The Morning After The Night Before...
Posted on Monday February 15th, 2021 @ 11:33pm by Captain Nilani Azulas & Captain Shelby Adams & Lieutenant Commander Deila Fargold & Lieutenant Ziq Chura & Lieutenant Caspar Matero 'CJ' & Lieutenant Anjohl Gaden & Lieutenant JG Dadora Jecia & Ensign Ekal Dreisor
Episode 1: The Maelstrom Awaits
Timeline: Day 10 at 0700
Emerging onto the bridge of the Nogura at a minute past seven on the tenth day of her second reign as mistress and commander of the mighty Sovereign-class vessel, the Trill Captain couldn't help but wince as the bright lights of the command centre began an assault on her senses. An assault that was only made worse by the rapid, bouncing blonde woman that appeared in front of her within seconds of the Captain stepping foot off the turbo lift.
"Good morning, Captain!" the energetic young officer greeted her Commander. "I trust the Bajoran ale I secured for you went down ok?" Lieutenant Noli grinned as she waited for the fragile looking Captain to respond.
Taking a deep breath, the Captain steeled herself for the day ahead, and urged Azulas to try and keep the contents of their shared stomach safe and sound inside her body. "I fear it went down a little too easy, thank you Lieutenant," the Captain eventually responded, wandering round the tactical rail and towards the command chair. She stopped dead in her tracks when, to her surprise, she was faced with someone who looked even worse for wear than she did.
"I told you Romulan Ale was illegal..." Nilani frowned as she glared down at the exhausted looking XO.
"...and now we know why..." Shelby retorted, using her hands to push herself up and out of the command chair, and into her own seat at the Captain's right hand. "I'll let the Lieutenant brief you," she grimaced, waving a hand in Noli's direction as Azulas finally took her seat.
"Only three events of note during delta shift, Captain," the Bajoran began her report, using every ounce of her being to stop herself from howling with laughter at the sight of the two senior officers who, clearly, had not enjoyed alcohol like this for a long time.
Nilani simply nodded and allowed her to continue.
"The last of the yard engineers departed at oh-four-hundred this morning, giving us the all clear. And Senior Chief Oaran went in to labour at oh-five-thirty," the Bajoran reported.
"Already?" the Captain looked as surprised as her worse for wear body would allow, "that's three weeks early."
"Indeed, but sickbay reports mother and baby are doing well and will let us know once baby has arrived," Noli answered back, as reassuringly as she could.
"Tell her the best bit..." Shelby frowned as she shifted in her seat in order to get comfortable.
At this point, Noli Auru bristled. "Rear Admiral Gor will be beaming aboard at oh-nine-hundred hours. Apparently we're to take him as far as the Starship Johannesburg, near Bolarus, before we go our separate ways," she revealed, much to the apparent displeasure of a suddenly wide awake, and rather annoyed looking Captain Azulas.
"And you didn't think to start with that?!" the Captain frowned as she rose to her feet again and made for her ready room. "Lieutenant, the bridge is yours until someone from alpha takes over. Shelby, get in there and clean yourself up," Nilani grimaced before disappearing behind the door of her ready room.
"Told you she'd take it well..." Making it to her feet, Adams smirked as she slapped the Lieutenant on the shoulder and made her way across to the First Officer's ready room. "Looks like you're on alpha shift for a while after all, Noli..."
Sighing, the poor Lieutenant watched as the XO disappeared into her private office, just as the Captain had, hoping that whoever arrived next was at least a little more ready for the day shift.
Ekal arrived, comfortable and ready for the day. She was warm enough and bundled into her thermals under her uniform. It took a lot more alcohol than she let herself drink to get a Cardassian hungover.
"Good morning Lieutenant Noli." She nodded to the Bajoran and slunk to her station to bring up the appropriate star charts.
"Ensign," the Bajoran nodded respectfully at the Cardassian making her way to the CONN.
The Halanan Operations officer stepped on the Bridge with a PADD in hand. A long sigh escaped her lips as she saw the last of the repairs had been made. It was certainly nothing that would have halted their departure, but she'd promised the Captain it'd be as good as new by the time they departed. "Morning, everyone," she said as she took her station at Ops.
Following her usual morning routine, which consisted of replicating herself a nice, strong coffee before she began work, Deila walked onto the bridge from the turbolift, bright and cheery as ever. She hadn't drunk much last night, for no other reason than she didn't much care for alcohol.
She nodded over to Ensign Ekal and Lieutenant Noli before taking up her station.
"Commander," Noli smiled as she approached the new Strategic Operations Officer, intent to hand over command to the red uniformed officer, only to be stopped by the sudden emergence of the Captain, who looked significantly more composed than before. A silent nod between the two signalled the commanding officer's relief, and gratitude, to the Lieutenant.
Chura busied himself at the ship's Tactical station. He was running last minute diagnostics on the weapons and shields along with double-checking the torpedoes compliment in the armoury. "Tactical systems are ready and standing by. Security has made final ship-wide checks, everything is as it should be, Captain."
"Excellent news," Nilani nodded in approval to the Bolian sat at the tactical rail. Taking her customary position at the heart of the command centre, she waited for news from the other departments.
The turbolift doors hissed open and CJ walked onto the Bridge; again he was struck by how familiar it all felt, it was so similar (the latest modifications aside) to the Venerable. He had been torn on whether to come up in person or to send one of his team, but given the scale of the modifications to Nogura's systems and the range of threats out there finally determined t be with the other Department Heads. He also allowed himself to satisfy his curiosity. This was a big moment in Nogura's return to Starfleet, and he wanted to be at the heart of it."
"Computer, transfer Engineering control to the Bridge," he said rather flatly. As the Engineering terminal lit up, he gave the readouts a swift read to confirm that nothing had changed during his ride in the turbolift. "Engineering ready in all respects, Captain, power and propulsion systems available at your command."
"Propulsion systems online, docking clamps remain in place." Ekal pressed a couple of buttons. "We are ready to go as soon as everyone is aboard."
Deila had been scanning over her terminal as the others arrived, making sure everything was in order. "Strategic Ops ready and waiting."
"All systems nominal, Captain," Dadora stated as she ran a final systems check, everything coming back green.
Commander Adams soon appeared from her own ready room, just in time to hear the words of the Strategic Operations officer, and to assume her seat at the right hand of the Captain.
Reaching for the arm of her chair, the Captain opened a comm channel. "=/\=Bridge to sickbay. Are you ready for departure, Doctor?"
Gaden, who had just been treating a preadolescent boy who had managed to sprain his ankle in the holodeck, hit his comm badge. "=/\= Sickbay here, "we are ready to go. Yes ma'am."
"=/\=Excellent. Bridge out," the Captain smiled, closing the channel as quickly as she had opened it. "Alright then everyone," she began, rising to her feet and taking a step forward, the Captain stood in the centre of the bridge and looked out into space beyond them via the viewscreen. "No fancy speeches this time, we've got a job to do. Lieutenant Jecia, clear our departure with station ops. Helm, prepare to disengage mooring clamps and engage impulse engines," the Trill ordered, a massive smile on her face. This. This right here was what she lived for these days.
"Helm is ready." Ekal hummed, turning back to her station.
"Aye, Captain," Jecia said. Her voice lowered as she contacted the station for final clearance. The exchange was quiet and brief. The Halanan took a deep breath before turning to her right, her eyes meeting the Captains. "We're officially cleared for departure, Captain." All that was left at this point, was for Captain Azulas to say the word. Dadora's eyes turned towards the main viewer. For some reason, this was always the most exciting part.
"Let's roll," the Captain grinned, but the grin soon faded when she realised she didn't like the sound of her new, 'go to' phrase. She had used many before, with 'punch it' a particular favorite, but now she wanted something new. Something better. And 'let's roll' wasn't it, it turned out. Returning to her seat, she mentally chastised herself for the usage and then refocused her attention to the screen.
"Acknowledged." Ekal disengaged the clamps and eased them away from the station, aligning them to their course. 'Roll' seemed charmingly antiquated. She didn't like it. But the captain could say whatever she wanted to, Ekal just took the orders and moved the ship.
The vibrations of the ship's movements were minute, but a trained engineer like the Captain could feel every single one. And she enjoyed each of them. After all, each vibration meant the ship was out of dock and doing what it was meant to do - travelling through the stars.
"CJ," the Captain called out. "I want to conduct a run through of the warp drive. Start at one, cycle through and up to maximum warp. What do you think?" she enquired of the engineer.
CJ frowned as he thought about the Captain's proposal. It was thorough and measured. No nonsense, he realised. "Yes Ma'am," he said slowly, still thinking. "The refit has gone better than any of us anticipated, the team is ready. Do you want to test her maximum?" He asked this with a faint smile. "Are we pushing her to the limit?" Like his Captain, CJ wanted to test this new propulsion system.
"Get us to maximum, and we'll maintain that for a few hours, then drop to cruising speed," the Captain confirmed with a nod. "Ensign, find us a nice spot where we can conduct some weapons tests. I'm sure Lieutenant Chura would love an opportunity to test the targeting array?" the Trill smiled, gradually turning her head to look at the Bolian.
"Yes Ma'am," CJ said with a smile. "The team is looking forward to seeing what Nogura can do. Standing by at your command."
Ekal consulted some charts and found an asteroid field that wasn’t too far out of their way. Where else would be better to run some weapons tests? As she did that, she increased their speed steadily.
Deila had nothing much to do with these tests, considering most tactical matters were under Lieutenant Chura's jurisdiction, so she spent her time going through the ship's databanks, analysing any intelligence and reports on the Nogura, the Maelstrom, and the surrounding area. She had to be prepared for anything, especially if the Captain should require her to brief the command staff on plausible tactical or political strategies needed in the Maelstrom.
And just like that, the Nogura's mission was underway at last. Together, this fledgling crew would do their best to solve the mystery of the ships last mission. For now, the vast ocean of space awaited.