was barely viable. As we helped pick up evacuees, it was clear it would not be quickly repaired, and it would not make it to its new location any time soon. We could probably still obtain spare parts, replenish our weapons, and restock our shelves, but we were still going to need a viable base soon. One had to wonder what trick Starfleet would pull out of its sleeve to accomplish that feat.

Did this have anything to do with the th'Alcair? The firepower used in the attacked suggested not. The th'Alcair used weapons that caused significant damage with each single shot. Perhaps our side mission to find out more would become our primary mission. I had hoped this ship of long-range exploration design would allow us to do a bit of exploring before coming head-long into intelligence gathering on a species that sounded so similar to our allies, the Gorn. Cold and calculating and amazingly efficient are the Gorn, and another saurian species like them would be better befriended as soon as possible.

I had reports sent to Starfleet along with requests for information regarding our now much needed replacement for a “home base” station. As soon as all departments can gather themselves, a senior staff briefing was already overdue. The question here now, is whether or not to bring them up to speed on the th'Alcair.

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora
SN 950306-001-3

pdelsoglio's picture

Deep Station 102 Station Commander Officer Duty Log.
Captain Satok Zul Marek reporting.
Stardate 11305.24
While Gamma shift was on duty, an urgent distress call from Deep Space 102 was received on the emergency channels.
I was summoned to the Bridge under Yellow Alert condition, and by the time I reached the Turbolift to go to the Bridge, Red Alert was adopted, so I instantly knew that this situation was deeply serious.
Once I entered the Bridge I was informed that the Station was under attack by a group of unidentified vessels and her defensive systems were not enough to keep the attackers at bay.
The USS Pandora set a course at maximum warp to Deep Space 102, and all the ships in the area were contacted to assist in the defense of the Station.
As the Pandora was the nearest Starfleet vessel in the area, we reached the Station first, just to find the Station being literally tearing apart under the fire of the attacker’s weapons.
Captain Adams and the crew made their best to combat the aggressors, yet the number of their ships and their amazing maneuverability was too much for a single ship and a falling apart Station.
Whilst the Pandora was engaged in a furious battle, it was pointed to me that the Station was in the verge of a mayor system failure, since her shielding was inoperative and the main Computer was about to collapse.
So, I had to give the order that no Captain wants to give: to abandon the Station.
All Station crew were safely transported aboard the Pandora, and are now under the caring of her medical Staff. On the positive side, we have not to regret any fatalities, just wounded from diverse nature and grade.
By that time many Starfleet vessels arrived and joined the Pandora in the repelling effort, and they combine firepower force the attackers to flee towards the Galactic Core.
Once the battle ended, the consequences for the Station are of a devastating nature. Right now is a great group burnt metal, floating dead in space.
Right now, we are about to start the process of secure the Station for the salvaging of what remained useful or undamaged, what, sadly, it is not much.
Deep Station 102 Station Commander Officer Personal Log.
Captain Satok Zul Marek reporting.
Stardate 11305.24
Since I was a young Cadet, this Station was my only assignment. My whole Starfleet career from a fresh rookie Ensign to Captain took place within her intricate corridors and enormous storage bays.
Although technically this is not the same Station, since I was transferred together with Commander Masters by a mysterious accident to this plane of reality from our own many years ago, it is really painful to see this imposing Station reach the end of her days in this salvage, violent way.
Right now, in my mind, I am having flashes of distant memories, containing images of the old days, when this Station was known by the name of Kootenai Station, many crew members that gave their lives while serving as part of her crew, and an uncountable numbers of others who proudly serve Starfleet in this Station… Then her renaming as Deep Space 102, and again many good memories from extraordinary people which I have the pleasure to serve with as the Station Commander…
Computer: pause and save Personal Log.
::beeps in acknowledgement:: Personal Log paused, saved and ready to resume when ready…
::self:: “When ready”… ::shakes his head and walks to the center of the Bridge::
CO: Captain Adams, permission to abandon Bridge, sir. I need to go to SickBay in order to see the personnel rescued from the Station. I will return as soon as possible to coordinate the salvaging efforts.

bbaldwin's picture

Diplomatic Officer's Log, Stardate 11305.24

For the second time in my short Starfleet career, I was part of a battle situation. This time, however, my participation was minor at best. Granted I was caught off guard by the alert. I was sleeping soundly, having spent most of the previous day working to set up the new Diplomatic Office to my liking and trying to get my small staff working more professionally together. But I am a Starfleet Officer, I've been trained to come to full readiness at a moment's notice. I spent multiple weeks with no more than a few hours sleep each night several time during my Academy career. Was there more I could have done? I am sure there is. But honestly, my lack of constructive input was more a matter of how quickly the officers on duty took charge of the situation. By the time I got to the Bridge the Tactical teams and Science teams were analyzing the situation. I opened a work station, attempting to try and find something that would help, anything that would help, but I could see nothing to add to the information that was out there.

Now it's over, and I still can't see anything I am looking for in the data available to me. Starfleet Starship Recognition Protocols have no idea who these ships were. I had thought that perhaps these beings were part of the species that attacked the Scorpius on Stardate 10304.26, but I am not seeing the same type of ship, the same type of weapon, or the same type of attack pattern. Is it a new species? Possibly, but it's also possible that this is just a different class of ship than the one that attacked the Scorpius. The ch'Tan database, at least what I still have access to, so far hasn't helped, although our ability to translate their Recognition Protocols was limited when my notes were made. Whoever the attacker was, they seem very aggressive and very brave. They attacked a Starbase with less than 20 vessels, and these vessels were more akin to corvettes or runabouts than true ships of the line. Commander Silek questioned whether the Station's repositioning placed it in another species viewed territory or area of interest, but it still was in Federation space that has been uncontested for several years, at least to my knowledge. It is a very sensible question though, and it makes a lot of sense. But at this point there is little data at our hands to go on.

One other thought has occurred to me about the reasons behind the attack. What if the Federation was not the target? With the Classified rating placed on the th'Alcair my access to new information about them and their ch'Tan enemies is very limited. The only reason I know about them is I was there when they were first encountered, otherwise I am not cleared to know. But were the survivors still aboard? Or might the attacker have believed they were? Maybe the ch'Tan have other enemies out there.

Of course there are other possible reasons for the attack. A Starbase is a major chunk of technology, and one in transit typically would not have the full support system in place to defend itself. The fact that these raiders got in so close shows that. Maybe it was a more ordinary reason. They saw a potentially rich target and they tried to take it. How many starships could you build with the spare parts the Station holds in reserve? How many from the material of it's hull, it's power cores, it's shield and Phaser emitters? It's also possible that this is a species we have encountered before using a new ship class. But these last theories are just "what else could it be"'s. It's too early to rule any of this out yet, I'm afraid.

We have lost Deep space 102. An unknown alien attack force, a group of 17 smaller craft, was attacking the station. I was in my quarters in deep meditation when I received a call to report to bridge. Ensign Morgan was manning tactical when I arrived. And he reported the happenings at the station. Soon after we went to red alert. The attacking force responded to our hails in kind. The station was losing shielding in spots. I covered to the attacking force the Pandora was engaged with as I had Ens Sampsom cover the openings in the station shields repealing the attackers. This fleet was small and fast and the targeting computer was having trouble tracking each individual vessel. We manged to hold them back a little, but before the station had to evacuate and left the station an empty shell with major damage. The attacking force fled once 3 other starfleet vessels arrived.

We have no idea who the attackers were. They fled back toward the galactic core, our own destination. Could this be the enemy I have heard about, and engaged once while my brief assignment on the Scorpios.

Gaeb's picture

Stardate: 11305.24
Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
USS Pandora

Executive Officer Duty Log,

The USS Pandora is on alert. Deep Space 102 is under attack by unknown forces. The Pandora is the closest ship and will have to hold off the attackers long enough for reinforcements to come in. This will be the first combat of this ship, lets hope the few drills we had were enough.

*******************************************
Commander Gaeb
Executive Officer
USS Pandora
*******************************************

"First Flight – New Energies"
=======================
USS Pandora, 1715 hours
Dining Lounge
Lt. Commander Johnny Walker - SCD (Gerry)
Lieutenant Jaina Jankara - EO (Janaye)

Johnny sat in the lounge facing a window staring out into space nursing a drink and picking at his steak and salad. He found it difficult to clear his head of the battle just over 14 hours ago. His reverie was interrupted by the sound of JJ's voice placing an order at the bar. He turned and waved. "Over here, JJ," he said with a tired smile.

Taking her drink from the bartender, JJ crossed the room. Slipping into the seat across from Johnny, she looked at him for a moment before she spoke. “You look tired, Johnny, did you get any sleep today?”

Johnny heaved once in a comedic but silent laugh. "Not really, Jaina. There was a lot of work to do, and as I'm sure you're aware from your day in engineering, not quite enough hands to do it, so I volunteered to help," he said with a smile. "How did Engineering hold up? I don't think our power ever fluctuated, though we used more resources in just over an hour than we had on the whole run out here so far," he quipped. "Personally, you folks did marvelously if no one has said it to you yet," he added.

“Thanks,” She smiled, “Everybody pulled together pretty well. I was actually getting into the lift to come to the bridge when the first volley hit so I redirected it to Engineering. I figured that whatever was going on, I’d happily take the chewing out for not coming upstairs like I was supposed to if it meant I’d helped to keep power in the right places so we could send those jokers packing.”

Johnny smirked. "I don't think anyone had any issues at all with our shields holding," he said with a strange tone to his voice. "And if they did, you send them to me. I'll have them tour the external shield emitters personally, maybe without an EVA suit," he joked. His face turned into something more serious. "This was my first real battle," he said, making eye contact. "I didn't know how I would handle myself. Now I do," he said. Then his face took on a quirky grin. "I think I'm a Starfleet officer," he chuckled. "I just did what needed doing. Like you did. Personally, I find that kind of...well...exciting! I may not sleep for a week," he said, still smiling strangely.

“Oh, yeah, I could see you suggesting a tour to the Captain if he is the one mad.” JJ laughed. “And keep an eye on that adrenalin. I remember the first time I saw a battle. The adrenalin kept me going for a couple of days then I crashed and slept for 12 hours.” She leaned back as the salad she ordered was delivered. Thanking the waiter, she leaned up again and patted Johnny’s arm. “At least try to get a little rest before you go back on duty, okay?”

Johnny choked on the inhaled beverage he had sipped when Jaina suggested it could be the Captain. "Cough...cough...okay, okay, you got me there, but he didn't look too upset to me," he said as he wiped the water from his eyes as he laughed. "I did think about the adrenaline, truthfully. I know it's why I feel so jazzed about life at the moment," he said as he took another bite of his steak. When he had swallowed, he continued. "I should probably lie down and try to rest if not sleep," he said. "I just don't want to be by myself at the moment. That's why I came here to eat," he added.

Glancing down at his plate, JJ laughed softly. “Looks like you came here to play with a plate of food.” She took a bite of her salad, then added, “You eat then I’ll rub your shoulders for you. Maybe we can get you relaxed enough to rest a little.”

Johnny looked down at his plate of food. "Yeah, you caught me," he chuckled softly. "I think the plate and food are winning," he added. "I can't seem to make myself eat it for some reason. Did that happen to you, you know, after your first...emergency?" he asked quietly.

“I don’t remember eating on that day at all. In fact, all I really remember is spending time in the holodeck climbing trees to deal with the extra energy.” JJ laughed. She hadn’t been out of the Academy long when she first encountered battle on the USS Cherokee. Back in those days, her Academy friends had nicknamed her ‘hyper’ due to the high amount of energy she had naturally.

"That sounds about right then," he said softly, still smiling. "Well," he said with a smile, "I'll be taking you up on that massage offer, I think," he said very softly. "I really need some rest, if not actual sleep," he chuckled. "I could use the company, too. I really don't want to be alone at the moment," he smiled. "I really am jazzed, and I want to talk if that's okay," he added.

“That’s just fine.” JJ nodded. “Talking it out is probably the best way to work it through your system. But tell me why you aren’t wanting to be alone.” She grew serious for a moment. “It isn’t a dream, Johnny. We really made it through and you did one heck of a job upstairs in getting everybody moving to take care of the ship and get the station survivors cared for too.”

Johnny thought for a moment. "I think it's because I want to share the experience," he began, pushing his plate away, and then taking a sip of his drink. "Maybe I'm more of a social creature than everyone, including me, thought. You're right. This isn't a dream or a game. But it is pretty heady stuff! We just took an untested vessel through her first combat and lived to tell the story!" he said emphatically. He calmed himself. "See? Jazzed," he said, pointing at himself with a chuckle. "I just lived through my first combat experience! I want to do things that keep the feeling of being alive going, I guess," he said with a shrug. "It's kind of hard to explain. Does that make sense?"

Jaina sighed in relief. “Yes, that makes perfect sense. I just wanted to make sure you on the right track, so to speak. I knew someone a long time ago who reacted to the adrenalin rush differently. He was actually afraid to be alone or go to sleep. He was certain that if he did, he’d wake up and would find it was all a dream. When he started to look for ways to keep the adrenalin going, well, that and lack of sleep put him in real danger in the end. I wanted to make sure that wasn’t the case here.” she finished with a smile.

"Nope, just feeling good, as it were," he said as he sipped his drink again. "I need to sleep. I don't want to be dull on the bridge. I'm kind of fortunate here, though - The Officer of the Watch knows and will stand in for me. I arranged that before I left the bridge. He was pretty understanding," he added, as he watched JJ eat her meal. "I really think this crew is coming together very quickly, given what's happened since we left Utopia Planetia," he concluded. He forced himself to calm down. It was one thing to be jazzed about life, but it was another to go sideways because you were over-excited. "Just saying," he said with a slow shrug.

Pushing the remnants of her salad away, Jaina stood up. “Come on then,” she grinned then added, “sitting on your duff isn’t going to help that adrenaline. Perhaps some exercise or a holodeck program?”

"Hmmm," said Johnny aloud. "Want to take a hike in the Adirondacks of Earth?" he asked with a grin. "Of course, you'll have to give me about 15 minutes to change," he added. "Or maybe swimming on Risa," he said, his memories of them swimming in that ocean coming back to him unbidden. Your call," he said excitedly.

Jaina grinned. “Considering we’re wanting to get rid of adrenaline and energy, I think the hike is the wiser choice today. I’ll need to change myself. Why don’t I meet you at the holodeck in about 20 minutes?”

"Hike it is," he said, matching Jaina's grin. "I'll go get changed and meet you there," he said as he stood up. "Thanks you for this!" He spun on his heel and nearly ran to his quarters on Deck 3 to change.

She giggled all the way back to her quarters at the expression on Johnny’s face. It didn’t take long to change into some hiking gear and get to the holodeck. Activating the program, she stepped inside and waited for Johnny.

Johnny ran into the holodeck and skidded to a halt on the holographic gravel of the base of the hiking trail. "Heh, forgot about that," he chuckled. Looking around, he felt like he was really in the Adirondaks just to the west of the Washington, D.C. area. "Wow, I wonder how complete the program is," he queried. "I used to come out here once a year when I was a boy. About 5 miles up into the hills, there used to be a little cabin where my family stayed. What do you think the odds are?" he asked Jaina.

“I think if it isn’t there, we can always adapt the program and add it in.” She said handing over a bottle of water. “Ready?”

Taking the bottle offered and tucking it on his belt, he nodded. "Thank you, JJ. Let's go!" He set off at a rapid but steady pace up the hill, sticking to the path. He glanced bat to make sure that Jaina could keep pace. He didn't want to leave her behind. He tried to measure his pace and channel the energy into it.

Jaina smiled at the change in Johnny since they had first met. Back then, he wouldn’t have been walking at even half the pace they were walking. He’d changed a lot from the unsure Ensign she’d known. It was a good change. Realizing that her daydreaming had slowed her down slightly, JJ quickened her step to keep in time with Johnny.

After a few hours of hiking and banter back and forth, they came to the place where the cabin should be, and true to what Johnny knew, it was there, but in a sorry state of repair. "Well, it was 30 years ago or so," he said, stopping to breathe a little. "I can feel my energy starting to normalize a bit," he said, not quite without effort. "How are you doing? That was a pretty brisk walk," he said as he wiped the sweat from his eyes.

“I’m good.” JJ grinned as she pulled out her water for a drink. “You know, that cabin could be fixed up pretty easily. It wouldn’t take much to make a private version of this program and restore the cabin to what you remember.”

"I like the way you think," said Johnny. "Computer, save program as JJJ-1." The computer beeped compliance. "I wonder how easily this thing can backtrack," he commented aloud. "Computer, revert cabin to 30 years previous." The computer beeped compliance. "It can't be that easy," he said, looking at Jaina. "What do you think?"

“I think if it isn’t on record, we can fix it the old fashioned way...” Jaina shrugged. “Just tell the computer what to fix. No need pulling out hammer and nails unless you really, really want to go old school.” Then she laughed.

"Well," said Johnny with a flash of smile and chuckle, "let's check it out at least," he said as he approached the door and opened it. As the door opened, the scent that hit him brought him back 30 years, and the room was almost the way he remembered it. "I wonder if there were plans on file somewhere," he said out loud. In the one corner, there was a self-powered refrigeration unit and replicator unit, and then a dining room table that eight people could have sat at with elbow room. Off to the right was a door and a hallway that he knew lead to 3 bedrooms, on bigger, two smaller. Being the only boy, he recalled the one on the left was the one he always got to himself. "Jaina, check this out. A lot of memories here - some pretty good ones," he said.

She followed him into the cabin and looked around the main room. Camping like this had never been part of the life on Halii but she could tell by Johnny’s expression that he was very fond of this place. “What is it?”

"I had some very good times here," he said. "My father was a boor," he said, "but not everything he did was bad. It took me a long time to realize that he was doing the best he could with what he had," he continued. "This place was where we had some of our good times," he concluded. He smiled nostagically at the memories. "I'm glad I at least got to share it with you. Let me show you around a bit," he added. "Over here was the food area, and over here were the bedrooms," he said, taking her hand. "This is the one I got to myself - it was smaller than the one across the hall, but I was the only boy, so it was mine," he said. "This room is the bathroom," he pointed, "and here is where my parents slept," he said. "Down at the bottom of the hill is the river where we used to fish, and it opens out into a mountain lake where we could swim in July," he added. "I grew up here," he said with a distant look.

Jaina released his hand and wrapped her arms around Johnny’s waist. “Then you need to continue enjoying life here. Life as a Second Officer is bound to have its hard times. What if we were to set this place up as an escape? A place you can come to think, walk, swim, or whatever you need?”

"Only if you can come too, anytime you want," he said as he returned her embrace. He waltzed her down the hall through the door of the main bedroom. "That offer of a massage still good?" he asked with a smile and a raised eyebrow. "I understand if you have changed your mind," he added quietly.

“But, of course.” She answered with a smile.

"In that case," he said as he guided her over toward the bed, "we should get started," he said, "because I don't want to waste another minute on an empty life without you," he said quietly as he sat down on the edge of the bed, looking at her expectantly. "But I don't want to do this if you don't want it too," he added with quiet urgency.

Jaina raised Johnny’s hand, placing his fingertips against her face and neck. She placed her hands in a similar fashion and closed her eyes. Being a touch telepath, Jaina had been trained from an early age to keep high walls around her ability so brushing against someone wouldn’t cause distraction or difficulty. Taking a deep breath, JJ lowered the wall allowing Johnny’s once familiar presence inside. ~~~You know that you are the only one. You complete my very soul.~~~

~~~There has never been another, Jaina. And there never will be.~~~ He pulled her gently to him and kissed her deeply as he reclined back onto the soft bed with her cradled in his arms. ~~~I love you, Jaina Jankara.~~~

Wrapping an arm around his neck, Jaina returned the kiss. She ran fingers through his hair. Raising up suddenly, she giggled. ~~~Did you remember to lock the holodeck?~~~

~~~Yep,~~~ he said silently as his hands found their way under her top and began pushing it over her head as the opportunity presented itself. ~~~Now where were we?~~~ he asked as he pulled her gently back down, running his hands up and down her back.

Later...

JJ curled up next to Johnny and watched him breath. Soon enough, he’d have to go back on duty. But, for now, she was content to know he was resting.

Glory stifled a yawn as she recorded notes from the cases that she had treated. She had been having trouble sleeping earlier and was up drinking hot chocolate in hopes of getting relaxed enough to sleep. Those hopes were dashed when the alert sounded and she had to report to the bridge. She made notes in her log thinking, "it's a good thing that the lab coats are so long. It would have been embarrassing stepping onto the bridge in my nightie."

She looked up and out onto sickbay. It was still extremely busy as not all of the injured had been treated. She had set up rotations to keep the staff from becoming over exhausted, but breaks when they were able to take them were brief. Looking at the chronometer she realized that hers was just about up.

bbaldwin's picture

To: Senior Staff, USS Pandora NCC-80113
From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
CC: Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
Captain Satok Zul Marek, Station Commander DS-102
Stardate: 11305.31
Subject: Mission Briefing

Senior Staff,

Since we have been unable to either follow the DS-102 attackers, we need to collect and share whatever Intel on them we were able to gather during the incident. We are still well inside known Federation space, so I want to determine who they are and why they are attacking. We also need to determine if they are not from within the Federation, where are they from, not to mention their strength and their intentions.

Therefore, as soon as we can secure from General Quarters, I want to convene Senior Staff in the Forward Briefing Room to discuss what we know and to share this information. We also need to quickly get a handle on what we do not know.

There is little to do about DS-102 at this point. We were fortunate in that no lives were lost, this time. I want to know that all personnel from the Station are secured and safe. The other ships remaining in the area will ensure they are taken care of. We need to secure whatever we can from the Station, including provisions, weapons, etc. Once that is accomplished, we are to proceed with our primary mission. This may take us right into wherever the attackers came from.

Maintain the ship at Yellow Alert. All departments should remain at battle readiness; however, do not overstress the crew unless circumstances demand otherwise. Drills and simulations should continue until further notice.

That is all.

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora

Questions and No Answers.....

The briefing room had been filled with the senior staff, all needing answers to questions about this attack on DS 102. Jinx was there, but she had not said much during the meeting, hoping that others could fill in the blanks. All of them seemed confused by this new enemy, even the Captain.

Captain Adams was full of questions himself. He bounced from officer to officer asking for information on the enemy's ships, weaponry, shields, hull makeup and so many more. To Jinx he seemed almost driven by this attack to gather anything he could from the smallest detail. Perhaps he had been in a similar situation before, or maybe he just knew more than she did. After all, he was the experienced one here, and maybe she should just let him figure out things.

The Captain was assigning teams as it were to investigate certain parts of the attack. Jinx had been given the job or working with Lieutenant Sergon, the chief of tactical to try and figure out what maneuvers the enemy were using. Straight forward or complex maneuvers. Could that tell us that they weren't really all that bright or just plain lucky with their shots? They has damaged the station but had not done any real damage to the Pandora. Now they had fled at the sight of other Federation ships, was that a sign of cowardness or a retreat to a safe haven to regroup and plan their next move. How much information had this enemy gleaned about the Federation and her readiness to face another foe? Jinx just knew the powers that be would want to find out.

Lieutenant Sergon had determined that their weapons were plasma based disrupters and plasma torpedoes, something new to him. Jinx had noted that the enemy ships seemed focused on taking out the station's generators, thus rendering the station all but dead. Computers had failed and only partial data was retrievable.

DS 102 was going to be abandoned, her usefulness gone. Her crew would be transferred to a new station and Jinx hoped that Captain Marek would be the CO of the new one, but Starfleet has strange ideas sometimes, and nothing was certain.

The decision made about the station so quickly, the station and ship's crew would now begin the long task of shutting her down. Medical supplies, along with stored weapons and other supplies would be brought aboard the Pandora. Computer data retrieval would be downloaded to the Pandora's systems and anything useful would be either brought aboard the ship or sent to one of the other ships still standing by. It would be sad for the station's crew and Captain Marek to say goodbye to DS 102, but Jinx was sure that they would all be just fine.

Later......

Jinx sat on the edge of her bed, a brush threading the strands of her auburn hair into neat, straight rows. She tapped the padd next to her and sent the report off, then settled back against the pillows to finish brushing her hair. "I wonder if he looks like that all the time. I mean for a seventy-one year old man he looks pretty good, but then all Vulcans are only getting out of puberty by then." She laughed to herself and put the brush on the table beside the bed. " On my, I wonder if they"...she paused and shook her head. "Oh well, I guess Vulcans need to have that stern, serious look on their faces all the time. It's just the way they are I guess. I wish I knew more about my heritage. Being an orphan is hard, and I wish I knew where I came from and what happened to my family." Jinx swung her legs back over the side of the bed. "Ok, time to forget about this sad stuff. Break time is over, now to head back to the bridge."

Bridge....

The chair was still warm as Jinx replaced Ensign Flight at the controls. They were almost finished with their part of the investigation and Jinx waited for the Captain to issue new orders.

Captain Adams entered the bridge and took his seat, not warmed up by anyone else, and leaned forward. "Lieutenant, set course for the Galactic Core, cruising speed when ready." "Aye sir, setting course and speed." She looked slightly to the side and there he was. "Oh boy there he is again," she thought to herself, "Mr. Serious." Jinx quickly turned to face her console hoping that Sergon hadn't taken notice of her glance.

bbaldwin's picture

From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
Stardate: 11305.31
Subject: Captain’s Log

For the past day and a half, the crew has worked diligently to obtain whatever intact resources from the now derelict Deep Space 102 Station. The Station’s personnel have been safely recovered and thanks to the help of all the various Starfleet ships, attended to safely. Vital resources had to include provisions, medical supplies, replacement parts as well as restocking our weapons and power systems, as Starfleet has not revealed its intentions to replace the station that was going to act as our distant home base. I had to assume at this point, we would be very much on our own out there and arriving there without food would be just as bad as having no weapons. What was that old saying? “An army, or in this case, a starship, moves on its stomach,” I think.

In that same day and a half, we also had a chance to put this new sensor module into its paces. Supposedly, like the eleven other Luna class ships; this pod represents the most sophisticated mobile sensor systems in the fleet. With this incident, time to find out its capabilities. I am completely sure that as our crew learns and understands that, we will obtain all that we ever need to know, but for the moment, the learning curve will have to be a bit rushed.

However, in this moment, it was time to gather all the information we had to this point. What could we currently discern about the attackers? They only used relatively small ships, seemed to have specific targets in mind? What could their movements tell us that the inability to penetrate their hulls tell us? What could the weapons they used tell us about them? These and other questions needed answers and we all needed to at least be on the same page. It was time to hold our first official Senior Officer’s Briefing.

The Forward Briefing Room only has seating for ten, so when more than ten made their way to the room, I was glad as Captain, my seat was assured. I hate the thought of assigned seating, but if more than ten show up, some protocols may need to be set. Sounds like a job for OPS.

I am pretty sure the senior officers thought the briefing was chaotic, and frankly, it was. Unfortunately, time was currently of the essence. So, I threw out a lot of questions, mostly to get everyone thinking. We were not coordinating our information very well and we all needed to be on the same page. We were already a day and a half behind the attackers and I certainly did not have any desire for that trail to get any colder. The briefing, by definition, needed to be fast and furious so we could get back on that trail. However, in the future, briefings will need to be more organized and staff more mindful of how information should be passed upwards.

I did note that our CEO and CNS were absent from the briefing. I will need to speak with them separately about that. I am sure the reasoning will be there, but still need to figure out what that reasoning was.

After dismissing the majority of the staff, I did hold back the Station Commander, my XO and Second Officer, as well as our Diplomatic/Intelligence Officer to brief them on our sub-mission. Yes, primarily we were undertaking the mission Luna ships were designed for – that is, exploration. But, Starfleet has given us an undelaying mission as well.

Pandora along with DS-102 were to be the first line of defense against a newly encountered aggressor species identified as the th'Alcair. I told them about the th’Alcair being a predatory, saurian type race. Our current knowledge of them, in particular, about their weaponry, was that single shots could cause immense damage, reminiscent of the plasma weapon the Romulans once used. Our sub-mission is to gather as much intelligence as possible regarding this new threat to the Federation and seek to neutralize it by any means possible. If we could do it peacefully, great, but if not, I informed the Senior Staff that we were authorized to use more drastic measures as deemed necessary, as if I did not already know that as a Starfleet Captain. I believe it was a great leader on Earth who once stated, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.” I hoped that was something we would not have to fall back on.

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora
SN 950306-001-3

gbrinkman's picture

Johnny left the briefing room with more questions than answers after the Captain's briefing them on this new aggressor species called the th'Alcair or ch'Tan. He wasn't even clear they were the same species. He knew that the personnel that had transferred aboard from the USS Scorpius or Deep Space 102 may have known it, and the Diplomatic Officer was one of those. He'd have to get the straight story from her later.

He read over the information he had downloaded to his PADD during the briefing as he walked back to his quarters. As he entered, he left the lights dim - he needed sleep after nearly a double shift on the bridge today. He saw a notification that he had a message on his terminal. Probably from Jaina, he thought to himself as he sat down to review it. He was surprised to find it was from one of his sisters on Earth.

"Hi Johnny, it's Jules," said the voice of his youngest sister. He was 13 years her senior. It was good to see her face, though it was troubled. He listened as the recording went on. "I know you're probably a long way from Earth, but Jody, Lori, and I had to let you know some...news. They found Dad, Johnny. The Police came and visited Mom and me, and they found him about 40 miles west of Denver up in the mountains. He died about 2 weeks ago. I'm sorry to bring you bad news, but we really felt you should know. Call when you get time, Johnny. We all miss you, and we're all proud of you, bein' in space, and in Starfleet and all."

Johnny sat stunned. He always knew someday he would receive the message, but he didn't know how he would handle it when he did. After a few minutes of stunned silence, he began to think about his father and the beatings he used to give. Johnny had long since let go of any anger or bitterness he had about his father. In fact, he was now saddened by the news of his death. He punched in a code for the Operations officer. "Ensign Hoffman," he said, "I need to call a party on Earth," he said. "I have just received word my father has passed away, and I would like to call my mother if there is a channel available," he added quietly.

"Let me see what I can do," came the disembodied voice of Arie Hoffman. "Yes, there are a couple of channels clear," he said. "I'll let you have one for as long as you need it," he said.

"Thanks, Arie," replied Johnny. He pressed in the comm code for his mother's home in Washington, DC. After about 4 minutes, his mother's face appeared. She had been crying, he could see. "Hey mom," he began. "Are you okay?"

"I've had better days, son," she said. "I'm really sad is all," she continued. "I know he left us a long time ago, but I did marry him for a reason, Johnny," she said as she sniffled a bit. "For what it's worth, I think he knew you had gone into Starfleet and were deployed on a long-range vessel," she said. "He might have been a hard man, but he loved you all in his way."

"I know he did, mom," said Johnny softly. "I don't hate him. And I'm not him, and that's something," he said. "Don't be too sad, mom. He died living the way he wanted to, up in the mountains, free from technology and the downside of society."

"You're right, Johnny. I know. I got over missing him many years ago, too," replied Darya. "So how are you doing out there in space wherever that is?"

"I'm very good, mom," he started with a smile. "I could tell you a lot of things, but I'm on a new ship called the USS Pandora, and we're toward the Galactic Core from where you are. I'm the Second Officer, which means I'm in charge on the night shift," he added, putting it in terms she could relate.

"Son, I don't care if you're the janitor, as long as you're happy," she said with a faint smile. "I do wish in your travels you could find someone to walk beside," she said, getting to the point right away.

"Wow, mom, you don't waste time or pull punches, do you?" he said with a bit of a chuckle.

"I just don't want you to be alone," she said with a pout on her face that could guilt a Risan into monkhood.

"I'm not," said Johnny, with a pained look on his face.

"I don't mean all those boys you play cards and watch movies with," she said, her anger starting to rise.

"I'm not talking about that either, mom. I've met someone. Her name is Jaina, and I think you'll like her," he started. "I don't know when we can get to Earth to visit, but it is definitely in the plans," he added earnestly.

"Oh," said Darya, stopping herself from getting worked up. "I'm glad you said so," she added, "because I was about to get more upset than I should get," she concluded.

"I know, mom," he said with his face full of love for his mother. "I know you'll like her," he added. "She's in engineering," he added.

"So she's a smart one, and a hard worker, then. I approve," said his mother with a firm nod.

"Well, mom, I need to get off the channel, but I wanted to call to make sure you were okay," he said.

"I'll be fine. You just take care of yourself," she said.

"I will," he said. "Give my love to all the girls too," he said.

"I'll do that. Call again when you can, son."

" I will." He closed the channel and called Operations. "I'm done, Arie. Thanks again."

"Anytime, Johnny...uh, Commander," he said as he closed the channel.

Johnny left a quick message for Jaina about what had transpired, and let her know that he was going to get some shuteye, and that she was welcome to come wake him up later. He looked at the pillow on his bed. "Oh, but I need thee," he said aloud, quoting Shakespeare's 94th Sonnet to the inanimate object to amuse himself. He laid his head to the pillow, and was asleep in seconds...

Personal Log 11305.29, Lieutenant Junior Grade Vertan Trix, USS Pandora, recording:
The battle is over, the station is secure. It's hard to realize it's been nearly two days already. Adrenaline had me going for the first 20 hours or so, despite it all starting in the middle of my sleep cycle. But I understand that I can't push like that, so I forced myself to lay down. Of course the fact that the adrenaline rush ended kind of forced me to get some sleep. I was so tired I had to force myself back to my quarters. I thought I'd never be able to sleep. I thought the idea of my friends and former staff from the station being in such a state, the idea that whoever hit the station is still out there, and the idea that we have no idea who "whoever" is would all combine to keep me awake. I've never been so wrong.
I slept soundly. I can't recall if I had any dreams or not but I'm sure I did. When I got back to work the effort continued, but the panic was over. No, not the panic, not the desperation. It had been a sense of urgency. A knowing that lives depended on us making the right decisions fast. And a confidence that came with the rapidly growing sense of trust in our shipmates.
Somehow no one died on the station, despite heavy damage to it's shields and operating systems. Which adds yet another question to the ever growing list. Was this attack that well executed or that poorly executed? Or was it just dumb luck, combined with relatively low power weapons on relatively small vessels? Why were they able to get so much damage to certain systems and yet no one was killed? I guess we can't know the answer to that, but that doesn't mean there isn't value in asking.
The Captain has called a briefing in a few hours now that things are under control. There was a lot to cover for him before this attack so I suppose it should not come as a surprise. Until it starts I have a few more things to do, a few more reports to try and glean a clue from. But I know I won't have what I want before the briefing. Answers to questions I know are coming.

Duty Log 11305.31, Diplomatic Officer Vertan Trix, USS Pandora, recording:
The briefing went as I thought it would, more or less. The one piece of very good news from it was Captain Marek's confirmation that there were no fatalities. I wasn't there long but the few months I was there I think I had made a few friends, or the start of such at least. I actually felt a bit cold asking about the Computer Core we recovered, and probably looked even colder to my shipmates, but given our mission, I'd rather have all the data we can collect before we head out. We haven't cracked all the data packs yet, at least to my knowledge, but it's still a good potential data source.
The Captain asked questions and the crew tried to answer them as best as we were able. Unfortunately, that may not prove to be well enough. There are still glaring, basic questions we can't answer. Who attacked the station? And where did they come from? In the history of Federation space exploration there are numerous battles that have occurred with unidentified foes, but from what I gathered in my time at the Academy those are typically between starships out in the middle of uncharted or unclaimed space. To attack a Starbase takes a lot more determination, courage, and dedication. But for an unknown species to mount such an attack without presenting demands or making any sort of contact? I don't think I've heard of such a thing before.
And such an attack usually has a purpose besides taking the station out of the picture. Grabbing control of the territory, knocking an enemy off balance, grabbing a resource the station has in reserve. This is what troubles me the most about the attack. Starfleet has had limited action in the area of space the Pandora is headed to. To the best of my limited knowledge that "limited action" was a single rescue mission. A mission where the Scorpius rescued what we were told was the last of the ch'Tan race, a few thousand survivors from a battle with the ...
Oh, what the blasted bug bites is that all about? I'm not getting into anything detailed just the blasted name! Fine, where was I?
The Scorpius returned to Deep Space 102 after this rescue mission, and that's when things got unusual. Without getting into details, Deep Space 102 has now been attacked by two alien species from this region of space without, to my knowledge, any attempts by the attacker to make contact with the Starfleet forces involved. Well, possibly two, at least one unknown species. The question is still open if it is the same species. Now I've been tasked with finding out who was behind these attacks and if they are related. I can't help but wonder though, is there another link between the two attacks besides the station. What if it is the ch'Tan that they are coming after? Three months ago they came here, under Starfleet's care. Could this be some old foe looking to finish what the th'Alcair nearly did, or maybe the th'Alcair themselves? Again, we have nothing on which to base our answers except gut feeling.
No, I'm not talking about you! It's not all about you, Trix.
Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I've been charged with trying to learn if the ch'Tan were the intended target, which I suppose means I've been charged with determining the attacker's motive, at least in part. Makes sense but it's still a bit of a daunting task. I have a few ideas but right now I'm finding my way by a combination of gut instinct and trial and error. Starfleet trains us how to research other species, how to use what little we know as a starting point to moving forward. But that usually implies a working database of knowledge to draw on. And for some reason, this daunting task is piquing my interest and making me ready to open 'er up and drop 'im in.
After the meeting I had a reality check tossed at me when I was asked to remain for a second meeting with Captain Adams, Captain Marek, Commander Gaeb and Commander Walker. I looked at the "hardware" on those collars and realized this was a very big pool I was swimming in. But I was here not for overall Starfleet or even life experience, I was here because I'm probably the only Starfleet Officer to ever turn Science Sensors on the th'Alcair. His briefing spelled out what I had gathered from rumors and innuendoes in the months leading up to the launch. We're not just out here to find new discoveries. We're here to find answers to bad questions. I had hoped the rumors were wrong in this case to say the least.

Computer, close duty log and open memo to Captain Adams, copies to Commanders Gaeb and Walker and Lieutenant Qui

To: Captain JJ Adams, USS Pandora
CC: Deep Space 102 Commander Captain Marek, Pandora Executive Officer Commander Gaeb, Pandora Second Officer Commander Walker, and Pandora Chief of Operations Lieutenant Qui
Re: Plans moving forward

Captain,
I am preparing a few plans that may prove useful in dealing with new civilizations during our exploration.
Given your order to try and stock up on what we could foresee needing on our trip until such time as Starfleet has a workable base of operations for us, there is one thing we may not have considered that could prove more useful than any weapon, piece of gear, or operating supply. That would be trade supplies.
Civilization is built on trade. Trade between families, between cities, between nation states, and between worlds; they all bring the trading partners closer together because frankly, you don't want to make an enemy out of someone who has something you want. While our cargo space is very limited, I suggest we bring a collection of goods to use as a kind of samples case. Using it, if we meet a new species, we can show them the kinds of things the Federation has to trade, understanding the Prime Directive limitations on technology trading. We could also then prepare larger quantities using the ship's Replicators to give any potential trading partners enough to get a true feel for it, and then if there is interest we could give these beings the location of whatever base of operations Starfleet sets up and the station could gather such supplies in anticipation of such need. This would also provide an economic lifeline to the station, lowering it's effective cost to the Federation in manpower and resources. I would suggest food products, especially alcoholic beverages, as these are typically high on a trading want list. Go to any Federation world and pick any decent sized drinking establishment and I would wager at least a dozen drinks are on the menu from other worlds. Grains, specialty meats, specialized plants and other such items could round out the inventory nicely.
Also, I am having Petty Officer Clark begin a project that, with a bit of luck, may give us a language database to use in our areas of exploration. PO Clark has dubbed it "SEFI", the Search for Extra Federation Intelligence, a twist on a Pre Warp Earth program called SETI. Basically, it would involve monitoring radio wave transmissions detected by the ship's RF transceiver. Once a signal is identified, the language used would be analyzed to determine if it is already part of the Universal Translator. If not, a feed could then be set up for Linguists (including PO Clark) and the Universal Translator to begin working on learning the language. If it could find enough of these languages, we would decrease the chance of the Computer not knowing a language spoken by beings we meet. Of course, if a new Subspace Transmission were discovered it would take priority. The only equipment this would require would be already operating ship systems. Additional computer packs from Deep Space 102 could also be set up independently to create multiple Universal Translator programs.

Computer: Send memo

Sitting back and looking over the office, it's amazing how much got finished in the last few hours. Petty Officer Clark already has her ear insert in, listening and trying to focus out Federation based RF signals in hopes of finding an unidentified signal. It's good to see her latching on to this project, but given the distance and the amount of radio signals out in space it will likely take some time to see results. Honestly we aren't even out of the Federation yet. Clark says this type of project happened on Earth hundreds of years ago and that it didn't find much, but today's equipment is so much more sensitive she has high hopes. Ensign Metron is preparing an addendum to Starfleet New Species cataloging protocols to take this system into account. He's a born bureaucrat apparently. As for myself, I've been reviewing sensor data from the attack on Deep Space 102 and comparing it to the sensor data from the th'Alcair attack on the Scorpius. It is definitely a different class of ship, even a preschool student could see that. Different style of ship, different weapons, and from what our sensors tell us a different attack pattern.
But I have noticed one similarity. Both vessels were difficult to get a good read on. Is that a coincidence? Of course once a species makes strides in cloaking, whether in cloaking shields or with stealth hull materials, they usually push that advantage forward. But it's also possible that this area of space just utilizes a different starship design style from anything we've seen. And right now we've only seen two examples. In time I am certain we will know better.

pdelsoglio's picture

::with many tasks to comply Marek has barely some minutes to dictate a brief log to the Computer::

Deep Station 102 Station Commander Officer Duty Log.
Captain Satok Zul Marek reporting.
Stardate 11305.31
Capitan Adams summoned the Senior Staff for a short briefing.
We discussed the present situation of now the semi destroyed metal parts group, once known as Deep Space 102, and the situation that lead to the Station destruction. All the Department heads were briefed on the subject and allowed to give their personal input on finding the best way to deal with the after battle consequences.
Computer: Record the next part of my log as classified. Level 9 and above.
Captain Adams also informed to a reduced number of the Senior Staff of a secondary, yet vital mission assigned to the USS Pandora.
As we know for sure this attack on Deep Space 102 was carried away by an aggressive saurian race known as the th’Alcair, the USS Pandora is to proceed towards the Galactic Core in order to reach that area which seems to be this species homeland.
Right now, I must take care of regroup all the former DS-102 crew members, scattered in several ships that transported them aboard during the attack.
And then, some more pressing issues…

We have resumed our course toward the galactic core. We have much questions now that needs answers. Who attacked us and why. I’ve been analyzing the debris from the attackers, along with science, seeing what can be learned. so far the investigation is still on going. I hoe to have a report ready soon. And as soon as the flight control officer has collected her notes, me and her have been ordered to come up a tactical and manivoure patterns that will help in our next encounter.

Gaeb's picture

Stardate: 11305.31
Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
USS Pandora

Executive Officer Duty Log,

Deep Space 102 was attacked and been severely damaged. Crew and civilians have for now been evacuated. I do not know what will happen of the station next. Will Starfleet Command accept to repair it or simply build a new one in its place? Surely the sector it was assigned will need a station of some sort, and the USS Pandora does need a port to come back to in between missions. Although he would probably never admit it I did feel Captain Marek was saddened by the evacuation of the station he had commanded.

*******************************************
Commander Gaeb
Executive Officer
USS Pandora
*******************************************

“Engineering report regarding the vessels of unknown Deep Space 102 attackers: Per the Captain’s request, I have reviewed scans of the ships who attacked Deep Space 102. At this time, I find nothing conclusive regarding the power sources, weapons, or defensive shielding of these vessels. Further investigation will continue as I am able to access reports by the crew of DS102.”

With a sigh, JJ closed the report. She had submitted a report earlier in the day regarding how the Engineering crew worked and responded during the crisis. She had also included the results of scans showing how the engines worked during the event. That report made her proud. The crew and engines had work well enough that she was certain it would put a smile on Silek’s face. This report; however, left her cold. A station was destroyed and she had to send a report to the higher ups which basically said, “Sorry, I got nothing.” With a promise to find answers, she sent the report and logged off the console.

"First Flight - An Offer I Can't Refuse"
===========================
USS Pandora, 2130 hours
Johnny's Quarters
Lt. Commander Johnny Walker - SCD (Gerry)
Lieutenant Jaina Jankara - EO (Janaye)

Johnny lay dozing lightly. His dreams were of his father, and they were a mixed blessing and curse. He remembered the man that laid him out flat at age 11 because he was mad at one of his sisters. He remembered the man that took him and the family fishing in mountain lakes and streams, memories that were good. Overall, Johnny was having a decent sleep.

Jaina finally finished the report for the Captain. With a sigh, she submitted copies of the report to the CO, XO, SCD, and CEO and then leftEngineering. It didn’t take long to arrive at her quarters with hopes of seeing Johnny before he had to go back on duty. Kicking off her boots, she noticed the console flashing to indicate a message waiting. Ordering the computer to play it, Jaina began to change. A smile crossed her lips at hearing Johnny’s voice but the expression changed to immediate concern at hearing the message. They’d found his father deceased? Not taking the time to put her shoes back on, Jaina tugged on a sweatshirt as she ran out the door. Hitting Johnny’s door chime, she paced the floor waiting for him to answer.

Jonny heard the chime without entirely waking up. "Enter," he said as he opened his eyes and sat up, looking out into the main room. "Is that you, JJ?" he called out. "I'm in the bedroom," he added.

JJ walked to the bedroom and paused at the door. She looked at him carefully. "Hey, handsome, you okay?"

"Yeah," I'm surprisingly okay, he said. "He left my life when I was about 15. That was more than 30 years ago," he said. "I'm sad he's dead, but I'm not destroyed by it. I talked to my mom, and she's okay too, though she's sad." He stretched and yawned. "Actually, I feel like I've slept fairly well."

Crossing the room, Jaina sat on the bed's edge and leaned against Johnny's leg. "Good, I was worried that perhaps you didn't feel you ever really said goodbye to him." She said softly, then changed the subject. "Hungry?"

Johnny nodded. "Yeah, I could eat," he said as he sat up. "I didn't mean to scare you or anything," he said apologetically. "I just thought you should know," he explained. Placing his hand on her shoulder, he said, "thanks for checking on me. I really appreciate it," he said as he gave her forehead a kiss.

She patted his hand. “Hey, it’s my job to worry about you.” Standing up, she spoke aloud her thoughts. “I am glad to see the memories don’t hurt they way they used to. If this had happened when we’d first met, at least part of you would have been bordering on basket case by now. You’ve grown a lot, Johnny.”

"Hm," he thought aloud, shaking the sleep out of his head, "I never thought of it that way," he said. "I learned to deal with my past," he commented as he stood. "I realized a few years back that it wasn't my fault. That probably helps a lot," he said as he looked in the mirror. "Ecch, I look horrible. You mind if I take a quick tour of the sonic shower?" he asked. "You can stick around if you like," he said. "I just need to clean up."

“Take your time, I’ll go fix up something to eat.” JJ offered and left the bedroom.

Johnny walked into the sonic shower and turned it up. He stood there for a few minutes, feeling the sensation of the sonic waves cleaning his body of everything it had on it, and then shut it off. He dressed quickly and entered the living area of his quarters. "Hey, I can throw on some Coffee if you want, I got some from an old Earth contact of mine."

“Make some for yourself, if you like, I’ll just take water. After all, you are heading to duty while I’m heading to bed soon.” She grinned and pulled plates of steak, potato, and salad from the replicator. “I am going to make sure you eat before then, however. Especially since I’m not certain you actually ate yesterday at all.”

Johnny thought for a second. "You know, I don't remember if I did or not," he said pensively. "Okay, but I have two conditions," he said with a grin. "First, you have to stay while I eat it. Second, hold the potatoes. I'm trying to cut out the simple carbs," he added by way of explanation. He shrugged his shoulders with the smile he reserved only for her. "You are my better half, right? And I do mean better," he said.

Grabbing a bowl, JJ slipped the potatoes off of Johnny’s plate. “I’ll do smashed turnips next time unless you have a new preference?” She asked with a giggle. “And I did say I wanted to make sure you ate.” JJ wrapped her arms around his waist. “I can’t do that if I’m not here. Besides, now that I know you are okay about your dad, I want to pick your brain a bit.”

"To be honest, I'd just as soon do without the carbs and have more salad," he said as he gave her a kiss. "You can pick my brains anytime, as long as you aren't going zombie apocalypse on me," he quipped as he sat down to eat. "What's up?"

JJ wrinkled her nose at the reference. “You humans and your zombies.” she muttered and took a seat. “You have a report on your desk that I don’t really like. Well, you, the Captain, the Exec, and Commander Silek all have a report.” She shook her head and grunted. “That station was destroyed and I couldn’t find any real answers in the readings we got. I don’t have anything that may help us figure out how to stop them or how to keep us from being a sitting duck if we meet them again.”

Johnny stopped chewing for a moment and looked straight at Jaina. He chewed and swallowed and still remained silent, still looking at Jaina. "JJ, I don't know how much I can tell you without breaching security," he started. Those words tasted all wrong in his mouth. "Can I look at the scans, maybe? There might be something there, and there might not be, but I have to see them myself," he said. He became visibly nervous at having to keep a secret from Jaina, but this was potentially Starfleet security, and he didn't know what else to do.

Jaina immediately threw up a mental wall. She didn’t want to even face the temptation of picking something up that may affect Johnny’s trust from the Senior Officers. “Oh, Johnny, I’m sorry. I should have guessed there was something more when you stayed behind to speak with the Captain. I wasn’t trying to push, really, I just thought with your Operations experience, you might think of something I missed.”

"It's okay, JJ," he said with a smile, trying to cover his nerves. "You don't have anything to compare, and I need to see what you have to know for sure if there is anything," he said with a shrug. "Let me look at your scans, and I'll be able to tell or will at least know who to get involved," he said.

She stood up and headed toward Johnny’s computer. “You have a spare PADD? I can download the information and bring it to you.”

"Right beside the terminal, JJ," he said as he took another bite. What was going on here? Did they have a real lead?

Sitting down, JJ logged into the system and accessed the scans she had been studying. She grabbed the PADD and transferred the information. “I hope we’re able to find answers. It worries me that we may come across them again and be on our own next time.” She returned to the table and set the PADD beside Johnny before returning to her meal.

Johnny looked at the data on the PADD with a careful eye. "Okay, this is interesting. I need to see our diplomatic officer, because he was the CSO for DS102 and was on the Scorpius during the battle where it was heavily damaged in a fight with the th'Alcair, and he will recognize this if anyone does," he said looking over the data. "Don't worry about the rest of command getting upset, it falls inside a part of our mission," he said seriously. "I'll relay this to our DO later."

JJ nodded but remained quiet. Her mind returned to the place it had gone several times since the attack. What if it had been Arcadia station? What if the attack had happened when they were stationed there? DS102 was very lucky in that nobody had died. Considering the damage done, that was more than a miracle. Could they expect a similar miracle for the Pandora? If they meet these people again, would an attack cost her Johnny? She sighed softly and tried to focus back on her dinner. “I hope he has some answers for you.” she added finally.

Johnny read Jaina's expression. "You know, I worry about you too," he said with a weak smile. "We have to take this a step at a time, JJ," he said. "If we go chasing the what ifs, we'll both go crazy," he said. "And we don't have time for that. I have all the time in the world for you though," he added as he touched her hand.

"I'm sorry." She replies grasping his hand. "I just need to process this so when the time comes I can focus on my job. At least I hope I will focus on my job." She added with a sarcastic laugh.

"I know how you feel," he said. "But hey, it's what we signed on for, right?"

“I signed on to be a Junior Officer in the Engineering department of the newest ship in the Fleet.” Jaina leaned toward Johnny and dropped her voice slightly. “Then fate stepped in and I found out that one of my bosses is the love of my life.”

Johnny smiled shyly. "Likewise," he said, his emotions welling up just a little bit. "I know this much - I don't think I believe in coincidences," he began. "That's just a rule of thumb if you don't have all the data," he added. His alarm began beeping to inform him he had to be on the bridge in about an hour and a half. He snoozed it. "Sorry, that tells me that I have about an hour and a half before duty," he said apologetically. "Anything you want to do for the next hour or so?" he asked with an easy smile.

“I’m still needing to wind down a bit since I’ve got to head to bed soon. How about a walk?” Jaina suggested as she began clearing her dishes away.

"Sure, you have anywhere in mind? I'm flexible," he said as he sipped his last mouthful of coffee and then put the drink in the slot and wiped off the table with a disposable wipe.

"Why don't we just see where the road takes us?" Jaina said. "To be honest, I haven't seen much of the ship yet."

"Works for me," said Johnny. "Wanna tour the lower decks first? We could work our way back up," he suggested.

"That works for me." Jaina said then blushed noticeably. "We should probably go by my quarters first." She looked to the floor wiggling her toes in the carpet. "I don't think bare feet would be too good I'd an impression."

Johnny laughed. "Okay, we can do that," he said. "You know, you could just keep a pair here," he said as he put on his own boots. "Just in case," he added.

JJ placed her hands on her hips with mock indignation, “Why, Mr. Walker, just what are you suggesting?”

Johnny was pretty quick to realize that didn't come out the way he meant, but he was game, he could see she was enjoying herself. "I'm not suggesting anything," he said with the most innocent look he could muster. "But you never know when you need a pair of boots," he said. "Just sayin," he added with a lip that was threatening to break out into a smile.

"Sure you were." JJ laughed. "I could just hear your pizza party gang if they found my boots over here." She wrapped her arms around his neck. "Really, boys, they are here because she likes to come over bare foot." She giggled. "Come on, you big lug, walk me home."

Johnny kissed her and then took her arm. "That's an offer I can't refuse," he said, slipping into old movie references. He guided them toward the door and walked right out into the corridor.

Glory stood at one of the terminals in sickbay entering information on the patients that she had treated over the past hour. The influx was slowing down, but there were still many people to care for. She was thankful that there had been relatively few critical cases.

She looked out the viewport at the remains of DS102. It was awful, so many people that were without home and had lost everything. Thankfully there was little loss of life, but still it was all so tragic.

bbaldwin's picture

To: Senior Staff, USS Pandora NCC-80113
From: Captain J.J. Adams, Commanding Officer
CC: Commander Gaeb, Executive Officer
Captain Satok Zul Marek, Station Commander DS-102
Stardate: 11306.07
Subject: Mission Briefing

Senior Staff,

Now that we have secured what we could from Deep Space 102, we are back on our path towards the galactic core of the Milky Way to begin our exploration of the sectors Starfleet assigned us.

That said, we need to continue to be on alert for the attackers of the Station, as well as any other species who are on an aggressive path against the Federation.

For the moment, I think it is safe for the ship to secure from Yellow Alert; however, everyone knows that could change in an instant. All departments should remain at battle readiness; as we do not know the full intentions of the attackers, or whether they will suddenly choose to turn and fire upon us. Drills and simulations should continue until further notice.

That is all – for now.

“Fair winds and following seas”
_________________
Captain J.J. Adams
Commanding Officer
USS Pandora

USS Pandora Diplomatic Officer's Log, Stardate 11306.07, Lieutenant Vertan Trix recording
As we are still in Federation Space, most of my duties from a Diplomatic Officer's perspective are dealing with reviewing data, watching updates from the Diplomatic Core, and looking for ways to assist other departments. The first two parts at this point only takes a few minutes, so I am trying to work with other departments for now. In the short run it will help the ship be more efficient. In the long run I hope it will help me to get to earn the trust of the rest of the crew. Looking about as I walk the halls and see all the senior staff I can't help but feel like a first year cadet.
Testing and system evaluations continue on the ship. At nearly every hour there is something being run through it's paces, both to test the ship and to ensure the crew is fully aware of what the ship can do. The evasive maneuvers drill ran the ship hard today, often times out pushing the Inertial Dampening Field. A quick glance at the scanners showed why, the ship was moving like nothing I've ever been on before. Certainly nothing at the Academy, not even during the battle on the Scorpius. Lieutenant Jinx and Lieutenant Sergon pushed the ship hard, but she made her moves impressively.
As this was happening I was seeing exactly what this ship can do with it's scanners. I had a few chances earlier to see their capabilities but hadn't really gotten very far. Today I was seeing just how sensitive it was in terms of how weak a radio signal it would be able to pick up. Now I didn't expect to pick anything up today, we are still too deep in "known" space to get much, but I think that Petty Officer Clark's idea to try and listen for signs of unknown cultures is a good one. Every year a signal travels through space is, by definition, a light year closer we can detect their presence in space. I was just getting into some of the other scans available, including trying to figure out exactly what the Parametric Subspace field stress scan actually looks at when the Captain called me to his Ready Room.
When I arrived I was asked a rather unusual question. Unusual isn't really the right word, but I had to wonder how the question came to me. Captain Adams and Captain Marek asked if I had any word through my channels of a newly assigned Starbase that they had learned was on it's way to replace 102? While I thought the response was rather quick in terms of getting a Starbase in place that quick I didn't have any notion it was on it's way. Perhaps the Diplomatic Core hadn't made a decision on sending a representative there yet, or perhaps they hadn't seen fit to inform me yet, or perhaps they hadn't even been informed themselves yet? I honestly don't know, just like I didn't know the station was coming. It makes sense having a replacement, but the rapidity of the assignment seems to have the Captain's worried that perhaps Starfleet knows more about the area we're going to than they have let us know. Maybe they are right, or maybe the replacement is being sent because they don't know any more and that is making them nervous?
I do hope that all the jostling around today didn't dislodge any of the supplies that have been packed into just about every open meter on the ship. Every store room is filled, every cargo bay, every open locker. My office is filled with a variety of textile samples and spices to the point that I don't really even need a table and chairs anymore. I volunteered space in my quarters which have been filled with some sort of freeze dried seeds that do...something I'm not exactly familiar with. I think it's some sort of medicinal herb. Probably should have looked into that before I agreed to store it here. I suppose it is partially my fault. As if the Captain's order to grab anything of use we could find wasn't enough I had to open my mouth and suggest we carry goods for trade. The Captain expects that we will be out of port for some time and wants to ensure the ship doesn't run out of supplies. Running out of space is a different issue. I am not questioning the order, however. True, the extra mass will limit ship's performance slightly, but I doubt we'll even be able to notice. And if it saves us a trip back to base or two, it will be worth it. It's a big galaxy out there, lots of room for us to make our mark on it.

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