Part of USS Dragon: Abeloth and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

ABELOTH – 2

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Aryanna sat in her ready room just hours after the Dragon had arrived at Deep Space fort-seven. 

<< ”Though we are technically a few days from arriving in the Deneb sector I think they will qualify as what they used to call the night of nights. That time before going to war, not knowing, not understanding, just knowing that tomorrow you will enter the battlefield.”

“That’s what has me thinking, are they ready? How many of them will die? How many will not survive tomorrow or next week or the next month? Can I lead them? Can I pull them through those tough times?”

Aryanna you know the answers, you know that yes some will die some will not make it. You know it’s what those that do make it, do afterward. Show them, be the leader we both know you can be, show them how to overcome impossible odds, and show them what it takes to overcome all odds.  Prepare them, prepare the ship, and trust in those that have put their trust in you.”

“You know old man, it’s time for us both to talk the talk and walk the walk. Remember I’m not the only one here. You’re in this just as much as I am.”

I’m quite aware, and just as in the past when I was there for you so shall I be here now.”>>

“Let’s get to work then shall we?” she said to the empty room. “Computer, notify all command staff, meeting in the bridge conference room, sixty minutes” A beep was the only sound as the computer acknowledged the command. Aryanna looked out the viewport and nodded to herself. “Lieutenant Bearsong, meet me in my ready room as soon as you can.”

“On my way, Captain”

<<” Are you sure about this? She’s the newest member of your staff, others may question it. Others who technically would be better fits. I understand the thinking behind it, but others may not.”

“Yes, I’m sure. She is what I need. No offense to you,  but I need that person who will call me out on my thoughts and I believe she will do just that. Plus as we both know I’m not very diplomatic and we may need that going forward.”

True, you are not very diplomatic.”>>

The door chime sounded announcing that someone was requesting entry.

 <<” Besides, we have yet to ask and she has yet to accept.”>>

“Enter”

Lieutenant Bearsing entered the ready room, looked around, and gave her new captain a questioning look. 

“Counselor or Diplomatic Officer?”

“Both, I guess you could say.” Aryanna chuckled.

“This should be interesting. So how can I help you? Having those nightmares again? Question about our relations in the Deneb sector?”

Aryanna nodded towards a seat in front of the desk. “Yes on the last two. Though I think I would have to agree with you that nightmares are anxiety induced as we had discussed yesterday. I can usually fall back to sleep after having one. I have another issue I wanted to discuss with you and get your input on. Who do I name as my XO?”

Meadow lets out a breath. “Oooffff, that’s a big one. I could give you my unofficial counselor’s take on anyone you have in mind. But in the end, the decision is up to you.”

“So let me hear your thoughts, counselor.”

For the next forty-five minutes, the two officers stayed out in the captain’s ready room, discussing what could be an impactful, on both crew and ship, decision.

 

********

The command staff were seated and waiting in the bridge conference room as the Captain followed by Lieutenant Bearsong made their way into the room.

“I’m not one for standing around folks, so let’s get to the business at hand. We will depart for the Deneb Sector in no more than thirty-six hours from now, preferably less. I have a few items to go over with everyone and I will then take any questions. Inform your people that they need to take care of any personnel matters now before we leave Deep Space Forty-Seven, especially ones that we cannot take care of onboard. As I have been reminded. “ She pointed to her head, which got a chuckle from several in the room. “These thirty-six hours are the night of nights, for make no mistake when we leave this station for all intents and purposes we are going to war. One we did not ask for nor did we see coming but it is here and we must stop it before it spreads.”

Aryanna took the captain’s chair as she nodded toward Lieutenant Bearsong who took the seat to her right. This did not go unnoticed amongst the officers as some shook their heads and a few nodded.

“As of roughly twenty minutes ago, Lieutenant Bearsong has accepted the position as my executive officer. I needed someone who would not be a yes man or someone who thought that my way is the only way. As it is not. I will make mistakes, we all will make mistakes but having an executive officer who would not have qualms about calling me out is what will be needed. Besides as many of you know I am not the most diplomatic of people and well we may find ourselves in a situation where shooting first may not be the right answer. Plus we will need many of you in the sections you are in. I need the right people in the right spots. Not having you there may be the difference that we can not afford to make.” she looked around the room as she spoke, lingering on one or two.

“Commander Thornton, not sure if you have received word yet as I only just got it myself. Task force command has deemed that we need them more than they do, so they will be swapping your Peregrine fighters for a group of Valkyrie that had just arrived for station defense.”

A big smile crossed the commander’s face with the pipe in one hand. “I’ll put them to good use. If it’s the dominion and those pesky Jem’Hadar we will be facing they sure will even the playing field a bit more. I’ll get my guys on that transition right away, the sooner we get them onboard the sooner we can start training with them.”

Aryanna nodded. “Scamandrius, it’s come to my attention that we will be receiving some new experimental probes and drones. As these will undoubtedly fall under your purview I’ll leave it up to you to get things situated for their operation.”

“Skagath and Yatokii, as my tactical chief and my security chief I leave it in your good hands to make sure that we are trained up for any possible shipboard situations we may run into. I have requested an additional ten security personnel to join us. On top of the three hazard teams that we already have, I want two more to be stood up. I’ll leave it to you two to decide where they should be placed though I think having one team on standby ready to move anywhere on the ship may be a good thing to consider.”

“Aye. I think I know just the leader for such a team. Lieutenant Zhaishi, do any of your personnel have an aptitude for using the Jeffries tubes?” Skagath asked as he and Yatokki were looking at something on the laters PADD

The Orion chief engineer smiled and nodded. “As a matter of fact, I think I know of a couple who might just fit what you are looking for. I’ll have them report to you as soon as we are finished here.”

Yatokii nodded and showed something on his PADD to Skagath who let out a chuckle. Aryanna looked over at the two and shook her head.

<<” Two peas in a pod, them two.”>>

“Sustram, I just received word that Lieutenant Zhoba is not able to move forward with us on this mission. So as of right now, you are my operations officer. I need someone that I can trust and that I know can fill multiple roles when the time comes. So to be clear you will remain as my flight operations boss as needed.”

“Yes, ma’am. Guess, I need a new tunic.”

“Ok then unless anyone has anything for me besides what was in your reports.” Aryanna looked around the room. “Good, then the clock is ticking folks. Remember at most thirty-six hours I would prefer sooner. That is all folks.”

 

*******

-Beep beep beep- 

-Beep Beep Beep-

A green hand reached up and tapped on the combadge that rested on the edge of the nightstand, trying not to disturb the rather normal human-looking arm that was draped around her. “Better be good to be waking me up in the middle of the night.”

“Sorry ma’am, Ensign Knowles the Gamma shift leader.”

“Yes, what is it, Ensign?”

“Ma’am. I wouldn’t wake you if I didn’t think it was needed. But did you sign off on work to be done to the ship that I wasn’t briefed on?”

Zhaishi bolted upright. “I most certainly did not. What is going on, ensign? Who is doing what to my ship? And who the hell authorized it?”

“It’s the station jockeys, ma’am. They are attaching systems to our tactical hard points.”

“Who the hell gave them permission to do that?” she looked around the room to get her bearings, realizing that this was not her quarters and wondering where her uniform was. “Did they say who authorized this?”

“No ma’am, that’s why I called you.”

She got up out of the bed as quietly as she could, looking back at the just starting-to-stir Viamel.”If not me, then who?” She looked around the room trying to remove the cloud of sleep from her brain. “SKAGATH!”

Looking at herself in the dark lit by a few small lights around the room and seeing she was at least in a top and shorts she shrugged and quickly made her way out of the room. Exiting the room and entering the hallway she took a second to get her bearings and then quickly walked down the hall as if she was on a mission. “I’ll kill him, Well maybe not kill but when I’m done with him he’ll wish I had. How dare he mess with my ship? No one messes with my ship.”  

She stopped at a door and took a breath before very harshly knocking on it. “Skagath, Skagath. Wake up, you miserable little man. Skagath… Skagath” she pounded on the door again. Just as she took a breath to say something else the door slid open.

“What is it? Who is waking me up at this hour? Somebody better have died or the ship under attack. Oh, it’s you, lass. What is all this carrying on about?”

“You… You and what you are doing to my ship.” Zhaishi leered at him.

“Lass, I may be old but I’m not getting forgetful. What are you talking about?” as he looked at her with a slight smile.” not that I mind getting woken up by someone in her PJs mind you.”

Zhaishi looked down at herself making sure all of the parts were indeed covered. “Never mind that. Who told you that you could attach systems to my ship’s tactical hardpoints without consulting me?”

“Hard points, huh? Hmmm, I seem to remember agreeing to extra torpedoes. But nope, don’t remember signing off on additional systems being added. All though, lass. Where we are going and who we will be facing we might be pretty damn thankful for them.”

“Aaaggghhh, if not you then who? I don’t think the captain would sign off without at least letting me know first.

Skagath shrugged “Don’t know, lass. But it’s something that I think can wait till the morning and we all have had time to get the cobwebs from our heads.”

“Sleep, sleep, uh uh no way, not why those damn station jockeys are working on my ship. Damn it, I was looking forward to a nice night of sleep before we have to head out. “ At about this time, Viameli came walking up the hallway from her quarters, a bit more modestly dressed, and put a hand on Zhaishi’s shoulder. “Well, at least come freshen up and get a cup of coffee or something. We Can’t have you going near that ensign like this, now can we?”

Zhaishi took a deep breath and looked at Viameli and then back at Skagath. “If I find out this was you little man, I’ll I’ll. aaagh” as she turned and left.

Viameli looked at Skagath and nodded.

Skagath nodded back as he watched the two of them make their way up the hallway. “Hold on? When did this happen?”

They both turned and looked at him with a smile on their faces. “None of your business, little man,” Zhaishi said as they continued walking.

 

**********

Commander Thornton sat behind his desk, pipe in mouth and feet up on the desk itself, a half-eaten breakfast burrito sitting on a plate next to a cup with a bit of steam coming from it, as he stared at a PADD in one hand and the room’s view screen. “ We can’t repeat the mistakes we made twenty-five years ago, too many lives lost, too many friends lost, too many promising lives cut short.” 

“Agreed sir,” his XO said from the other side of the desk. “Even with the Valkyries we are still..” he left the rest unsaid as he looked at the view screen.

“I know I know. This is the one area that Starfleet has fallen behind the curve, in the small ship area.  Twenty-five years and we are still flying the same ships. The Jem Hadar pilots will by now know this. If we can’t change the ships, then it becomes “What can we change.”

The Lieutenant stood, placed a plate still holding a stack of pancakes on the room’s coffee table, stretched, and moved closer to the view screen and the video’s from past missions conducted during the dominion war. “Tactics, we change our tactics.”

“I’m listening”

“Well sir, It’s been twenty-five years for us, we know their tactics, we know how they operate. But to them, it has been only a few hours. They are still using those dated tactics they haven’t had time to adapt and change how they fly. Let alone face many newer model fighters or ships. Yes, they are still Valkyrie’s but they are newer, updated ones. Newer systems, newer weapons, and all that. We take that all into consideration as we plan and make changes.”

Thornton took a sip from the mug and nodded. “You may be onto something. We use their tactics against them. We know how they operated, how they fought, how they flew. That’s going to be a tall order though. We only have days to come up with these tactics and teach them to our boys. We are going to have to learn quickly to fly and fight as they do. Not the Aspera’s leave those for what they are meant to be used for, I’m sure we will be given plenty of chances to use them.” 

The lieutenant sat back down as they both picked up PADDS and started to pull up all information they could find on Jem’hadar’s fighter/ship tactics.

 

*******

Aryanna sat in her ready room watching the hustle and bustle of the station going on around them. “So much more I would like to get done, not enough time.” she looked at the PADD on her desk. “Looks like we are ahead of schedule though.”

The console on her desk beeped. “Priority message for you Captain, coming from Task Force operations.”

“Copy, Send it through to my ready room console.”

Commander Kr’antren came up on the console. “Hello Aryanna, I’m sending you your mission orders now, the packet is encrypted with orders for them not to be opened till you are underway.”

“Understood”

“Oh, I hope that I didn’t upset Lieutenant Zhaishi too much by authorizing the hardpoint additions. Figured it would be better for you to have them and not need them than need them and not have them. Can never have too many assets at your disposal especially where you’re going and who you’re going against.”

“That was you? She has been going around questioning everyone all day long. She has not been very easy to deal with, she didn’t take to it too well that someone other than her was messing with HER ship.”

He chuckled.”I figured she would have figured it out by now. Guess I’ll have to send her a friendly message.”

Aryanna chuckled. “You may want to wait till we have left before you do, if not she is likely to come find you and give you an earful. Heard she went after Skagath in the middle of the night last night. “

“Now, that I would have paid to see.”

“Well I know you have a lot to do to get ready to depart so I will let you go. One final thing and you will hear it again. Trust only the fourth fleet.  And the screen went black and then to the hold screen with ship information.

Comments

  • Dragon is getting ready folks! This was a neat display of character interaction on the eve of the mission. Final preparations, assignment changes amongst the crew, and even changes to the ship and load out all make for a neat read. Liking Aryanna as the captain as well, though perhaps more her than her symbiote. Really dig her perspective more. And loving the little crew pieces as well - "When did this happen?" was a neat little piece I enjoyed. Looking forward to more.

    June 3, 2023