An Eye for An Eye
Posted on Wednesday, 22 April 2020 - 2:38pm by Commander DeVala Victrix Ph.D & Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD
Location: SEC Merlin
Twenty minutes had slipped by into the whirlwind of concerns exchanged between the bridge of the cadet ship, and the CIC. As expected, the docking clamps had refused to let go, a rapturous groan muddling the hull as it scratched with each attempt. Chief Qett was fuming as his repair crews scrambled on both extremes of the annular ring. On one end the Fontana remained docked, still undergoing her own repairs as the Camelot pressed onwards to restore normality. "Try again," he uttered with audible frustration mounting through the exhausted comm-link.
Once more the latches creaked in a tone minor enough to drive Beethoven mad. Emitters flickered as the shields bumped and ground against the two vessels attempting to separate. Busy as he was, a flustered andorian padded over to the operations console aboard the cadet's bridge. "Merlin to Commander Victrix. If you still intend to join the sortie, please have your party beam over. The docking ring is not safe at this time. Repeat, the docking ring is not safe at this time."
Eyelaya was the first to the transporter. She had her took kits in tow in response to Victrix's call. There was an excitement humming through her. She couldn't wait to go. She was humble and honoured. She was finally chosen for a mission. She couldn't help the goofy grin on her face.
Ryan arrived shortly after, a large medical kit strapped to his back in the style of a backpack. "Chief." Ryan gave Eyelaya a nod and a small smile.
"We're going on an away team!" She said cheerfully. "Does that mean I get a phaser?"
Ryan had been on far too many away teams to show the innocent and naive excitement of the Chief. But it was a bit infectious regardless. "I don't know about the phaser, but regardless let's hope one doesn't have to come into use during this mission."
"Yeah it never does but it looks cool." She gave his elbow a tap with her own.
Ryan just snorted in amusement and waited for the order to transport over.
Lieutenant Commander Victrix had not provided either Doctor Ryan Rose nor Chief Petty Officer Eyelaya with details beyond prep and get their asses down to the transporter room pronto. This was not going to be a forgetful nor conventional experience. Eyelaya, Victrix, and the Doctor were the away team. At least all that would be coming from the Fontana.
"Merlin, coordinate with Fontana's transporter room. There will be two to beam over, and I'm ready on the Camelot as well" she replied.
"Copy. Standby for transport." Half of a minute elapsed while the order relayed into the beaming matrix, sourcing the locators from the two points of origin. Within another minute the away element had been called over, placed firmly into a compact transporter room. Already in movement, the cadet attending the station led the way out, sealing the room behind her.
Quietly lurking in the hallway, a caitian female met the group, relieving the other cadet as she waved for them to return to their duties. "Welcome aboard, commander. Cadet il'Vastam is aboard the bridge. Your crew are welcome to join our cadets in their respective departments, or may accompany you to the bridge." Looking between the three, she gave a polite nod to each of them, acknowledging their presence. "The Merlin is a Shikaris class vessel. She may be small, compared to your own, but she is more than capable for serving our needs. I'm told, despite being made by my people, she is comparable to the old Defiant-class, albeit notably modernised and significantly more versatile."
Voices rippled through the overhead comm relays embedded into the ceiling. "Go again!" Chief Qett had maintained his link between the ships, it appeared as repairs still continued under way. Once more the vessel creaked, a disquieting groan echoed throughout the walls as the two hulls ground against one another. The motion continued as the group boarded a turbolift, lurching just as the doors closed and the ship finally stopped its metallic whine. "You're clear. Safe travels, Merlin. Camelot out."
Eyelaya looked over at Victrix. "With your permission I'll head to Engineering."
"Not my ship, Chief" Victrix replied to the younger woman. "With your permission?" Victrix said to the Caitian.
Mi'ara gave but a simple tip of her furred head. "You are welcome to join the EngOps cadets on deck two, chief. Professor Bimek and Cadet th'Dina should be organising the department, according to my role call. I am certain they will appreciate your presence." Her attention turned over to the other, as-of-yet unspoken member of the party, who she had not been introduced to. Her eyes scanned his figure, vaguely inclining her head upon witnessing the lieutenant pips and medical case at his side.
A slim grin formed as the caitian redirected the lift to the second deck, seemingly pleased as the doors closed. "The medbay is also on deck two, along with several laboratories, sir. If you wish to join the science or medical cadets. Otherwise, you are welcome on the bridge. Cadet R'Nori is down there finishing launch preparations. You two may have something in common, I suspect. She is easy to spot, simply look for the only other caitian down in that area, outside of engineering."
Folding her arms downwards quietly over one another, the senior cadet held onto a PADD, gently passing it over to the visiting commander. "I thought it best to provide a surface for you, ma'am. Should you wish to take notes on your visit. I'm told this is your first visit aboard a cadet ship." The turbolift smoothly crawled to a halt, stopping just before the second deck, finally lighting up the numeral as the doors open.
"Enjoy your stay, chief." Refocusing her attention onto the physician near her, Mi'ara purred dimly before placing her paw over the lift console to hold the door. "Would you like to join your compatriots, lieutenant? Or the bridge, perhaps?"
"I think I'll be of most use in the medical bay." Ryan nodded to the Caitian, and slipped out the turbolift door.
Victrix watched as Doctor Rose left. The abrupt departure of her Chief Medical Officer to flee off to the ship's medical bay and Eyelaya's wanting to go to engineering made the woman stand frozen for a moment. She held her hand out a few inches from her face and breathed with intent onto her palm, then bringing it closer to her nose. "Not quite minty fresh, but not foul enough to merit them scurrying away" she said somewhat teasingly. "He has a fascination with Sickbays...comes with the position I think" she added.
"Well if nobody else is going to the bridge, then I guess I will. Is that where I will be able to find Cadet il'Vastam?" she asked the Caitian. Victrix did not want to step on any toes with her away team, but if they could be useful on this mission, then she would want them to provide whatever support they could. Her personal mission was to get closer to the cadet and ideally earn his respect and admiration. She was hoping that she scored some points by accompanying him onto the Merlin.
Nearly inaudible chuffs rumbled from the seventh-year, a quiet nod confirming her guest's assumption. "Yes, he has the conn to see us out. We spilt command duties between the two of us, as senior-most cadets are expected to do. Between the squads, only a single eighth-year is on the roster. Currently he's on the Morgana." Her paw gracefully brushed along the door panel once more, resuming the course of the lift to the bridge.
As the doors parted just as they had earlier, the main viewscreen rose from the floor, a few metres in front of the helm. A third-year spun in her chair, facing the pair of seats issued to the command stations. "We're clear of the Camelot. All systems ready for warp." She received little more than an affirmative nod, the gesture a clear norm among the crew.
"Set a course for Draco Primordus, and engage at maximum warp. Science, keep an eye on the ion storm. Notify Mi'ara and myself the instant it changes heading or speed." Called by her name, the feline cadet stepped from the lift, offering a welcoming move to the commander as the doors closed behind them.
Instinctually led in her action, the helmsperson charted the route, soon throttling up the warp core as the Merlin slipped into faster-than-light. "Course laid in. ETA seven hours."
Rhydian shifted in his chair, noting the information to his sidearm panel. His digits brushed against the interface as the overhead comms warbled briefly. "All hands, this is the bridge. We're currently en route to the Morgana's last known position. ETA is seven hours. Cadets who were reactivated after the earlier shift are ordered to get six hours rest. I want everyone fresh before we arrive. Those currently assuming their shift continue as expected. Cadet Mi'ara now has the conn."
Movement fluxed in the rear of the bridge as a Gorn stepped into the light, away from the situation table. He bowed his head upon noticing the unfamiliar commander, extending a claw. "Professor Erasmus," he introduced himself, prior to moving over to the guard rail just above the command seats. Mi'ara had padded away from the dialogue, naturally moving to the centre of the bridge where she stood as her co-commanding cadet spoke with her before relinquishing the shift to her. Relieved of his duties, the other seventh-year cadet made his way up the ramp, gradually pacing to a halt a few dozen centimetres away from the woman he'd been reluctant to bring along.
"Commander," he acknowledged, recognising her presence. "The ready room, if you don't mind, please."
Victrix nodded "Of course, I am sure there are some dots that need connected. I need to have a better understanding of this situation than a quick overview" she replied in reference to the synopsis she was previously given. Though the synopsis was appreciated, it had undoubtedly failed to do justice to the situation at hand. What DeVala had worried most about was bringing Eyelaya along. If she breaks anything Gwen's going to have my ass thought the woman, though this was also the perfect time to let the Chief Petty Officer get some field experience which she desperately needed...they both needed, Eyelaya and Victrix.
When they finally made it to the ready room, it was no surprise to Victrix that stepping into it, she was met by the young man that she had ventured this far to acquire herself, an asset that she could not back away from. Even if the man did not understand his importance yet, Victrix knew in coming days he would probably gain a more solid appreciation for why she had come this far for him. "You said you had name" she said to him. "That 'Cadet' is not going to cut it between us. I would like to be respectful of your wishes. Your mother had informed me to be cautious with what name I used, but I do not know enough about your species and their cultural beliefs to know which name to address you by" Victrix said to him.
Quietude initially settled over the room as the cadet walked behind the desk, palm hovering above the chair he had no intention of sitting at. Meetings were common here between professors and cadets; a foreign commander was another instance entirely. "Mi'ara told me you brought a pair of your own. I'll leave it to your discretion if you tell them anything from what I'm about to give you."
Drawing up a map from the projector, he drew a line from the Camelot's position to the last known location of the Morgana. "I don't need to tell you how dangerous this region is. Countless means of becoming disabled, or lost are present. My co-commander took the liberty of launching a warp-capable probe from the Camelot before we left. It should arrive a few minutes before we do, to give us an idea of what we're looking at. Provided it makes the journey, intact." He paused, ears perking as the senior officer requested his name, interjecting the conversation.
Victrix nodded. "Yeah, I know the region is dangerous and we all will be much happier when we are in safer space" she said swiftly. "Docking with the Camelot was enough to shake out whatever small bit of lust for exploration was left in me" added Victrix.
"For now, I think it best to stick to il'Vastam, after my family's house -- Vastam, if that is agreeable. It doesn't matter to me if you address me by my rank, or not. Should we become better acquainted, and something else becomes more appropriate, I'll let you know."
"il'Vastam, got it. I will remember that going forward" replied the woman. She would make sure to remember that. It was crucial that she did nothing to offend the man. She needed him to go with her after all of this was over with.
Rhydian re-focused his attention back to the desk, sliding three bracelets across the desk. He flicked the hologram across, undisturbed as three replicas spouted from them. "You, and your two crew members can keep these. They have an automap function and access to our schematics. I have the feeling we may need them, if the Morgana is disabled. Hopefully they'll be of use to you."
"It sounds like that is a strong plausibility" commented Victrix. "If the region of space is as dangerous as what everyone's been preaching. They sure the hell did not include that in the travel brochure from Starfleet Command, just a good pat on the back and a you go girl" she added. "So, give me a rundown of everything I need to know before we arrive. I brought two of my own to help if need be, but we will stay out of your way unless we are needed."
Thankful for the professionalism in an otherwise timely moment, the cadet nodded. "Well, so far as we can tell she didn't jettison any escape pods. The beacon told us as much as that. Beyond that I don't have much. We're in a dark matter nebula. Broad spectrum instruments will be useless in favour of the short-ranged fine sensors. The trouble will be finding the correct frequency, and filtering out the irrelevant bits." He looked pointedly as Victrix looked as if she were about to go into a morale-cheer.
"We don't do that here." He wasn't wrong; the cadets were often serious in their work, due to the danger. Still, some managed to shine through, as Mi'ara held a pleasant ambience around her, just as he knew a few of the medical cadets fancied. "Realism aside, I'm expecting we'll need to shuttle over. Transporters, even if they are up on her end will be ill-advisable. I'll have to split some of my squad to help get her back online enough to tow. After that, we just need to get home. Anything else we'll have to adapt; and trust me, I'm counting on the latter part. If there's anything to learn out here, it's to expect the unexpected."
Victrix had been about to offer some encouraging words, but the cadet seemed to shoot that down before anything left her lips. "I concur with the transporter decision. I'm not a technician but I would rather not risk a transporter incident. I like myself as myself and all internal organs in place" she added.
The thought of shuttling over was not appealing either, but it was safer even if only marginally than transporters in the current situation. "Adapt or die, the basics of survival."
R'Nori had been frantically rushing from one end of the medbay to the other. Several boxes of medication remained unpacked, far surpassing the normal capacity of what the small vessel would have normally carried in addition what appeared to be portable medpacks. The caitian only shifted her focus momentarily, splitting it between her earlier duty of sorting materials and investigating the newcomer as he arrived.
"Oh! You must be one of the visitors," she assessed, looking at his collar. "Judging by your appearance you don't look as though you need medical attention. I don't suppose you'd like to help, sir? You have no idea how grateful I'd be. Cadet Mi'ara said we should be expecting the worst, given the region. I thought it best to stock up on everything...that's made it a bit more difficult than I should have anticipated though, for sorting things."
Ryan was quick to introduce himself, "Doctor Rose. I'm happy to help. I can finish stocking for you if you like?"
The caitian beamed nodding fervently, looking between the doctor and the supplies.
"Thank you, doc! Is it just me, or is the medbay always short-handed when it's needed most?" Fluffing off the issue, the cadet rushed to grab a box, shifting it from one side of the bay over to the area labeled for medications.
"Six hours is likely to pass quicker than I hoped. I suppose we should get to know each other. I suspect we'll be working together."
Engineering was surprisingly orderly, despite the business across the rest of the ship, Bimek oddly pleased with the efficiency of their cadets. Against the suliban's eerily affirmative nature however, an andorian cadet had been asking for routine checks on the secondary systems the moment everyone had come aboard. The professor hummed absently in concurrence as they inspected a master systems display, tracing one of the curved nacelles.
Rolling his eyes, th'Dina looked over the diagnostics report groaning upon the notice of a ruptured plasma feed. "Reroute power from section eight on deck three," he grumbled, directly addressing one of the younger cadets, throwing his hands up in frustration as he grabbed a diagnostic repair kit himself. The door hissed as another figure entered, tool kit in hand.
Eyelaya entered engineering with her tool kit in hand. "Anyone need help?!" She asked enthusiastically.
"Great! You must be the Chief Eyelaya that Mi'ara warned me about. I could use the reinforcements. Come on, we're going to fix a leak." Already wandering out of the bay, he headed for the nearest maintenance junction, crawling into the shaft to go down a deck.
She gave a nod. "Lead the way!" Eyelaya controlled her excitement. She couldn't wait to get to work. She followed th'Dina and entered the maintenance junction. "This look like a great ship. How long have you been aboard?" She asked making conversation as they climbed to their destination.
"Two years, four on the Morgana before that. This is the graduate cadet ship. Only fifth-years and above." Seemingly knowing his way as they crawled through a jefferies tube, the andorian grumbled before coming to a halt at the end. Prying open the panel to a singed conduit in front of him, th'Dina frowned. "We're near one of the tetryon relays. You ever fixed a tetryon phase modulator? We're going to need to check that one right here," he stated plainly, tapping on an adjacent panel to the one he was working at. "No use in fixing this plasma conduit if it'll blow again. And I doubt the bridge if this gets ignored."
"Sounds like a plan. I have lots of experience with a TPM." She smiled. "Would you like to do the rerouting or shall I begin?"
Antennae curiously bowing as the andorian looked over to the chief, he shook his head, taking off the panel shielding the conduit adjacent to him. "You must have worked on a lot of cat carriers," he quipped amidst a sardonic tone, emphasising his belief that the caitians were known for their less-than-orthodox technologies. "Starfleet doesn't carry them. Too temperamental. Not that I blame them. This has to be the second time in the past several weeks a conduit has blown out."
Fishing an electrospanner and tricorder, he began to re-align and temporarily shut off power flow to the phase modulator. Grumbling as he side-crawled to give the other space, th'Dina muttered, "This is going to take at least an hour, from experience." He wasn't wrong, given the silence that began to develop between the two on his part. Then again, he'd never been reputed for an uplifting demeanour.
She smiled, "I've worked on a lot of ships, particularly the shipyards that I was at last. They were not all necessarily SF ships." As the power showed off she slowly began to remove the panel and started checking things. She reached into her bag and pulled out a solo ocular lens that attached around her head. "Can you shine the light a little more."
Cadet th'Dina hadn't shifted in his narked mood, although he hadn't been hostile. "A surprise, to say the least, given how the fleet is these days," he admitted amidst a rough grumble. "But at least it's a welcome surprise. I'm up to my ears in people who think they always know better, without previous experience."
Pulling a chip away from its nestled spot, he placed the piece down before eying the biogel container, and absent-mindedly shining his torch over to the adjacent compartment.
Lieutenant Commander Victrix
Acting Commanding Officer
Dr. Ryan Rose
Chief Medical Officer