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Posted on Sat May 9th, 2020 @ 4:18pm by Lieutenant Commander Rokan Dukal & Captain Keziah Nazir

Mission: Episode 1: Armageddon - The End of All Things
Location: Shuttlebay Managers Office, USS Nogura
Timeline: Day 4 at 2245

“We need to talk...”

"Of course," Nazir smiled, nodding in agreement with the Cardassian as the crowd in the shuttlebay began to happily disperse. Euphoria was a powerful ally but could be a terrible enemy if it didn't settle soon enough. "Where shall we talk?" the Trill queried, the smile of pleasantness still plastered on her face. It was important, in her eyes, to keep him onside if she was to carry out her plan.

Motioning to the exit of the shuttlebay, Rokan led the Trill straight past the dispersing crowds and down the corridor of deck four to the shuttlebay manager's office. Commandeering the room, he took a seat behind the desk and let out a sigh of relief. "You know that was quite the speech you gave back their Captain. It felt very well-practiced even. I'm sure you had a lot of time to figure out what you were going to say while stuck in your shuttle."

Standing before the Cardassian's new desk, the Trill let out a sigh that mimicked his own. "On the contrary," she revealed as she placed her hands on her hips and frowned. Was he suggesting she was being calculated, and disingenuous? "Knowing what to say at exactly the right time is Command School 101," the Trill retorted before taking ownership of another chair and sitting down. "So, tell me, how did you come to be here?"

Rokan leaned forward into the desk and ran his hands through his hair, an audible sigh escaping before he looked up at the Captain. The true face of the officer was now on display, one of a man who was exhausted and still healing from injuries. “Forgive me Captain, Cardassians tend to naturally be skeptical of things, for me it is normally when I get stuck in tough situations. A bad habit I’ve been working on.” Reaching for a PaDD on the managers desk he pulled up his own profile and then offered it to her. “I was one of the first to seek a new life in the Federation after the war. The Federation talked me into serving based on my skill set. Made me one of the first few Cardassians under the program to join Starfleet. I started off as an Ops Officer and worked my way up. As for here? I’m the sole high ranking officer and senior staff member surviving on the ship. I’ve watched more friends die up close this week then I did in the entire war back on Cardassia.”

"I can feel your pain, Commander," the Trill acknowledged slowly, bowing her own head slightly, "my ship, my crew, they were lost at DS5 and I wasn't even there to go down with them. Instead, I was huddled on a Runabout with three other survivors and watching on helplessly." Her tone was quiet, somber. It was unusual for such a battle-hardened warrior as her. Shaking herself out of it, the Captain looked across the desk and decided it was time, to be frank. "The way I see it, Commander, there are two scenarios that could play out here. One; you acknowledge my rank and thus, hand command of the Nogura to me, and together, we take the ship into war. Two; I take what officers I can muster, salvage a vessel from the mothballed fleet, and take on the Borg. Either way, I am getting back into this fight. My chances are far greater if we join forces. I don't like my chances on one of those rust buckets out there." She smirked as she inched forward slightly, "And I don't fancy your chances with an understaffed Galaxy-class with no experienced officers at the helm."

"My problem isn't acknowledging your rank, Captain Nazir. In fact far from it. What worries me for this crew is what happens when we run into the next set of survivors. What do we do when there is a captain who claims to have more seniority than you by years of service? Or we run into an admiral? And now they suddenly want command of the Nogura." The mood in the room had become suddenly much more weighty as the two talked about loss and moving forward at this point in time. "I want to know that the crew is in good hands, I feel many of them have no clue what they are in for. There are some seasoned officers here who saw the Dominion War, but not many like some of us. And it will be nothing like the Borg. It will require us to adapt to tactics I think Starfleet is not used to if we are truly as bad off as your reports indicate as well." Leaning in to meet her gaze the Cardassian finally smiled once more, though it was a dangerous smile. "Give me an idea for how you see us rebuilding the senior staff and where we go from the asteroid belt here Captain."

"You ask too much," the Trill told a slight air of frustration emanating from her all of a sudden as she faced the barrage of questions. "No one here can possibly know what the hell to expect - this is an unprecedented situation. As for my ideas on rebuilding? Frankly, you're about two rank grades short of questioning me on such matters, Lieutenant Commander." She rose from her chair slowly and walked to the nearby window in the small room. "Need I remind you that you have ascended to your lofty position by sheer circumstance. Don't mistake your temporary position with the true rank you hold," she told sternly before turning back to him. "I may look in my forties, but the Nazir symbiont is almost 170 years old. Even the most decorated Admiral's in Starfleet can't match that experience, nor can most match my combat record in normal circumstances, so I'm confident I can hold off any challenges to my command."

Gone was the facade of an inspiring woman in the shuttlebay who was ready to drive everyone into fighting on in the eyes of Rokan. And she was quickly losing any sliver of trust or respect she had been building with him in this lecture on experience. "Captain, with all due respect that's bullshit. I think we both know I don't see this as some lofty position. I would gladly give my life to let this crew have their original Commanding Officer or Executive Officer back. But they have me and I'll be damned if I don't do what I can for them. I would think if anything you'd respect that."

Rokan rose from his chair and stared down the shorter Trill. "And questioning you on such matters? I'm a senior officer on this crew. If you're to be her Captain I would hope you would want department heads who are willing to come at you with questions. Because if you want yes men and women, you're on the wrong ship. If you want people who will give you one hundred and ten percent? Who are willing to challenge the norm in order to go above and beyond? You've found it. But that means adapting to us as much as we adapt to you."

Relaxing her stance, the tense facial expression evaporated once again. "You stand your ground, Commander. I like that. You've got balls," she nodded slowly as she returned to her seat with a smile. "I expect my executive officer to have the guts to challenge me when I'm in the wrong, so well done."

"This is a fight for survival, Rokan," she continued now, endeavouring to answer his original questions. "We will raid the ships and the starbase for any supplies we need and we'll do the same with any damaged or derelict ships we come across that we can't get back in the fight. Any survivors we come across will have to be put to work or they can find some other way to survive. Everyone is going to have to pull their weight, and some are going to have to take on duties they never knew existed if we are to get through this."

At that point, she rose to her feet and activated the large wall console and brought up a schematic she had been looking at aboard the Runabout. A map. "My plan is to remain here as long as is feasible and dispatch search and rescue teams to nearby systems. Once they return and I am satisfied, we'll make our way to DS5 and see what's left of the fleet."

"Executive Officer?" he thought to himself. That was the last thing he was expecting to hear from her after this back and forth, but these were also strange times. Walking over to the wall where she was standing, Rokan joined the Captain. "I've been told Cardassians never do things small, which would explain a few things." he said with a smirk before he pointed towards the map. "Well if I am to be your Executive Officer let me provide you some insight from what I know of this area during our last battle. Over here was another area of heavy fighting from what our sensors had shown during the initial confrontation with the Borg sphere. If we're going to go look for survivors or supplies I would suggest we send shuttles there before heading off to Deep Space Five."

After that, the Lieutenant Commander turned and tapped a few commands on the wall display, bringing up a command authorization screen. "=/\=Computer, transfer ship command to Captain Keziah Nazir. Authorization Dukal-Beta-Eight-Four.=/\=" A chime proceeded the request from Rokan and there was a momentary silence before the computer replied. "All command functions and systems are now pending registration to Captain Keziah Nazir. Awaiting acceptance of command responsibility."

Looking at the Cardassian, the Trill gave a nod of both approval and also an appreciation for him acquiescing to her command. Pressing a button on the screen, she spoke to the computer interface. "=/\=Computer, this is Captain Keziah Nazir, Starfleet Service Number KN-12198607-KDA. Access voice recognition pattern and accept transfer of command. Authorisation, Nazir-Omega-Two-One."

"Transfer complete. USS Nogura now under command of Captain Keziah Nazir." The response from the computer was swift and, at last, the Trill was in command, but her work was not done there.

"=/\=Computer, update crew manifest to reflect following changes. Lieutenant Commander Garen Romaes as Strategic Operations Officer and Lieutenant Commander Rokan Dukal as Executive Officer. Assign appropriate security clearance codes effective immediately and list officers as active," she declared, never having moved her finger from the computer console.

With the transfer complete the new Executive Officer of the Nogura reached out and offered his hand to the Captain. His grip was firm but the purpose was one of the new beginnings between the two. “You know Captain this is going to be a hell of an adventure. And a fight that will go down in the history books when it is all said and done. Just promise me something?”

Releasing his hand after a few moments of shaking, the Captain raised a quizzical eyebrow as she gestured to the doorway and began walking. "I make no guarantees, Commander, but ask anyway..."

Following her lead and exiting the office, the two began to head off prepared to tackle all that was laid before them. As they walked down the halls of the ship towards their next destination Rokan turned his gaze to the Captain and provided the request he had mentioned. "Promise me we won't forget what Starfleet stood for either. If we find the unknown along the way we still have a duty to seek it out. If we forget who we are amidst all of this, then the Borg will have taken much more than our planets and family."

"We're Starfleet officers Commander," Keziah grinned, "exploring the unknown is part of the job."

"Then let us go find more survivors and begin rebuilding what has been lost." The commitment had left Kovan satisfied, it was one more reassurance from the new Captain. And with that, the two stepped inside a turbolift and headed off to the bridge where both the adventure and resistance were ready to begin.


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