Star Trek

USS Amandora

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Post Number 72 Welcome aboard Lieutenant

Posted on Thu Nov 19th, 2020 @ 5:54am by Lieutenant JG Alia Fitzgerald
Edited on on Thu Nov 19th, 2020 @ 1:20pm

Mission: Star Base Mercury
Location: Mercury base - shipboard
Timeline: Just after the "Star Base Mercury" mission

The newly-promoted Lieutenant sat in the cargo ship, still surprised at how quickly life had changed. Less than 24 hours ago, she was still a cadet wrangling with her advisor about her courseload for the next semester and now she was a Starfleet officer? Certainly that was the eventual goal but her heart hadn't caught up to the reality of the situation.

The greater part of her still considered it absurd... at best!

She glanced at her reflection in the window nearest her. The sharp creases in her newly replicated uniform and the rank insignia seemed like they belonged to someone else. One of her sisters, probably, as they were so much more mature than she was. She shook her head and whispered. "None of them would wear this uniform, I wager. I guess they left the fiercely independent genes out of my makeup!"

"What was that ma'am?" The pilot of the ship leaned back and tried to avoid staring at his passenger. She was distractingly attractive but seemed a bit fragile. He couldn't help but notice that she sat in the farthest seat rather than in the copilot spot that most of his passengers took.

"Sorry to bother you. Just thinking out loud. How long will the trip take?"

"Not too long, although not too short if get my meaning. Full impulse would have you there in a few minutes, naturally, but this heap is meant to be sturdy and efficient but not very fast. You have another hour, give or take."

"I'm not worried. I appreciate you taking me to my assignment."

"It's not a bother. Empty berth rules, y'know."

"Empty berth?"

"Oh, sorry, old slang. Deadheading. It means if there's a free spot available on a ship and someone in Starfleet needs to go where they are going, they can grab it. If it's something IMPORTANT, even the planned route and schedule can be scrapped but, in this case, I was going on my regular supply run to Mercury Base." He cocked his head slightly. "Where you headed, if you don't mind my asking? Mostly researchers on Mercury, not a big Starfleet presence."

"The USS Amandora is there... it'll be my first tour after Academy."

"Congratulations! Amandora, huh? She's a fancy ride. Not to my taste but still impressive."

"Not to your tastes?"

He laughed! "Oh, don't get me wrong! She's Galaxy class and that's like living in a city in space. A really nice city in space! But those high end ships are finicky as hell. A little roughing up and the inertial dampeners can't keep up. Turbolift failures. Warp core synchronization issues. Even holodeck issues! It's cutting edge all the way but I prefer reliability." He patted the hull of his ship fondly. "This here baby... she's not fast. No replicators. Certainly no holodecks. But she's sturdy! Because some cargos are fragile I have ten times the intertial dampening, for her size, as a Galaxy class ship. The hull is tougher than duraluminum and there's triple redundancy on the shields in case Sol starts acting up when I'm going to Mercury Base."

"Still, I'm grateful. The ride _has_ been comfortable."

"Ha! That it is! She'll be flying long after I'm gone."

"That's quite comforting isn't it?" She found herself warming to the crusty space jockey and moved to a closer seat to speak more easily. They chatted amicably for the remainder of the flight until they drew close to the tiny planet. "I think she's on the other side, Lieutenant. Let me crank up the shields so you can see her through the ports rather than on the viewscreen." The heavy shields retracted leaving bare space visible for the first time she got aboard. Mercury's dark side was starkly black and Sol's disc was naturally much larger than when seen from Earth.

Alia steeled herself and stared at the sun, trusting the shields to do their job. For most of her life, the 'sun' she knew was a bringer of death... one she and her sisters had barely escaped.

All but one, that is.

"Ah, there you go!" He changed the ship's heading skillfully and, as promised, the inertial dampeners kept her from feeling a thing. The ship slowed as a much larger ship came into view, shining magnificently in the sunlight. It shone like a beacon... and a promise.

The Amandora... and her home for now.

* * *

The cargo ship was far too large to fit in the cargo bay (ironically), so Alia transported over when it was firmly within the much stronger shields of the USS Amandora. This close to Sol, it was best not to take chances and the new officer didn't fancy having her quarks scattered all over space due to an unexpected solar flare.

The transporter chief finished his checks and allowed the coruscating energies to complete their task. "Welcome aboard, Lieutenant!" He glanced at the transporter pads. "Is that everything?" Her possessions were few as most things could be replicated. Her instruments, some photos, a few personal items were all.

"Yes it is and thanks for the welcome! To whom should I report?"

"The Commodore left word for you to meet her as soon as you stowed your gear. Want me to send that over?"

"If you could? I appreciate that, chief."

Alia walked to the turbolift and realized that she had no idea where Song was in the vast starcraft. "Computer, where is Commodore Song?"

The computerized voice responded. "That information is not available to non-ship personnel."

The new officer repressed an urge to swear. "The transfer should have already been logged. Must be because I was assigned suddenly." She thought for a bit and then asked. "Computer, where is the most senior officer on duty right now?"

"The most senior officer on duty is on the main bridge."

She grinned, feeling clever. "Turbolift, take me to the bridge deck." It was a slight gamble, but odds are that Song was on duty but, if not, at least she could officially check in and then go see her. After a few seconds, the lift doors opened revealing the sweeping curves and comfortingly busy lights of the bridge. "Lt. Fitzgerald requesting permission to enter the bridge."



 

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