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Back in the Saddle (Part One)

Posted on Mon Apr 15th, 2019 @ 9:48pm by Captain Sun Mei Xiang & Lieutenant Commander Dastan Alexander Ph.D & Captain Rory Foxwell & Commander Aemon Tiruk & Lieutenant Commander Tejan Aune

Mission: The Time That is Given Us
Location: Seppala Station, Operations
Timeline: Six Days after Wild, Wandering Souls

[Seppala Operations]

Mei stood around the center of the room, with Captain Foxwell and Commanders Aune and Tiruk watching the same viewscreen as she had. The image of an admiral faded away, and the four just stood quietly for a moment.

"It is hard not to tell them," Aune spoke softly.

"I know." Foxwell took a breath, "You did well. All of you." The oldest of the Initiative commanding officers spoke with a soft smile. "Try not to dwell on it."

Tiruk was unusually quiet for a moment, "I hope the spirits give them some form of peace. And forgive us." His voice was a bit cold.

"I can't see how they would..." Aune spoke somewhat harshly.

"We've already helped as much as we can. We can't risk polluting the timeline any further." Sun spoke simply as there was a computer chime in the operations center. They had locked it out to anyone not from their timeline, for the time being, but that little alarm indicated their time was coming to a close. "We're lucky that another Vesta was assigned to the region." She glanced around to the other Commanders. "Aemon, I need a report from Cyen as soon as you can. Tejan, prep Togo to meet the Cyen delegation outside the system."

"Vauban is back up and running, we'll run patrols and drop early warning buoys out a few light years," Foxwell spoke pushing off.

"Good," She took a breath. "We've got our work cut out for us." Sun spoke before tapping her commbadge, as the others left the ops center, and the usual crew began to reappear, "Commander Alexander, meet me in Operations."

“Understood,” Dastan chimed.

Six days had felt like an eternity, but things were finally returning to normal. The Colony had been stabilized and people had returned home, but they still had an alien station to explore and were struggling to figure out what to do with the fact that a civilization of sorts did exist on Golovin before them. And still did, for that matter. Luckily, they were aware of advanced species thanks to the indiscretion of the Edasichians. It would change the way they had to think of the entire region. For now, though, it was all safely inside their directives and just yet another humanitarian crisis to deal with here. More importantly, for now, Shanghai was scheduled to be back in action very shortly. So, she had a lot to go over with her Executive Officer.

The turbolift came to a stop as the door opened. Dastan exited and made his way into the Operations Center. Standing before him were the local Starfleet commanding officers. He looked over to his captain and nodded. “Ma’am,” he said in a stern rhythmic voice.

"Commander. I hope you're having a decent morning," She waved to a nearby station, not even worrying with going back into an office this morning before she sat down at one of the ops stations. "I have a few things we need to go over. Some official business, and a personal request." She seemed almost a little anxious, "First, what's the Shanghai's scan status? How many hours are we down to?"

“Three hours and eighteen minutes. That’s according to Lieutenant Adams,” he said with a hint of enthusiasm in his voice. “She will be fully operational within four hours.”

"Finally," Sun almost clapped. She seemed to realize that was a bit more excitable than she should have appeared. "We're going to need it as soon as we can." She adjusted, "Let's get to business then, shall we?" She said simply, not waiting a second to give a string of orders, "As soon as she's livable, I want the crew back aboard her. The Vauban is going to transfer us half their complement of Quantum Torpedoes. Get a Senior Staff meeting set for within an hour of being back aboard." She paused for a moment, "I want Hisa Matsuko brought to that meeting as well. I need a good chief engineer to get the Quantum Slipstream back up and running. She's a former CEO and has experience with this kind of thing. If you look at her file, just trust me." She said with a deep breath, "I'm not sure we've had enough time for me to earn that level of trust from you yet." She shook her head.

"We've got a cadre of Klingons confirmed heading this way. Two Starfleet ships detected at least six unique warp signatures. Birds of Prey, they think. They didn't know there was anything out here, though, so we're playing catch up." She paused a moment. "We can't let them confirm there is anything out here, so they can't get within long range scans." She took a moment. She clearly wasn't saying something about the situation, if the small look away at the statement was anything to go by. "We're going to have to take the fight to them."

"Beat the Klingons at their own game. If we can get the Quantum Slipstream back online, we can surprise the Klingons," Dastan paused. "We can always use extra help. Maybe a new Chief Engineer can help us discover a way to mask the Quantum Slipstream. So far there is still a trace. The last thing we need is to be engaged with the Klingons when a Borg cube drops out of transwarp on top of us."

"Exactly." She spoke quickly, with a small nod. "Strike the grass, and all that." She half quoted a strategist as she adjusted. "It'll be a top priority, but I have a few other priorities to go over." She added, "I need have you and the chief of the boat remind the crew how important it is they do not try to peak into the future. We haven't had a lot of trouble, but just enough that I want to reiterate it." She added, though he had seen the reports - the crew had been doing well, but she knew something was coming. "Beyond that, I have one other thing I need you to do specifically. This isn't top priority, but it is important." She took a breath and paused, "I'd like to have Lieutenant Descharmes take the Bridge Test." She glanced over to him, "You haven't been around a long time, but I'd like your thoughts on it. And while I'm working on that, thoughts on any other crew status would be welcome. I haven't had a lot of time to think on it much."

"I'm sure that there will be plenty of time for that," Dastan paused, "I think Lieutenant Descharmes would be a fine candidate for a bridge officer. Other than that, I've not had the opportunity to meet everyone on the crew yet."

"Good. I hate to set that up for just one officer, but we'll just have to, I suppose." Mei said with a little nod. "Once we're back aboard, I'd like to you to approach her and make that offer. Foxwell will have to oversee it, but I'd like someone on our crew to be the point person - since I can't in right conscious do it myself." She took a breath and shook her head.

“I’m sure I can find a few more willing to take the test,” Dastan added.

"The Klingons will, of course, be our first priority. The Cyen are interested in helping us with our colony-side problem, and are en route. They had planned a trade delegation, but with everything that's happened their knowledge of the Edasichians might be incredibly helpful to figuring out exactly what it is we've gotten ourselves into here. Foxwell and the Colony Leadership will head up the actual trade delegation portions of the event, mostly from Seppala. But, we'll have some discrete Cyen guests visiting Shanghai or the Alpha Site to go over data we pulled from the Outpost. Some, data. One of us will need to be with them. And one of us will likely need to be running drills on Shanghai. I have a report with them, so I suppose that will fall to me." She admitted, before giving a quick addition. "What do you think of a crew meal, Commander?"

“I think that’s just what the crew needs. Especially with everything lately.” Dastan looked with a smile on his face. “And with all the extra drills we’ll be running in the next few days. They could use it.”

Sun gave a shrug. "I've always related command back to family. I come from a large one, and not everyone agrees and everyone has different schedules, but we all have the same core - a lot like a ship's crew." She shrugged, "I'll admit, I feel a bit... disconnected, in the captain's chair. And I've tried to think of a way to, well, fix that lately. For the life of me, I can't think of anything but a meal. Just something off duty, free from any rank or worries, and maybe something a little nicer than just the usual replicated... stuff. Thoughts?" She leaned back, "And feel free to be honest."

“I’ve never been the best at planning a party and definitely not planning the meal. I’m sure that’s more your cup of tea, ma’am,” he responded.

Mei hummed at that wording and gave a nod, "Fair enough. As long as you don't object, I might give it a try. Worst case, we learn not to do it again."

Dastan smiled. "I'm sure you will plan something excellent."

"One last thing Commander," Sun spoke quietly, "I'm going to put in to rush your promotion to full Commander. I feel given your position and the role rolling over rather often with Golovin and Seppala, I think the authority may become necessary, and it would fit better with the size of the ship on its own." She took a deep breath, "I have not started on the paperwork, but given its out of the ordinary, I wanted to let you know first - so it didn't surprise you. You've done well enough to me to think of you as a Commander already, and your record speaks for itself."

"Thank you, ma'am," Dastan said with an element of surprise in his voice. He paused, "I hope to live up to your expectations." He looked at the PADD in his hand. "I think it can all wait until we stop the Klingons."

"Right, one thing at a time." She nodded and took a moment. "Commander, have you ever fought the Klingons before?" She asked softly, "Or any species that prefers close quarters?"

Dastan shrugged, “I have very little experience, ma’am. Simulations, yes, but actually never face to face. We did spend some time in Klingon space when I was young, but honestly Mok'bara was the only combat style I learned.

"Well, brush up. Just in case," She said quickly. "Otherwise, that's all. Get Shanghai back up and running. I want our crew on board her and ready as soon as possible."

"Understood. We'll be ready when you say the word," Dastan said to the Captain.

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