USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Alone, amongst Others

Posted on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 @ 10:18am by Commodore Yoshi Minawara & Captain Ewan Darrow & Lieutenant Two-Six Trenton

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Sirius Station & USS Vesta
3057 words - 6.1 OF Standard Post Measure

[Transit Officer's Quarters: Sirius Station]

The humming stopped. There had been a low frequency humming sound for the last five hours. A soft vibrating hum, with a specific pitch and tone, it was a sound that was some how... comforting It had been there when his eye closed, it had been there while he had not been, now it was gone. It had stopped, as it had done before and would do again. He knew what came next. Two clicks; a short whirring noise; then a series of quiet beeps.

The regeneration cycle was complete. Now he was... alone.

He kept his eye shut and his optical system in standby. He lay there in the darkness, alone.

He could feel the sensation of the cool surface of the regeneration slab underneath him, He could feel the metallic surface with the finger tips of his left hand.
The inputs from his right hand prosthetic sensors gave him more technical data, chemical composition, tensile strength and so forth.

The away time was gone, now he was back, back and alone.

Alone and scheduled to meet others.
Others who did not know him, others he did not know, but he knew what their reaction would be.
He knew how they would look at him, what they would say and not say.
He knew it and he knew he would deal with it, alone.

It was time to be active but he lay there a few moments more. If he listened, listened hard, listened with his imagination, he could still hear them.
Hear the endless roaring whisper; the data exchanges, the status updates, the commands, the replies, matrices, adjuncts, serials, all sharing the same consciousness; the eternal stream of flowing sound, the quiet thunder of the Hivemind.
He could hear them and not be alone.

There was another sound, a voice, a voice in the darkness with him, Human sounding but not Human
It is Oh-Six-Hundred. A Human female voice This is is your alarm call

"Computer, cancel alarm" Trenten opened his eye and activated his optic. The soft gray colored ceiling of the transit quarters was above him, as it had been before

He sat up, swiveled his hips and swung his legs over the side of the bed, there was a metallic rubbing as the implants in the back of his thighs poked out of his shorts and slid over the surface of the slab.

Looking around the room was the same, his uniform folded on the back of the chair, his small personal luggage bag on the seat and, beside the bed, the open packing case that carried the Regeneration slab on which he was sat.

He stood up, turned around and tapped the control panel at the head of the slab. It beeped and the slab began to automatically fold itself for transport.
The slab consisted of a rectangular box some ten inches by ten inches by twenty six inches, with a niche for his head. It sat at the top of a two inch thick slab, made up of seven segmented leaves, in all some seven feet long. A retractable cable enabled it to be plugged into a standard power socket.

The device used Borg regenerative technology and components and had been designed by Starfleet scientists to be a portable, compact version of the standard Borg alcove. It easily lay on top of a normal bed and so was used laying down, rather than standing up.

The device completed it's self-folding operation, it would now fit into it's fifteen by fifteen by thirty carrying case. Which was where Trenton now placed it, clipping the lid shut. It would not be needed again for another thirty two hours.

He crossed to the cabin's bath room, discarded his shorts and t shirt and entered the shower. After washing, he dried off and cleaned his teeth. The face in the mirror was recognizably that of a Human Male, though with pale gray toned skin. Bald, square jawed, one dark blue eye, the right one. The left side of the face was dominated by an optical implant, that extended over the left temple. A thin green diode flickered in the mirror's reflection. Two further implants could be seen on each side of his neck towards the back.

He had no need to shave, his jaw hair follicles and the those on the rest of his body had been removed as part of the Assimilation process decades before.

Going back out to the room he retrieved clean underwear from his bag and dressed in his uniform. Security Yellow, with Lieutenant's pips.

Crossing to the replicator he ordered a simple meal. Plain scrambled eggs and water. He sat at the table and ate the food, the taste was irrelevant, it was just nutrition.
After finishing, he checked he had everything packed, placed his bag over his shoulder and lifted the slab case, departing the room without a backward glance.

At oh-six fifty five he presented himself at the Station's main Transporter Room, showed the technician his orders and was directed to the pad. He ignored the curious. slightly nervous looks of the Technician and his assistant as the transport beam shimmered around him and their faces disappeared.

[USS Vesta - Transporter Room Two, Deck 4]

He rematerialized, at ninety degrees to his former position. His left side away from the control panel.

"Good morning Sir. Welcome aboard the Vesta" A female voice said.

He turned to face the Technician as she continued. "Can I see your- " She faltered, getting a full look at him. Her eyes locked on the Borg optical implant.

Trenton stepped off the platform and walked towards her. She swallowed but recovered and held out her hand. "You orders please, sir"

"Lieutenant T S Trenton" He replied levelly, handing her a PADD. "Chief of Security"

"Ah..yes Sir" There was a momentary hesitation as she took the PADD and backed away behind the control panel

Does she really think a PADD I touched is going to suddenly assimilate her? He wondered to himself. It was a common reaction from others, but it was getting old. He waited patiently while she checked his orders, ignoring the odd glance she threw his way as she went through them twice

"Thank you Sir" She replied, placing the PADD on the top of the panel rather than handing it to him, along with a Vesta commbadge "I'll get somebody to escort you to your quarters"

"No need" Trenton replied, retrieving the PADD and clipping commbadge to his tunic. He lowered his bag and put the case down. "Just have them deliver these. I have a meeting with the Captain"

"Very good sir, er.. the nearest Turbolift is-" She began

"I know the way thank you" Trenton replied, cutting her off. He turned and headed out to the corridor. His mind accessed the date port in his brain, he'd downloaded the Vesta's deck plans and schematics. The nearest turbolift was to his left and forward. He walked that way, his movements fluid and smooth. He counted off the compartments, and found the turbolift as expected.

One arrived a moment later, the door slid open and he entered.

There were two occupants, in teal, they were conversing. "So I told Jeff that he should recheck the test results and-"

Both faces turned to look at him. Like the Transporter Tech, they were glued to his face, to the metallic Borg optic.

He turned his back on them, said "Bridge" and stared at the closed doors as the lift resumed moving. They did not speak but he felt their eyes on him.

The lift beeped and stopped, the indicator showed Deck Two.

"Excuse us...sir" One of said and he moved to the side to let them off.

They kept their eyes down as they passed but as the doors closed he heard "Was that a damn Drone?!"

[Bridge - Captain's Ready Room]

A few moments later he was stood the Ready Room door. Behind him the bridge had gone quiet and he felt their stares.
Alone amongst others.

He tapped the chime and entered when called. The ship's commander Commodore Minawara was at the desk; another Human Male, Captain Darrow, the Executive Officer, was in a side chair. Like the Vesta's schematics he had uploaded data on the ship's senior staff.

He crossed to stand before the desk. "Commodore, Captain; Lieutenant T S Trenton, reporting as ordered, sir " He announced himself and held out his PADD.

Spinning in his chair away from Ewan and towards the man who had entered, the Commodore stood and retrieved the PaDD with his left hand. "Lieutenant, a pleasure," replied Minawara, if he was caught off guard by the man's appearance, there was no sign of it anywhere. Gesturing to the seat across from himself, he placed the PaDD down, and then quickly dragged up from it's surface, the computer scanning the room interpreting this as one of the Commodore's many hand gestures for the holographic systems and pulled the data on it up on a virtual semi-transparent display.

"Captain Darrow and I were just talking about you and your coming aboard. We're excited to have you, since the Vesta became a Flagship we have had to reorganize our tactical and security departments, and you're the first of the new assignment to the new structure. But, before we dive into that, would you care for anything?" he gestured to the replicator, reaching over to key in a command, and pulled out a cup of tea which he handed to the Captain without even asking.

Ewan took the proffered cup of tea and took a sip nodding in thanks towards Yoshi. He took a moment to look over the Lieutenant and take in his appearance. He was of course human, tall, bald, but what drew the attention and that of many others was borg implants that dotted his skin and the largest of which was the one over his eye. It was hard not to look at it really, at least initially even if you knew about it. "Lieutenant welcome."

"Water would be sufficient, thank you, Sir" Trenton was not really thirsty but he had learned that participating in social activities was expected. He noted Minawara's left arm, it was a prosthetic, bare of artificial skin, like his own lower right arm. It was somehow reassuring, they had something in common, an element that other un-augmented people could never really understand.

He took the offered glass of water and found a seat, trying not to sit too stiffly.

"Well Lieutenant lets start it off simply if not with a bit of a cliche, Tell us about yourself." Ewan said as he leaned back in his chair and glanced over at Yoshi seated at his desk. "The crew of this ship has been through some interesting situations together and is if nothing but close. We need to get to know you a bit. We need to know you'll be a good fit essentially."

"Which part would you like sir?" Trenton asked "I, or rather Cadet Tim Trenton, started at the Academy in 'Fifty-Eight. he would have graduated Class of Sixty-Four" He had memories from that time, but instead of them being personal to himself, it felt more like watching a holo-image of somebody else, from a third-person perspective. ""Cadet Trenton was assimilated by the Borg Collective during his final year Cadet Cruise on the USS Tombaugh"

"He became me, Two of Six, Denary Adjunct, Unimatrix Zero Four, Cube 1467. I was designated as a Combat and Tactical Drone and was part of the Collective for the next Twenty-Eight years. My first individual memories began in 'Ninety, in the reclamation project, on what is now called The Artifact."

It took another two years of treatment, surgeries and therapy to become an individual again. I was reaccepted to Starfleet Academy and retook my final year. I believe I have the honor of being the being one of the the oldest Human Cadets to Graduate. I recall some of the test questions had not changed in thirty years." He managed a thin smile.

"The bumped me up to Lieutenant Junior Grade rather than Ensign and I have spent the last four years aboard the USS Spatha Saber Class." it had taken a while to settle in, overcoming the wariness of colleagues. "Captain Johanson was supportive and I believe I performed my duties to an acceptable standard" Technically he was highly skilled, efficient and dedicated, his record said as much. Interpersonal relationships were less polished. Trenton left it at that for the moment.

Nodding along, the Commodore made a mental note of Captain Johanson. "I read the Captain's report about you actually, he was quite fond of you from what I understand. It weight heavily into our decision to accept your transfer here," said Yoshi nodded to Ewan beside him. "We have had a bad run of luck with our Tactical Department, staff that ended up not being an ideal fit for us. That said, we had an opportunity to made the necessary changes, and we're excited to have you come aboard for that. I'm not sure how much of a chance you have had to reference the situation on the Vesta but you will be the head of two departments, each of which will have a Chief beneath you. We also had a small group of Marine come aboard, I was curious your plans for training operations here on the Vesta?"

Trenton took in the information, he had been aware the post covered both Security & Tactical functions prior to his transfer, the Marines were new.

"Sir, I would start with a review of the departments' training records for the last twelve months; what was delivered, what training outcomes were achieved. From that, identify any deficiencies and produce a three month training plan to correct them. The primary focus would be on the most important aspects, namely Security personnel procedures aboard ship and on Away Missions; including personal weapons proficiency; then defensive and offence Tactical operations for vessel to vessel combat, including a full maintenance check of all offensive and defensive systems."

"Once I am confident those are at acceptable levels I would move on to more routine matters, Patrol operations, Investigations and evidence gathering; Brig operations and prisoner management; VIP protection and so forth. I can have a draft three month plan available for your approval in two days. When we have the basics covered, I would then develop a long term training program ensuring we maintain a high standard of performance at all times, with built in slots for updates and revisions to procedures as those may arise. Training hours will be build into the shift pattern schedule on a weekly basis. All such training will be fully documented within the department records and Security personnel files." Trenton paused. T

Taking mental notes was one of the strong suites the Commodore had picked up over the years. Yoshi nodded along, keeping tabs on things that would have to be figured out, and questions he might have for Ewan once the discussion moved to being just the two of them. When the man paused, Yoshi nodded to push him to continue.

"With regards to the the Marine personnel, subject to their own mission objectives, I would seek to work with Marine leadership to integrate their capabilities into our Security operations; additional personnel to cover vital areas of the ship - Engine room, Life support etc. - in the event of an attempted boarding and as a Counter-boarding party, or if needed, Boarding party of our own.

I am aware that there is some inter-service rivalry between Starfleet and Marine Corps personnel" He continued "That will not be tolerated from any members of my department. I will endeavor to work in a collaborative -" He longed to say collective but resisted the urge "-manner with Corps Officers and Enlisted ranks."

Trenton continued "To assist in that. May I request the Executive Officer convene a meeting with the Marine Officer Commanding and myself so that we can clearly define areas of responsibility. That may prevent.. confusion.. later"

"Captain St. Lacriox is a talented leader, I am sure there will be little in the way of issues from her or her team," replied Yoshi looking to the PaDD in his lap. "I'm sure she would be happy to work on drills with you, and look to further any goals you might have."

A smile slipped onto his face, the the Commodore added, "I have no doubt she would love the opportunity to put some of those rivalries to bed, one way or another."

Looking to Ewan, he waited to see if the man had any other questions. When the Captain offered none, Minawara nodded.

With that concluded, the CO turned back to the Lieutenant across from them. "I look forward to working with you then Lieutenant. On a more personal note, cybernetics is a hobby of mine, perhaps at some point we can compare notes? Regardless, we shall let you go, and carry on with your own duties. I am sure Doctor Sorenson will be excited to meet you.

Do be wary of Lieutenant Commander Mantel, he has a tendency to stare and touch when he isn't supposed to. He means no ill by it, he's rather trapped with his child like appearance, and as a result, it bleeds into his mind.

Our Chief Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant Kita would also likely like to exchange notes, I might recommend a meeting with him.

Unless you have anything else, you're dismissed," said the Commodore with a polite nod.

Trenton stood, briefly came to attention. "Thank you Sir" He nodded to Darrow. "Captain" Then returned to Minawara "I will have the training plan on your desk within the schedule time Sir" Turned and departed the Ready Room.

Once the door closed he crossed the Bridge and got into a turbolift "Deck Sixteen" He instructed it, taking a moment to lean back against the lift wall, he closed his eye and mentally reviewed the meeting. It had gone better than expected...


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