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A Quiet Beginning

Posted on Thu Oct 12th, 2017 @ 8:53pm by Commander Karsel`lyn Lylyl-Llytherraias & Rear Admiral Relau Chlan (Ret.) & Commander Sun Mei Xiang & Lieutenant Christine Descharmes & Ensign Liam O'Shea & Ensign Nikolas Laommiorvatovovich

Mission: Shakedown Mark II
Location: USS Shanghai - A, Observation Lounge

The Shanghai had arrived at Seppala Station earlier that day. The first course of action had been to set everything in order. The Shanghai had been abuzz with activity sense. She had decided to take a moment to do something she thought was important. She had left the bridge in capable hands and moved to the observation lounge, after a short stop in her ready room. She had taken a small box off a shelf and set it on the table. She took a meticulous few moments setting up the conference table, despite some requests by the ship’s services crew asking her to let them do it. She just chased them off after a few minutes. There were some things she preferred to do herself, and this was one of them.

Once she sat up the small, ornate ceramic tea cups. She checked the time on the nearby console, having scheduled time for some crew to come up, if they could. Then she took a moment and walked to the replicator. It only took a second to type in what she needed, and soon a pitcher of hot water appeared – which she then took to the table and transferred into a ceramic tea-pot. She let it steep a few moments before pouring herself a cup and turning to look out the observation lounge window.

There was their new home, a small station orbiting a little moon just beyond the rings of a small gas giant. The system was beautiful, though, to her. Strings of color rippled through the void between the worlds and their young sun. Pieces of the nebula that had formed the system, she assumed – but she wasn’t sure honestly. The colors were impossibly vivid sometimes though. Now, the little station and the colony below were another sort of beautiful to her though. Shuttles of all kinds were moving from ship to ship to station to colony, carrying any cargo they could. Workbees were moving industrial replicators in place for the Station. Fighters buzzed around the perimeter on patrol. With a few ships around the station it even looked lively. It was a bit calming. She hoped it would stay that way for a while.

Unfortunately for the Captain, she wasn't able to do much of anything without her temporary Yeoman finding out.

The hatch slid open and tiny Commander Karsel'lyn Lylyl-Llytherraias stepped in, her eyes glued to a PADD. Tapping twice, her eyes moved up to settle on the beautiful Chinese Captain. A smile spreading across her face, "Mei, love."

She settled into a chair on the Captain's left, before sliding the PADD over to the woman, "Operations reports that offloading is ahead of schedule and should be finished four hours early, at current rates."

"Also, Crewman Irovina delivered her baby this morning at 0240. Sickbay reports that the Crewman is now the mother of a healthy little girl," Lyn smiled. For once, all of her reports were positive.

Mei gave a bit of a smile. She shook her head a little bit. "Good." Was all she said at first. "Remind me to have medical ask when I can congratulate her in person." She watched the space outside for a few more minutes. "No one has come panicking about something going wrong with the installs on Seppala yet either." She sighed, "And Adams seems like one to panic." She ended that statement quietly, but there was a cautious enthusiasm in her tone.

The Captain turned and stretched her neck, before walking across the room to stand next to Lyn. "Tea, ai?" She offered her own cup, since no one was there, cupped in both hands and offered over to her partner for a moment. But she did nod in the direction of the steaming pot of warm tea on the center of the table.

The light green former fighter pilot shook her head, "I'm supposed to be avoiding caffeine. It's making me way way too jumpy, especially since I am still barred from flight operations."

Lyn sighed. "I have my CAG administration duties and working as your temporary Yeoman, until Command sees fit to assign one. I miss flying but at the same time, I'm probably better off not flying right now."

"Sorry," Mei said lightly, pulling back the drink a bit. "That keeps slipping my mind." She said. "The tea." She added to clarify. The flying part was on her mind often, probably more than it should have been. She blinked for a second and then started to say something, but just smiled. "We'll get you flying again soon," She added.

"Remember, the doctors originally said that I would never fly again," Lyn intoned. "After the radiation I suffered while I was a prisoner with Amoran and the traffic accident, I'm lucky that I still have an arm attached. I won't like it, but staying grounded won't be the end of the world."

"Besides, I can always retire and stay here with you or if need be, stay with your parents," Lyn shrugged.

Sun gave a little bit of a quiet laugh, "Can you imagine how excited that would make them?" She gave a quick shake of her head, and then said quietly. "Dinner later, ai?" She said with a twist of her head, "I mean, just us. It's going to be a long day, after all." She clarified, "Conn, Engineering, and Ops are in the thick of it. Security and Tactical are going to be setting up station defenses for tests tomorrow. Science is already asking about sending out the runabouts - and we still have better medical facilities on the Shanghai than the colony or station..." She sighed, and gave a nod over to the tea. "So, I thought everyone could use something calming... And it'll hold me over until dinner, I think."

The sliding doors opened and Christine stepped through the door. The blond counselor gave a brief smile to the two already present. "Captain," she said with a quick nod. "Commander," she added afterward. She held up the PADD in her hand. "My psych report on the Shanghai crew is complete. The evaluations are ready to be sent to Starfleet Medical once you look them over." She set the PADD on the table and took a seat. Christine leaned back and crossed her legs. "It's nice to sit and not do anything for a few minutes."

"I'll add it to my list." Sun said with a little nod toward the tea set on the table. "Feel free to have some tea, Lieutenant," She said quickly, "If you'd like." She then glanced out the window. "And it is nice to have time to enjoy where we're at." She paused for a moment, then added a twist of her head. "Can you keep an eye on the counselling reports from Seppala, Togo, and the Colony?" She said with a light curiosity in her voice. "I feel a bit like a big sister on this assignment - more worried, but not wanting to get in the way directly."

"Well, Captain. We have been underway for a considerable amount of time. Twelve Terran weeks at Warp Eight to get here. I imagine that the crew could use a bit of time on terra firma and the merchants in the colony would be happy to have our business, even if just news from back home," Lyn suggested. "I would love to see the planet, myself. I have heard that it's beautiful in that wild and pristine fashion."

"Twelve sectors of basically void space," Sun added. She twisted her head. "That's not a bad idea." She moved over to the table and refilled her tea cup and thought. "Counselor, would you sign off on the crew doing orbital duty standards while we help set up the colony and station? Shifts where assigned, but regular shuttles available during off hours."

Nikolai was, for once, neat and tidy upon entering the conference room. For the most part, at least, his hair hanging in an unkempt ponytail, a healthy helping of stubble on his face. He held a cup of coffee in one hand, the other holding a PADD in his view as his eyes perused the data scrolling across it. He turned it off as he took a seat, looking over the ceramic cups, and gingerly offering a smile to the trio already present. "Ah, my apologies. I was unaware we were having tea." He spoke, a light yet distinctly noticeable Russian accent clinging to his cheerful voice. Despite the workload he'd been handed, the human had kept a rather optimistic mood. In all honesty, being called into a conference and not having his hands working on a PADD, a terminal, or some sort of machinery was making him feel a little jittery. "So, what's the happenings? Am I late?" He asked, glancing to the PADD's time signature to answer his own question. He hadn't thought he was, but then again he hadn't thought he put eight sugars instead of three into his coffee this morning, and that had been an all-too-sweet surprise.

Lyn tapped at her PADD, "I can have rotations of pilots arranged, Captain. I am going to have the Dragons on patrol until we leave the system. We may be a long way from anyone we think is nearby, but so much of the surrounding space is unexplored, so I really don't want to take chances. I am going to have one ship in every patrol flying with a sensor package and be in constant communication with the TIC. I recommend that we keep a full shift in the TIC at all times, Captain." Karsel'lyn was not the biggest fan of deep space exploration. It made the tiny fighter pilot unusually paranoid. She has faced too many terrible opponents from the depths of space: The Dominion, the Borg and the species known to the Borg as 8472.

She glanced up at the arrival of Laomma-aww, screw it. Lyn thought her family name was bad, but the Ensign's name was difficult for her, "Good afternoon, Ensign."

Christine entered some information on her PADD, then spoke when there was a break in the conversation. "I'll touch base with the medical staff on board at all three," she said, "Start there and see where everyone is at...I'll also maintain an open-door policy with any of those that wish. I'll request a temporary office on the station as well. And good afternoon, Ensign." She gave Nikolai a brief smile.

"I have looked over the Shanghai's shuttle and fighter complement. We appear to be three shuttles, one runabout and two fighters over the recommended inventory. Judging from their most recent reports, Seppala only has a single Type-9 shuttle, but room for so many more.," Lyn shrugged. "I imagine that transferring the excess frames to the station would be quite appreciated. I have a couple of pilots over the necessary complement and we should post them to the station with the fighters."

"You aren't late," Sun replied to the ensign a bit late. She was thinking about what the others had said for a moment or two. She seemed to ignore them, turning her attention to the Engineer. "Please, have some tea and relax. It's been a long journey. We were just discussing some things. One being switching to a orbital duty station sort of schedule, and opening up the option for the crew to go back and forth between Shanghai and the Station and Colony for a time. A week or two, I think, will work in well with the construction and testing cycles."

She tapped her chin lightly. "Mr. Laommiorvatovovich, if you could, pull back our participation in the installing the Station's Industrial Replicators. I'd like your team to shift focus to the colony for the time being. Get the new fusion generators up and running, then get their Industrial Replicators up. Also, if you can, lets install an EMH in the Colony medical bay. Strip a holodeck if you have to."

"Ms. Descharmes, will you set up a meeting for me, the colony leadership, yourself and any team members you think would be suitable? Lets see if we can't rustle up some gifts as well. Any small items from home people are willing to part with." She paused a moment. "Let's call it a care package. They aren't struggling, but they're a far way from home. And, this is our port now. Let's make it a point to bring them a treat when we the option." She paused for a moment. "And the idea of an office on the station is brilliant. Write up what you need, and include a proposal to give an office suite we can use for additional personnel as well. I'll sign it. It'd be good for their crew to know where to find us." She quickly added, "Remember, they're short staffed and inexperienced in almost every department. So keeping a place they know we'll come back to might help."

She adjusted again, knowing she could be way off there. Then she turned to look to Lyn, "Ms. Lylyl-Lytherraias," She gave a nod. "Good idea on the shuttles. I asked for an expanded hangar-bay modification, and they were nice enough to give it to us with a bit extra. Give the extras to the station. Pull a full squadron of fighters from the Group and assign them to the Colony and Station as well. I want the Shanghai fully staffed with our squadrons, though. The USS Vauban," She mentioned the Curry Class vessel that had come with them to supply the station and colony, "will be going back to Cait after set up, and finishing up the subspace relay system along the way. Any fighters we have detached there are likely up for grabs." She paused, "You're the CAG, though. I'll leave the final decisions to you. Make sure to get a Danube and full kit of modules to the station though."

The Captain sighed, "It's like Fleet command forgot that little station." She paused, and then adjusted a bit nervously. "Sorry," She said quickly. "I meant for this to be a gathering, not a meeting." She shrugged, "Since I did though, thoughts?"

"We actually have more fighters aboard than we have active pilots in the squadron. I have two reserve pilots I would like to assign to the station along with two fighters, likely two of the McCalls, since those only require the pilots and no gunners."

"As for our Chief Engineer and the equipment we are going to provide to the colony, might I suggest loading the equipment and the senior staff on my runabout and visiting the colony ourselves?" Lyn suggested. "It would be helpful for the colonists to see our faces and know that we're out here for support."

"I like that idea," Sun said quickly. "Ensign? Lieutenant?" She said quietly, taking a sip of her tea as she requested their thoughts on the idea.

"Ah, I can have that done quickly enough, Captain." He replied, having been silent for a moment in partial shock. For the most part, he'd told any crew he met to shorten his last name. He didn't like it much himself, in no small part due to the ridiculous length of it. Many of the crew quickly called him Nicky or Laommi, so to hear his full name was surprising. He would have thought the Captain had more important things to remember than his full name. "As for the pilots and squadrons, I stand by your suggestion. I should be able to get the generators up by the end of the month, latest. The Replicators shouldn't take much longer, and I'll see what I can do about the EMH. We should have enough without stripping a holo deck, but I've been surprised before." He replied, making himself a cup of tea whilst talking. He took a long, contented sip after, followed by a sip of his coffee, and instantly scrunched up his face. "... Bad idea."

"Double the caffeine, Nikolas? I agree, a terrible idea, especially this late in the day," Lyn chuckled. "I imagine that you bouncing off the reactor would not be quite a good time."

"I will have to the hold on my runabout emptied, the reactor refueled and stand her ready. Though, by regulation, I'm not permitted to pilot her. I am sure that Lieutenant Jhaeryn would be happy to take us down, or even Cai. I know that Cai is very familiar with the runabout."

Christine type furiously into her PADD. "The proposal should not take too long either and I'll have that on your desk first thing. As for rustling up some gifts, I'll put word out to the crew. By the time the Commander's runabout is ready, everything should be in place. As soon as we are finished here, I'll call the colony and set up that meeting."

"Good. Set everything up. We'll try to head down to the colony tomorrow. That should give us time to prepare and set up everything we need. And give them time to get ready as well." Sun said quickly, taking a sip of tea and glancing around the officers there. "Anything else?"

The counselor glanced up and around. "One more thing, Captain." Christine said."The evaluations I conducted on route here...it seems like there is...mixed feelings among the crew. Mostly in regards to our mission here. Quite a few of our crew have never experienced a deep space mission, let alone one such as this. I expect the morale of the crew to fluctuate over the course of the next few weeks, or months, even. On board the USS Andoria, I served as morale officer for a time. I would like to host a gathering, every few weeks or so. If it happens to fall while we are at the station here or the colony, then inviting those as well. It will let us mingle, so to speak, and also keep our minds occupied with something else." She gave a little smile, "During the evaluations, I theoretically asked the members of the crew. They would not be opposed."

Lyn chimed in, "Do you think that maybe encouraging the crew to establish a homefront of sorts in the Colony would help morale, Counselor? I have a lovely little home on Risa but I have no other connections to that world."

"Giving them a good reason to be out here and something stable to return to, I feel that it would be beneficial overall for the crew's mental and emotional fitness," Lyn concluded, gazing at the pretty blonde lady.

"Of course, Commander, " Christine nodded her head, "A home away from home that is not a starship...that is a great idea. If the Captain is not opposed to it, I'll add that to my proposal for her to sign and to bring up at the meeting. I can't speak for them, but I'm sure the Colony director would not be opposed either."

"I imagine that the leadership down there would welcome more colonists, particularly the one ship available in the area that could help defend them," Lyn smiled. "I intend to establish a home in the colony. Perhaps the Captain's and my daughter could stay there when she feels a need for time away from all of this?"

"I'd feel better if there was a port of call for the crew aboard the ship - especially civilians and family members." Sun said with a quick nod. "Look into it, Lieutenant. If we can get the go ahead, we'll add that to the list of things we need to do as soon as we can."

Nikolai had refrained from talking for a good few minutes, clearing the horrible mixture of tea and coffee in his mouth. Note to self, after regretting it, never do it again, he told himself mentally. His eyes almost lackadaisically moved between the three, paying attention but still trying to stave off the tiredness that nagged at him. He hadn't properly slept for the last week or so. Being cooped up on the ship with little chance to get off was starting to get to him, no matter how much he enjoyed working aboard the Shanghai. "I, er... I don't have much gift wise, but I'm sure I could tinker up something for the colony." He added in an almost muted way, as if his contribution to the current talk wasn't too important. Another sip of tea followed as he listened, a small, polite smile on his face.

The doors slid open and an aging claw stepped through the door. It had been an ordeal to get out of bed this morning, but Relau had managed it. The Ryuu was, for all intents and purposes completely retired, only on this trip as a passenger. Yet, he still tried to do his best to keep up with the crew and the goings on. He'd packed up his whole modest one bedroom apartment in Moscow and brought it along with him. The reptile looked around with baleful eyes and then smiled a half-smile, his voice attempting to come through strong, but with definite signs of age croaking around the edges.

"My, my, my. You are all looking wonderful today." He complimented them, holding up a claw to stem any offers of assistance and then shuffled his way over to the chair to sit down, a lovely view of the planet that would become his home soon enough. Declining the tea, he looked around. "We've lost a lot of people over the years. I'm glad that you're all still here though." The former admiral said. "How is everything coming with the supply situation?"

"Admiral!" Lyn gasped. "I hadn't known that you were aboard! The supply transfer is several hours ahead of schedule, sir."

"I decided that being around for a lovely Commander like yourself warranted getting out of bed today!" He said, chuckling gravelly, the reptile looking back out along the observation window, the activity in the station quite clear from here. "I'll be settling down on the planet, so hopefully you can come back and see me sometime, yeah?"

"Of course we will, sir! I believe that the Captain and I will be establishing our own home on the colony, with young Cai. We're going to encourage crew to have a presence down dirtside," Lyn rattled off, pausing to speak again before the hatch opened again.

A whoosh of the door and a red-shirted Ensign walked smartly into the room, looking around for a moment. His eye caught the reptile's sitting at the table and he gulped silently, not realizing that the Admiral was aboard. Purely ceremonial of course... but then that petite woman across form him caught his eye and the Ensign snapped off a smart salute. "Captain, Ensign O'Shea, reporting as ordered." He said, handing over the PADD which contained his transfer orders from the Athena. "Requesting permission to come aboard." He said, almost rolling his eyes at the request. However, it was everything by the book - he had to make a good first impression with the staff.

The Irishman rocked back on his heels very slightly, still standing at attention as his peripheral vision took in the rest of the small gathering. Yellow. Blue. Red. Many colors represented here, he would wonder how he'd fit in. As his attention came back into play, he realized that he was still standing at attention and that the Captain had given him permission to relax.

Sun hadn't had time to respond to anyone before the Ensign arrived. But now, she had cleared her throat, speaking a bit louder over the cup of tea in her hands as he didn't seem to relax. "Ensign, at ease. This isn't a formal meeting." Then she was at a bit of an impasse. It was a low key gathering, but her instinct was to snap back into her more marine self. She took the PaDD and gave it a quick glance. She then did something a little out of character for her and tossed the data device on the table near them. "Welcome aboard the Shanghai. I'll handle the paper work later."

She adjusted and waved a hand to the tea. "Feel free to have a cup of tea. Fresh when we left port from Earth... so..." She trailed off realizing how old the tea actually was. She smirked. "Admiral, you are welcome to tea as well - though I would hope that goes without saying by this point." She moved into a more comfortable stance. "Ensign, I'm Captain Sun Mei Xiang - just in case, that is in the traditional form, so Sun is the surname, not Xiang." She motioned to Lyn, "This is Commander Karsel'lyn Lylyl-Llytherraias, our Aerospace Group Commander." Then to the Admiral, "Admiral Relau Chlan, retired, but the original CO of the Shanghai." Then to Christine, "Our counselor, Lieutenant Christine Descharmes," And then finally to Nikolas, "And Ensign Nikolas Laommiorvatovovich, our Chief Engineer." She gave a little bow. "So, again, welcome aboard. We were just discussing going down to the surface, housing for the crew at the colony, and other tasks."

Just a moment behind O'Shea and after the Captain spoke the hatch opened again and in walked someone that the Admiral would recognize, except for her previously black hair was now shock white. The diminutive woman was encased in a pitch Black uniform; even the communicator, rank insignia and Type-II phaser were black.

Vividly blue eyes snapped up to the Captain's as she stiffened to attention, "Lieutenant Colonel Bayushi reporting aboard as ordered, Captain."

Nikolai nodded his head in greeting to O'Shea, smiling warmly to the new crewman. For him, as much as he seemed awkward at times, meeting new crew members was a delight. He opened his mouth to properly greet the red-shirt as Bayushi walked in. The Engineer sat up a bit, still smiling widely. "It's not often we have so many in one room. It's nice to meet you, Ensign O'Shea, and to see you again, Bayushi. It's been a while." He spoke, his voice slightly subdued. "Oh, Captain, that reminds me. I would like your permission to try a few tests on our main generator, I may be able to improve the efficiency of energy output."

Sun gave a little smile at the Colonel, before adding a nod to the Ensign, "I'll sign the permissions, but get at least one of the Station's industrial replicators up first to make sure we can get repairs. Shouldn't delay you more that a couple of days though." She then took a quick look to the Colonel again, "Thank you Colonel. I think you've met everyone here before, if I'm not mistaken. Except maybe Ensign O'Shea." She said with a motion to the newest part of the crew.

"I well remember the Admiral and you both, Captain," Kachiko nodded before finding a seat. "Of course I am well acquainted with Commander Lylyl-Llytherraias," Moreso than anyone else knew was all that the short woman thought. She could see what Lyn saw in the Captain. She turned to look at the imposing Ryuu, "Admiral. It appears that we will be neighbors, of a sort. Though most of my time is going to be spent right here, advising the Captain."

"Starfleet refuses to let me wear a bird still, so they had to send a real Colonel." Sun joked before moving to refill her tea.

"The Corps remembers you, Captain," the Lieutenant Colonel smiled at the woman's joke. "The Generals are proud of your accomplishments aboard the Shanghai."

"I thought I would mention that I have brought my daughter Reiko, whom I believe is the same age as your niece?" Kachiko sat next to Karsel'lyn. "Not quite as old as your girl, though." She did not state that she was aware of the Captain's daughters unique circumstances. "I was sent out here as an advisor, Captain. I have other useful skills, but those are largely classified and I can disclose in private."

 

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