The Journey Home Part 2
Posted on 14 Jul 2021 @ 9:20pm by Lieutenant Colonel Alexandria Somers & Lieutenant Commander Alexanderia Cahill & Lieutenant Commander Remington Dodd & Lieutenant Matthew Thompson & Lieutenant JG Leland Hawksley & Lieutenant JG Nicole Taggert & Lieutenant JG Tosrol Ze & Captain Patrick Jackson & Lieutenant JG Ted Silver & Ensign Teela Tjaansz & Petty Officer 3rd Class Ramon Machado
S03 Ep 03 Trouble in the Sticks UXSys 659842 (Main) Phase 2
Timeline: After BDZ Order
- Science Lab -
Ted had excepted the situation on the planet. Now it was up to Starfleet what was to be done. It was an even chance the terra-formers would be called in. But Ted wondered about the soil. It had been exposed to extreme heat. If he could find a way to re-energize it. Then maybe terraforming would be the last option.
He placed a soil sample in an enclosed area. Then subjected it to the same level of heat. That the soil on the planet would have been subjected to. Ted examined it under a microscope/scanner. The soil was virtually lifeless all of the oxygen had been burned out of it. Causing all the nutrients to be stripped away. He then did a molecular scan and found nothing but destruction.
"I told you it was dead", Matt said. "I ran a complete spectrographic analysis on the biosphere. I think it will require more the Terraforming to restore life on that planet." He added.
" This is going to be tricky," Ted said aloud.
Ted called up the old historical files on Earth. To see how through history. Parts of Earth had dealt with the aftermath of forest fires. He noticed a lot of the files came from a country called Australia. Were bush fires seemed to happen each year. He wanted to see what type of plants grew in areas where the soil had been burnt the most. Ted noticed it stated that most grasses and moss. Seemed to take a hole but only after the rains had come.
" Water. That is the key. If I can break down the molecular make-up of the water. That may be the key." Ted said aloud to himself.
"Maybe in conjunction with soil reclamators", Matt said hopefully.
Thyra walked into the science lab with a padd. "What is the key to what?" She looked interested in everything in the room. "It doesn't matter, I was just wondering if you could sign off these reports for the away mission I finally got time to. Crew evaluations were up first apparently for Lieutenant Winchester. Sometimes I wonder if I am his Yeoman secretary and not his deputy. That man has more work stacked up than I have ever seen in my life." She sighed. "Sorry for the rant. Here is the report." She handed the Padd.
Ted ran his eyes over the reports signing where he needed to. Thanks to his counselling sessions he no longer felt bad. When anything was mentioned about the last mission. Silver had accepted those people had died well before the Tomcat had arrived. There was absolutely nothing that could have been done.
" Apart from being mistaken for a yeoman. How are you doing?" Silver asked her.
"Other than that, I am doing well," Thyra said with a smile. But then she looked serious again. She walked in, ranted about her own problems and never asked how he was doing. "So, how are you doing? How are you feeling?"
“ You know a lot better than before. The counselling sessions have really helped. Anyway, don’t worry about the rant. They say a good rant clears the head. Just so long as the person you do it in front of does not have more. Metalwork on their collar then yourself.” Ted said with a smile.
- Marine Barracks -
Deep in the heart of Marine Country, also known as Deck 8, echoes of weights dropping to the ground, exercise machines clacking and general chatter could be heard with an occasional yell down half of the port side deck. Early in the morning for Marines means morning PT. Today was a busy day in the Marine gym and everyone was burning off a little extra energy with the promise of shore leave coming up. For their CO, it was a chance to literally work out some of the stress from the away team mission.
Patrick was on the bench press doing sets with Gunnery Sergeant Rommel. This was his last set and he was having a struggle getting the last rep up. Rommel was spotting him. "Push!" Rommel yelled down. "Come on Lieutenant, my grandmother did this set." He said. Patrick replied through gritted teeth "Heard it." The Sergeant continued "She was 12 at the time." The weight dropped onto Patrick's chest with a whoosh of air and laughter. Rommel helped pick up the weight and rack it laughing the whole time.
"I had not heard that part," Patrick said sitting up on the bench chuckling. The Gunnery Sergeant was about to say something when the ship's com sent the message from the Colonel. "You're a man in demand Lieutenant," Rommel said and tossed Patrick a towel who caught it and nodded. "I better go clear my afternoon. Thanks for the spot Gunny. Keep these boys and girls out of trouble while I'm in the meeting will you?" He said gesturing to a few Marines at lift stations. There were several cheeky smiles from the ranks offering implied mischief but Patrick knew they would all stay in line.
"No problem sir," Rommel said putting a fist into an open palm. "I'll keep them in line." Laughter and the ring of weights returned as the Lieutenant left the gym.
- Engineering -
Teela put on a pair of glasses while she worked on the console facing opposite the warp drive, looking somewhat like an early 21st century thin wireframe with UV and glare protection film on them. She had perfect vision according to her species, but working on human ships had caused a little strain to her eyes. She had 7 cones like every one of her species, giving her a much more vivid visual range from IR to UV and a much better low-light range, but evolution on her planet didn't take into account computer displays. Much like humans in the late 20th and early 21st century displays having eye strain from blue light late at night, Teela got strained eyes from using LCARS for too long. Humans couldn't see it, but when she looked at the displays, it looked like an old, faded VHS tape with garish colours showing brightly (imagine the worst 90's fashion, add a black light, and turn up the brightness).
"Oh, man that helps," Teela said to herself as she tapped a few controls on the vertical panel, opposite the warp core.
"Is there something different about you?" Machado asked when he saw the glasses on Teela.
"Oh hey!" Teela replied with a smile, glasses on.
"Hey, I have never seen you wear protective eye gear, are you okay?" Machado asked.
"Huh? Oh, these?" she pointed to her glasses. "Yeah, the doctor recommended them when working with these computers. I have to update a few more panels and a few more LCARS to the new chroma settings."
"So you are having issues with your eyes, I am sorry to hear that," Machado stated in response.
"Well, I'm septa chromatic, and the displays weren't calibrated with species like mine in mind, so I see a lot of extra colours that kinda hurt my eyes when I'm using the computer, so the doctor gave me a pair of glasses to help," Teela replied.
"I see and I hope that the glasses help you," Machado replied. "I was going to get a drink after our shift and was wanting to know if you would like to join me to talk some in the lounge?"
"Oh, that would be fun!" Teela said with a smile, her purple skin blushing a darker purple as she did. "The Asheyan Sunrise is my favourite! You've got to try it! Just let me adjust the chroma levels on these displays and adjust the LCARS data throughputs, and I think I'll be done."
"Great, I look forward to hanging out and talking over drinks. I will give that Asheyan Sunrise a try as well." Machado stated as he let Teela get back to work.
- Bridge -
Serina was watching her navigational computer, "Hawksley.......you did well with your shuttle. You handled her well. I'm glad everyone got back safely," she said softly so only he could hear.
Leland had perked up from his console, hearing Donovan's voice. His Mentor had imparted him with the necessary skills to pilot tricky situations with the vessel of the Tomcat.
"I appreciate, Serina. I do." Hawk had let a half-sombre smile cross. His face was not all too fazed by the fact that they had all worked in the destruction of a species on a planet they had no business with.
Lamia stepped out of the turbolift onto the bridge, she’d been briefly away trying to clear her head a little. The downside of Betazoid senses was high levels of emotion were difficult to block out. Walking over to her seat she sat down and made herself comfortable. Once they got back she was looking forward to some time alone with Chris.
Dr Cahill continued to sit in the Comm. She was real quiet as she was thinking about the situation. As reports were brought to her she signed them and smiled when she returned them. She found herself thinking about the situation and what she could have done wrong to change the situation and have her get the promotion. But she came up with the same conclusion every time. It was not in the cards this time for her to be promoted. She hated not being promoted but did not say anything to anyone. This was a private thought and concerned no one but her. She hated finishing in 2nd place in anything.
Tosrol was at his operations station, lost in thought it had been a long mission and after the situation of the shuttle it left him feeling a little soft and fragile around the edges, when you're asked to shoot down a shuttle it leaves a mark on you, a mark he would have to reach out to a counsellor to start the process of fixing it would be a long process but he felt hollow and sad as soon as they were back at the starbase he would go and make the appointment.
Paul had not long returned to the Bridge and was at the Security Station checking that everything was ok and that the ship was not in any danger, which for him was good news; but after what he and his team had been through he knew that he needed to talk with someone.
- Engineering -
She had gotten a good workout in with Mr Jackson, who was, from her perspective, a good Marine, and so far, a good friend. Nicole Taggert walked into the engineering, just having been promoted to Chief Engineer, maintaining her rank for the time being. The engineers had been called together for a short meeting, and the main area was certainly large enough for everyone to get together. Nicci stood with her feet shoulder-width apart, hair up in a bun so as not to get caught in anything, and arms clasped behind her as she took in the scene.
Humans, Bajorans, Vulcans, Aktevans, all kinds of people were there, waiting for her to begin.
"Good morning, everyone," Taggert said with a slight nod to the crew. "As of this morning, I have been promoted to Chief of Engineering, effective from when we arrive at Starbase 51. Mr Dodd has been promoted to First Officer and he left me in charge to get used to commanding a department he left some big shoes to fill, but I will work to make this the best engineering department in the fleet. We're not only going to have the ship running like a well-oiled machine that it is, but we are going to be proactive, not just reactive. The Tomcat is not just a machine, she's our home in the sea of stars. As of now, no one is changing jobs or moving around, because you all know what to do and you do it well. I need you where you are, where Dodd trusted you. I will be going through crew reports and evaluations to understand where your talents and interests lie over the next few weeks and one-on-one meetings. Now, let's get to work. Dismissed."
The crew started returning to their posts. Taggert walked deeper into engineering to get to her new office as Chief and didn't hear the whispers of two of the enlisted as she left.
One of the crewmen, David Caswell, an E-4 despite his years, remarked in a whisper to Bryan Richards, "I guess I know how she got the job."
Bryan chuckled. He was tall like Caswell, 5'11", and an E-6, with greying hair, one eye pointing in a different direction and a head that seemed permanently slightly sideways, "She's got two talents and you can see 'em coming and going."
Caswell added, "She looks more like she should be in adult entertainment, not Starfleet."
Patrick had been in the back of engineering a little out of sight so as not to bother the new Chief Engineer giving her first speech. He overheard the crosstraining Marines comments. "MARINES! Ten-HUT!" He yelled in a bellow that echoed the whole section. The two Marines quickly snapped to attention, as did all eyes snap to the paralyzed Marines and their upset commanding officer.
"What do you two jarheads think you're doing down here?" He marched out in front of them and looked at the wide-eyed Marines. "You come on down here to play engineer? I didn't realize there was a playpen down here that they let children play with blocks."
With a timid voice, Caswell spoke up. "Crosstraining sir."
Patrick spun on his heels and put his is a face within an inch of Caswell and bellowed. "Did I give you permission to speak Corporal or have you taken it upon yourself to tell me how to do my job!?" He bellowed out.
"SIR, NO SIR!" The corporal yelled in reply.
The fire burned in the MCO's eyes. He saw the other engineering staff backing up a distance. "You two talk like that about all your superior officers? What have you said about me? You think the Colonel got her rank the same way?!" He paced between then. A unified "Sir, no sir!" Echoed in the silent engineering bay.
"Staff Sergeant, I am highly disappointed in you. Both of your conducts are an embarrassment to the Marines, Federation, and myself personally!" He fumed. Engineering was getting a small taste of Marine basic. He had yelled up to this point and all at once stopped, stood in between them and bent at the hip and put his head between them. The only thing more intimidating than a yelling officer was a whispering one.
Colour drained out of both of their faces after a moment. He spoke too quietly for anyone but those two to hear. After making himself clear in a whisper, he snapped upright and bellowed "Dismissed!" They turned about and marched out of engineering. He stood straight watching them leave. Once they were gone, without looking around, "Carry on Engineering." He said and relaxed some, making his way to the chief's office.
- Chief's Office, Engineering -
Dodd had cleared his stuff out already, being pretty thorough. Lt. Taggert had stopped by her quarters to give her family the news of her promotion, so he must've done it around then.
She hadn't really put too much in her office, so it didn't take long to grab it and bring it over. She set down a few small busts of some famous Americans - Washington, Jefferson, Cleveland, Lee, Coolidge, T.R., Kennedy, Hancock, Carter - to remind her of where she came from, along with a picture of her family from when she came back from captivity. Starfleet had her sign an agreement to replace her former image in all her family pictures, and never talk of her old identity, in exchange for returning to service...and doing a few side missions for Starfleet before returning to a ship.
She placed a few small plants (rosemary, lavender, basil, mint, jasmine, rose geranium, coffee, and honeysuckle) and some old American flags on the desk - the Betsy Ross, Gadsden, the War of 1812 flag, Grand Union, and a few others, including all the Georgia flags, for her home state. She hung a larger flag (https://bit.ly/3juzH5B), about 2'x1' nearly touching the desk on the wall, and set up her computer station to her own settings, moving the standard, but small, table-top monitor off to the couch, then setting up a wider monitor that had a slight curve to it, and a nice 1/3-circle keyboard/interface area.
A few knick-knacks from history came with her - a genuine Optimus Prime from the 20th century from her dad along with a Leader-1, an 1865 silver half-dollar from both the US and CS, in a case together, a captain's rank pin from the 2280s, when Captain Kirk was demoted to captain, and an IDIC medallion from Ambassador Spock, given to her Aunt Debbie when she had travelled on a starship once and got the chance to meet him. She spoke about it for months afterwards. Nicci liked her history, even if she didn't know all of it, or have the emotional intensity of having lived then, but it grounded her.
The office was feeling like hers when the door chimed, and she got her first visitor.
Patrick walked in after being announced. "Hello Chief, Allow me to say congratulations in your new office." He said with a smile.
"Why thank you, First Lieutenant," Taggert said with a smile. "Please, take a seat," she said, gesturing to one of the two chairs in front of the desk. Her desk.
"Thank you, Chief." He said made his way to a chair across from her at her desk.
"Just getting used to that...Chief..." Nicci said, with one of those 'wow' expressions with widened eyes and a head shake. "I hope I don't have any Maxwell Smarts show up on the ship."
The marine looked confused. "Maxwell Smart? Not familiar with that crewman."
"One of the few old, old shows I watched growing up. My dad loved it," Nicci smiled, remembering the humour. "Mel Brooks, great comedian of that era. Maxwell Smart bungled everything, giving his Chief a headache. Always said, 'Sorry about that Chief' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvYY1zrC3BA), getting an eye-roll back."
"Ah, I got ya. Well, I'm not assigned to engineering, so I think you're safe from that." He said as he looked around. "This all-new décor?"
"Yep, just making the place feel a little more like home," she said, gesturing to all the knickknacks around. "They say it improves productivity to make space feel like yours, you know?"
"It's nice." He said. "I have been thinking about a plant. Otherwise, it's just workspace, cabinets and a flag." He paused a moment. "I need to apologize Chief. I may have caused a disturbance in your engineering bay. Two of my Marines that were crosstraining made some inappropriate remarks. I addressed the problem as a Marine, and that probably won't get me invited to the next Engineering potluck."
She smiled and chuckled a little feminine laugh. "No need to apologize," she said as she leaned back in her chair. Funny...her chair. "As much as Starfleet boasts about its scientific exploration of space and pushing the boundaries of knowledge...we're the military of the Federation. There's no getting around that, and we need military discipline in the ranks, even if our captains sometimes give the officers leeway."
He smiled back. "Captain's prerogative I know. Although leeway can go a long way and a different way than discipline alone. They both have their place."
"So, crosstraining the Marines, huh?" she said with a curious look to her brow.
"Yeah, I'll get with the sergeant that assigned them and make sure they go through Ops and whoever your next assistant will be first. Make sure we get some that have basic common sense and a bit more smarts than I have. Not that I don't mind that lesson you gave me." He laughed.
"Would you be willing to cross-train some of my engineers? Give 'em a little self-defence and fitness work? I know Darcy and Max, those twins need a little more discipline-based on my time as Assistant Chief."
Patrick nodded. "Absolutely. I can get them whipped into shape. Always good to have a little extra combat training in case of boarding. I'll make sure they give you the respect you earned." He looked around and nodded. "Told you that you'd be a CEO someday. Just didn't realize how fast."
"It was fast, to be honest," she said, a surprised look on her face as she thought about it. "How long has it been since I arrived on the ship?"
He shrugged. "I think I read in the ship manifest something around two years?"
"Yeah, it's been a while. It doesn't feel that long. I keep feeling like I'm still 22 and fresh out of the Academy and all. I haven't even gotten my engineering doctorate finished..."
He laughed. "Trying to be that overachiever?"
"Well, never hurts to be an overachiever, right?" she smiled. "I'm working through my Masters of Engineering right now. I'm about halfway done with distance learning. Holo-classes make things so much easier nowadays."
Patrick did his best to look smart, which did not go well. "Well, I successfully completed my primary education." He laughed. "I'm taking extra leadership training, so back in some school at least." He said and stood up. "I need to go clean my house and get some Marines in line." He turned to leave then turned back to her. "Buy you a drink tonight to celebrate? I wouldn't be much of a friend if we didn't do something to celebrate your achievement."
"You got it, LT," Nicci replied with a smile and a finger-point towards him, as he left and she got to starting on crew evaluations.
- Bridge -
After the Colonel had finished in the CRR she returned to the bridge and looked at Cahill "ETA on reaching SB 51?" She asked Cahill, she had a string of other things to do but first things first.
Cahill replied, "Everything is 5x5 and we are at Warp 5. ETA for SB51 is 4.5 hours LTC Somers" She then moved to the Medical Station to allow LTC Somers took her seat.
Leland sat at his flight control managing the ships stats and parameters of an in-flight warp bubble. "A slight phase disturbance began causing an energy variant in the Tomcat phase slip," Hawksley reported to the CO.
"Bring us to impulse Lieutenant," she said to Hawksley and turned tapped her Commbadge =/\= Somers to Dodd, can you check the engines and power distribution as we had to drop to Impulse due to warp issue =/\= she said.
=/\= Dodd here captain, there was a small glitch as we were doing some diagnostics in the secondary warp systems and they affected the main warp systems. However, you can have warp drive in ten minutes as we shut down the diagnostics until we get to Starbase 51." Dodd out. =/\= Dodd replied to the COL's call as he happened to be back in engineering.
=/\=Thank you, Lieutenant, no rush we have that Ceremony to go through, so your team has some time, Somers out =/\= Alex said logging off and sitting back into the Captain's chair.
=/\= Hawksley to Engineering. = /\= Hawk had cracked his `set of knuckles on his large right wrist, relieving some of the early arthritis pain of his nordic body. =/\= I’ve re attenuated the new course parameters and re-engaged the system. Ready when you are, Sir. CFO out. =/\= Leland slapped his left-sided com on his red uniform.
=/\= All is good to go, for warp speeds up to warp 5 now and in the next five minutes you can go to maximum if needed. =/\= Dodd replied.
=/\= Engineering, read. Warp 5. Nearing maximum past five minutes. Over. =/\= Hawksley plugged in the new propulsion calculations into the LCARs.
Cahill returned to XO Seat and looked concerned, "What is up Captain? I was checking some things on the Medical Section.
Somers shook her head "nothing engineering can't fix" still in the chair she called up the display on the screen that was in the arm of her chair and read through some things, then she noticed the time she switched the screen she was reading off and stood tugging her tunic down "I guess it is time for that Ceremony, remember all senior staff have to attend" she said and looked at Cahill "Commander when the relief has arrived to take over on the bridge and then head down to the flight deck for the Ceremony" Somers said.
"Aye Captain, Lieutenant Johnson is scheduled to take over Conn when I go down. I also left word where you will be busy with the awards and promotions ceremony to contact me if there are any questions or needs. This will allow you to do what you need to during the ceremony without interruption. I would of course inform you if it was something serious." Replied Cahill
"Good, it is time that some of the crew get long-overdue promotions and this ceremony should go some way to ease crew sad feelings, after what we have been through they need some celebration. When the relief crew arrive head straight down to the flight deck commander" Somers said and left before the CMO could respond.
- Science Lab -
Ted had not checked his terminal. So he did not know how long the message had been there. But when he did Silver saw the order to report to the flight deck after his shift was over. Ted looked at the time. He would make it plenty of time.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexandria Somers [P: Somers]
Lieutenant Commander Alexanderia Cahill MD
Chief Medical Officer/2XO
Lieutenant Remington Dodd
Chief Engineering Officer
Lieutenant Jg. Paul Winchester
Chief of Security
Lt. Jg Nicole Taggert
Assistant Chief Engineer
Lieutenant Jg Matthew Thompson
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant Jg Leland Hawksley
Chief Helm Officer
Lieutenant Jg Torsol Ze
Chief Operations Officer
1st Lt Patrick Jackson
Marine Commanding Officer
Ensign Ted Silver
Assistant Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant JG Serina 'Reaper' Donovan
CAG/Raider 1/Helm Officer
Ensign Teela Tjaansz [P: Taggert]
Petty Officer 3 Ramon Machado [P: Dodd]