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Command Team Meets

Posted on Mon Oct 9th, 2017 @ 6:45am by Captain Nilani Azulas & Commander Seth Cohen

Mission: Episode 1: The Gamma Quadrant Awaits...
Location: Transport Departing New Bajor
Timeline: 1900 Hours Day Before MD01

Bajor; a beautiful planet that had really begun to flourish in recent years thanks to the end of the Dominion War and the Bajoran people joining the Federation at long last. It was also now a massive transport hub for the Federation. With DS9 nearby and the sectors first Shipyards under construction, the Bajor system was going from strength to strength and it was a delight to see for many of the visitors to the region.

With many a Starfleet officer assigned to Bajor, it was no surprise that most of those transferring to the Gamma Quadrant had to stop at Bajor first - not that they minded; there were far worse places one could visit in the Alpha Quadrant. On this particular day, Transport 275 was in the hangar bay on the planets surface, waiting for the last of her passengers before heading off to Starbase 565. Security personnel stood at the entrance to the hangar bay and scanned all luggage and vetted all personnel before allowing them inside. Security had been increased at all Federation hubs thanks to the Consortium threat and even now, close to seven months after the threat had been nullified, Starfleet were still paranoid about security and safety.

As Cohen approached the transport, his mind continued to wander to the conversation aboard the Nobility. Quietly, he fumed. To be so unceremoniously dispatched after nearly five years aboard the ship... He could fight it, of course. He had the grounds to do so. But to what end? He resigned himself to accepting his fate. After all, he could check The Gamma Quadrant off of his bucket list.

"Name?"

The stern voice brought him back to the present as Cohen spotted a tight-lipped security guard standing at the hangar doors, PADD in one hand and the other on a hip within easy reach of his sidearm.

"Cohen, Seth."

"Well, well, well,” came a voice from behind him. “Commander Cohen, my new first officer for the Solaria,” the voice quietly spoke from behind.

Surprised, Cohen turned to find a tall, thin-framed woman standing before him. Her face and neck bore the telltale signs of a Trill, and Cohen noted that despite her small frame, the way she carried herself exuded confidence.

"Captain Azulas," said Cohen, outstretching a hand.

"Pleasure to meet you," said Azulas, shaking Cohen's hand. "I've read over your record, Commander. Your work is impressive. Particularly the work on the EMH. Mark III, was it?"

Cohen grinned. "And the Mark IV. A small contribution, really. Nothing compared to your heroics on the Al-Batani."

Cohen thought he saw Azulas tense at the mention of the incident, but couldn't be sure, as she moved quickly to avoid the topic. "You've done some reading yourself, I see."

"Yes, sir," said Cohen. "Seemed a good use of the time, though the others at Quark's didn't seem to agree."

"Alright, you two staying or going?" The voice came from the guard standing watch at the hangar doors.

The two moved and presented their transfer orders.

"Where you headed?" asked the guard.

"Starbase 565," Cohen replied.

The guard eyed the both of them and motioned for them to enter.

"Got a few stops on the way," he said as they passed. "Enjoy your flight."

Azulas took her seat in the transport and got comfortable as the crafts propulsion systems kicked in and the craft began to gain momentum slowly. So far, the Commander seemed to be an impressive specimen and the Captain was intrigued. She definitely wanted to get his opinions on several different matters. "So, Commander. Three-shift or four-shift pattern?" she queried, data padd at the ready to make notes.

Cohen was caught off guard. Barely a word between the two of them and Azulas was already getting down to business. He supposed some might find this off-putting, but to Cohen, whose no-nonsense approach was just as ingrained as his aversion to small talk, this was a welcome shift to the ad-hoc approach of his most recent CO.

"Depends on the crew," he said. "From what I'm reading, our crew may be in need of some... routine. In my opinion? Three."

Azulas smiled and nodded, "exactly my thoughts. When we arrive, I'd like you to do an independent review of all security and tactical protocols aboard ship. After the Consortium threat, we cant take any risks. If there is so much as a hint of an issue, I want to know about it," the Trill instructed. Seven months away had not dulled her hatred for the traitors who had cost the lives of so many loyalist officers, nor had it dulled her senses when it came to threat at large. In fact, it was her intention to make sure that the Consortium was never a threat to anyone in the Federation again.

"Of course, Captain," said Cohen. He could see Azulas pause for a moment, seemingly distracted, and almost prompted to know what was on her mind, then thought better of it. If she wanted him to know, she'd say something. "Captain," he continued. "If I may. Our mission in the Gamma Quadrant. You'll forgive me if I seem unprepared, but this assignment was something of a... surprise."

He saw Azulas look up from her PADD and, realizing he might have given the wrong impression, he clarified. "A very welcome surprise, I might add. I'm eager to get to work. But any insight you can provide would be helpful. Just what the hell are we doing out there?"

Nilani nodded and placed the data PADD down on her lap as she began to recount the situation. "Over the last two years, Starfleet forces in the Gamma Quadrant have been besieged by a rebellious faction of traitors called the Consortium. This band of villainous scum have destroyed ships, cost loyal Starfleet officers their lives and threatened to plunge us into a civil war. If it hadn't been for the men and women of the 4th fleet, the people on my old command, they would have succeeded," she spoke softly, yet a tone of contempt in her voice as her eyes drifted out of the window, her thoughts threatening to engulf her. It was only after a few seconds that she composed herself and looked back at the Commander. "Seven months ago, I lost my ship to the Consortium. The Nogura was a Sovereign class starship that had been infected with a hull eroding bacterial virus that crippled us before we even knew it was there. As with any Captain that loses their command, I went through the whole general inquiry but it was deemed that the ship was a casualty of war."

The Trill ran a hand past her right cheek as she tucked away a few loose strands of hair and continued. "Six months of shore leave later, I get summoned for a return to the Gamma Quadrant. I know that place. I fought and watched people die there. Starfleet needs that kind of experience so that they can make sure it never happens again," she then gave a smile and took a deep breath. "Then there are people like you, Commander. New to the Quadrant but eager to serve. We need people like you to ensure we don't get bogged down in the memories of the past and keep us focused on our new mission."

Cohen let everything sink in, his eyes drifting out the window of the shuttle as it began to exit Bajor's atmosphere. This moment, as sky gave way to stars... it never got old. Presently, as the shuttle moved into the shadow of Bajor, the vast expanse before them drew Cohen's attention to a future that was, to him, limitless.

He was familiar with the Consortium, of course. The conflicts had ravaged Starfleet and, as Nilani had said, nearly incited civil war, something that not even the Dominion had been able to accomplish with all their resources dedicated to the task. Rumblings had made their way to his PADD more than once that the threat was not quite over, and that picking up the pieces was proving more difficult than many had hoped. To think that he was now part of the effort that would put things right again... in an instant, Cohen's perspective on his new assignment changed dramatically.

"Well," said Cohen, the shuttle jumping to warp and the stars beginning to streak past them as they moved beyond light speed. "I'm honored, Captain."

Cohen turned to Nilani, and grinned. "Eager doesn't begin to describe it. Let's give 'em hell."

 

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