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Solaria Awaits her Fate

Posted on Sun Sep 24th, 2017 @ 5:19pm by Captain Nisea & Vice Admiral Sitak
Edited on on Mon Sep 25th, 2017 @ 8:44pm

Mission: Episode 1: The Gamma Quadrant Awaits...
Location: Various
Timeline: Two Days Prior To Re-Launch

“I don’t give a damn. She’s a pain in the ass and she has GOT to go…”

Imagine the scene. Three high ranking toffs sat around a desk in the most senior persons office, drinks in hand as they discussed the fate of yet another member of the fleet. This time, the fate that these three officers in particular were talking about was the commander of Starbase Five Sixty-Five’s newest visitor – the USS Solaria.

Solaria had arrived at the Starbase many days earlier after some trying missions in the Gavarian Corridor and she had arrived in need of various repairs, much to the chagrin of the Yard Engineers. But, this was not uncommon for a ship of her age or distinction. Having seen countless combat during the Dominion War, and even the intervening years since, the Solaria had suffered her share of battle damage, including wounds that other vessels would have succumbed to – but not her. No, thanks to some more than curious engineering works along the way, the Solaria had managed to survive. Despite the success she had achieved, it usually came at a cost. No mission was ever without its complications and she nearly always spent a spell at a shipyard or Starbase for some sort of repair. It annoyed her Captain and her crew just as much as it annoyed the stressed-out yard engineers who had to conduct the repairs.

Following her last major refit, during which time her bridge module and most of the key facilities underwent an overhaul to bring them up to modern standards, Captain Nisea had taken her ship into the Gavarian Corridor on a mission to escort some civilian freighters to a planet in the Aquorat system. The supplies would never make it to Aquorat though as the ship and those she was escorting were soon ambushed by three Romulan warbirds. After communications had been established and it was ascertained that the Romulans were seemingly independent of any known official group in the Star Empire, Nisea had two choices. Allow the Romulans to take the freighters or destroy their cargo to stop it falling in to their hands. This choice would have ramifications on the future of not only the Captain, but also her crew – they just didn’t know it yet.

Nisea opted to evacuate the civilian crews to her ship and allowed the Romulans to make off with the supplies. It was a fairly easy decision in her mind, especially after all the Romulans had been through in the last year. So, with her mission failed, the Solaria returned to Starbase Five Sixty-Five. Whilst Nisea was confident that she had done the right thing, the Port Admiral’s seemed to disagree. After a short debrief where Nisea had explained her decision and her justification, the Admirals were currently in session, discussing what they felt should be the repercussions for her actions.

All three of the Port Admirals (Vice Admiral Ramsey, Rear Admiral Ryan and Vice Admiral Sitak) seemed to be in agreement – the Captain should have deprived the Romulans of the supplies since there would be no way to track their use.

“I don’t give a damn about what she has achieved in the past, she’s proving to be a pain in the ass and she has GOT to go…” Admiral Ryan elaborated once more, clear in his opinion that he felt that reassignment from command was the only option for the one of the first Syllian’s to enter the fleet.

“Whilst I do not share the tone nor emotions of our esteemed colleague, I do concur that Captain Nisea demonstrated some very poor judgement during this assignment,” the Vulcan and only female in the group began before raising an eyebrow and looking towards the younger man, “from a judicial perspective, the Captain has performed no action that can be deemed worthy of removal from command. It is clear she exercised her rights as the officer in command and made a judgement call – whether we choose to agree with the call or not,” Sitak then let out a sigh and relaxed her eyebrow. “Might I remind you both that we were not present as the situation unfolded and we may have acted as she did had the roles been reversed.”

“Ah, the benefit of hindsight,” Ramsey spoke quietly with a slow nod, his aging body reflected in the tone and mannerisms he demonstrated. His age and experience allowed him to keep a much cooler head than his fellow Terran it seemed.

“Might I remind you, Admiral, that this is not the first judgement call she has fouled up in the last twelve months,” Ryan spoke directly to Vulcan who had so eloquently expressed her differing viewpoint. Ryan, an up and coming officer in the ranks was respected for his own efforts during the C’halkilian Crisis earlier in the decade and had been appointed as Ramsey’s link to Starfleet Tactical only a month prior. He’d had plenty of time to read up on Nisea and the others under Ramsey’s command.

Sitak, however, was a standalone officer. She was not under Ramsey’s command, nor did she have any real say on the Station. She had been summoned by Ramsey due to her extensive legal expertise following years in the Judge Advocate General’s office, and her time as a fleet commander during the Dominion War. He respected and valued her counsel on lots of matters, but ultimately the decision would be down to him.

“I’m well aware of that Admiral,” the aging man spoke with a raised eyebrow and a tone that seemed to come out of nowhere; a sharp tone that indicated that the conversation was seemingly over. “Thank you both for your time. If you don’t mind, I’d like to contact Captain Nisea,” the senior officer and sector commander instructed.

Ryan rose from his chair and was about to protest when Ramsey gave him a glare that reminded the youngster that he was, potentially, as much of an upstart as the problematic Syllian they had been discussing. The younger man opted to vacate the room swiftly and was followed by the Vulcan, leaving Ramsey to his own devices.

Pressing a button on his desk, the Admiral opened a communications channel to his Adjutant in the adjoining office. “=/\=Captain Drayton. Get me Captain Nisea of the Solaria,” he requested.

==[USS Solaria, Dockyard 4]==

The worst part about being in dock was the boredom that it elicited amongst the crew, especially those with little to do during the refit or repairs. Sure, they still had duties to perform but most of them were reduced to administrative tasks and form filling. Yes, they had the opportunity to take some shore leave too, maybe even visit the nearby planet for a time, but it was no substitute for being on a mission. The thrill of the chase, of having a task to do, of going on away missions. For the ship’s Captain it was no different. While she enjoyed the relative freedom a layover brought, she always found herself longing for a return to space eventually. This time, as she poured over crew evaluations, recommendations and ship status reports, she couldn’t help but dream of being out among the stars again. She had spent hours playing over the incident that had resulted in their prolonged stay in dock and hoped that it wouldn’t have too much of an impact on her ship or crew; at least no more than it already had.

She was sat at the desk in her ready room trawling over the latest crew recommendations, this time for the new Chief Engineering Officer she was looking to appoint to her team, when the computerized door chime rang, signalling a visitor at his door. A distraction at last!

“Come!” she beckoned towards the door as she continued looking at her data PADD.

Once the doors parted and the visitor entered, a smile crept on the grey, chiselled face of the Syllian. She put the PADD down and rose from her chair. “Alex, come in,” she spoke in her usual harsh tone.

A Terran and the former confidant of the Captain, Alexandre Levett had been the Solaria’s first officer for a number of years until the ship had returned to Starbase Five Sixty-Five just over a week ago. Since then, he had been reassigned and promoted to command his own vessel. Now as the commanding officer of the USS Phoenix, an Excalibur-class starship, the newly minted CO had been aboard to take care of some last-minute business and tie up some loose ends. With his affairs in order, the Captain’s friend had come to bid farewell. His striking blue eyes surveyed the ready room as he stepped over to the desk and shared a handshake with his former commander.

“Permission to disembark, ma’am?” he smiled as the two released and Nisea sat on the edge of her desk.

“Granted,” the Syllian spoke as she shuffled on the desk edge and got comfortable, a solemn smile on her face. “So, where is the Phoenix off to?” she queried, her arms now folded across her chest.

“The Neutral Zone,” Levett spoke as he puffed out his chest and took a deep breath. They had shared many sleepless nights near Romulan space and he was sure he would have many more. They would be very different now that he would be in command of his own ship. “We’re part of Riker’s new Task Force. Six months of patrols and border disputes,” the Terran sighed as he let out a wry smile.

“Well, I can’t think of a better man for the job,” Nisea nodded slowly. “If I may, just a word of advice about your first command?”

Levett nodded eagerly, willing to listen to any advice his trusted Captain. “Anything.” He responded.

“When your first officer insists that you can't go on away missions, make sure you tell him to shut up and go anyway...” Nisea began with a smile before she was interrupted by her former first officer.

“Her,” Levett laughed with a smile, “my XO is woman from Trill. They’re popping up all over the place these days!” he smirked as they exchanged smiles that soon faded as the two friends shared an almost awkward silence that neither officer truly ever wanted or expected. It was the silence that indicated that, once and for all, there time together was over. “Serving with you, this ship, this crew... it’s been an honor,” the new Captain announced.

Nisea pushed herself off the desk and tugged on the hem on the bottom of her uniform jacket as she smiled and offered her hand in friendship one last time. “The honor was mine…” she paused briefly before adding, “Captain,” as the final sign of respect between the two. At last, they were equals.

No sooner than he had arrived, the newest Captain of the fleet departed, his head lowered as he vacated the ready room one last time, leaving the Syllian alone with her thoughts. Thoughts of time long since gone, thoughts of a new executive officer, thoughts of a new frontier.

A short time later the doors to the bridge parted once more and granted the Captain entrance to the command centre of the Galaxy-class vessel. The room had been cleaned, the consoles polished and the bulkheads painted over the course of the last few days as the ship had been given a thorough going over to ensure she was up to standard for her next launch. The Captain strolled around the room as yard engineers and some of the Solaria crew put the finishing touches to the ships repairs. She ran a gentle hand along the rail that ran behind her command chair and that of her new executive officer. It felt very weird knowing that Levett, Dawson, Vittoria and several others were gone and would not be returning – it was almost like a house when the children had moved out. The one positive in the situation was that several officers who had been long overdue promotions would have the chance to step up and prove their worth at last.

The woman flexed the crap like extremities on the back of her head as she took in a deep breath and absorbed the smell of a freshly decorated bridge and stood at the rail behind her command chair. She was looking around when her eyes were diverted to the view screen that was active, her gaze falling on to the Dockyard just a few kilometres from the one that the Solaria occupied. It was as if fate knew to draw her gaze to the ship berthed there as it powered its engines and began the slow crawl out of the docking facility. Soon enough, the majestic Excalibur-class vessel her friend now commanded vacated her resting place and turned on her y-axis, moving directly across the would-be flight path of the Solaria, almost as if Levett was saying goodbye one last time.

“By god that’s a big ship,” a voice spoke from behind the Captain as a figure moved up behind and joined him at the tactical rail.

“Almost as big as her Captain I think,” the commander of Solaria smirked loudly. Nisea’s gaze turned and she smiled at the presence of the ships Bajoran relief Tactical Officer. “Lieutenant,” she nodded in both greeting and approval of the man’s statement.

“Captain,” the Bajoran smiled in response before offering up a data PADD to the commanding officer. “Two days ma’am and we’ll be ready to go. According to Lieutenant th’Zorati, the last of the yard engineers should be off the ship tomorrow and then we can put the finishing touches into place and be ready for launch at fourteen hundred on Wednesday,” the Tactical officer revealed.

Nisea read over the data PADD the man had shared with him and nodded in satisfaction. “I received confirmation that Lieutenant Jones would be aboard before eleven hundred tomorrow. That’ll give him enough time to get to grips with the ships refit and then fill you in on the repairs to the weapons array,” Nisea informed as she passed the data PADD back to the tactical officer.

“Yes ma’am,” the Bajoran nodded before bidding a swift farewell and exiting the bridge to return to his duties elsewhere.

With very little keeping her on the bridge at present, Nisea made for the exit to return to the sanctuary of her ready room and the piles of reports but, when just inches from the door, the bridge suddenly descended into chaos with different alarms and chimes ringing out from various consoles and stations causing great alarm in the officers present. Gor turned and glanced up at Ensign Grier at Ops. “Report,” she called out gruffly as she walked towards the command chair.

“We’re receiving various transmissions and sensor readings. It’s a mess…” the Ensign began before throwing his arms up in frustration. “Now I’m receiving an encrypted transmission,” she moaned.

Nisea plodded her way over to the Ensign’s console and reviewed what was on the screen. As she was looking the screen suddenly changed to display a new message. “Incoming Priority One Transmission.” That caused Nisea to spring in to action as it meant only one thing; a priority transmission from Starfleet Command for her eyes only – probably some brand new orders.

“Recall all personnel from the surface and have the department heads submit status reports within the hour. Contact the station; have them recall the yard engineers and inform them we need our Chief Engineer aboard as soon as possible,” the Syllian grunted as she began to walk back towards her ready room. “Patch the message through, Ensign,” she ordered before disappearing inside.

For the young, blonde Terran seemingly in command in the absence of the majority of the bridge crew, Grier began to feel the pressure of being on the bridge of one of the fleets command ships. Whatever had transpired leading up to the transmission had ruined her quiet start to life on the Solaria. She just hoped that whatever it was would be easy to resolve.

 

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