USS Vesta

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"The present is theirs..."

Posted on Thu Nov 12th, 2020 @ 2:44pm by Commodore Yoshi Minawara

Location: Observation Lunge - USS Tesla - Esquimalt Station
2080 words - 4.2 OF Standard Post Measure

Tevek walked with purpose into the ready room of the Tesla. The room had an almost eerie sense of quiet as his boots clunked against the polished deck, but for Tevek the atmosphere didn't disturb him.

Instead he took in the sights of the room, looking for PADDs carelessly left on a surface, displays that should have been locked, ship traffic outside the window and the demeanour of the man he'd been dragged away to meet.

Unfortunately for Tevek the security of the room was immaculate. All the PADDs had been cleared, display screens turned to their default and although there was heavy ship traffic outside the window nothing suggested anything other than business as usual.

The only thing that was unusual was the set up of the room itself. A hybrid between a ready room and a briefing room it had a large obsidian conference table and a series of office chairs off to the port and an office and rest area to the starboard. A large viewscreen was mounted to the bulkhead at the side of the conference table. It currently showed a star chart of the Romulan border and a number of ship movements. Tevek studied it for a moment, it looked like Starfleet Command were tracking something. Whatever they were tracking it was something dangerous.

Tevek couldn't help but wonder if that's why he was here. But he had no time to play out any scenarios in his head as out of the corner of his eye he could see Admiral Minawara watching him from the head of the conference table.

"Excuse me Admiral, Lt Commander Tevek reporting as ordered." He said in the typical Vulcan monotone. His face was still as stone as he introduced himself and he made minor adjustments to his body language to come to attention.

Up until the doors had opened, the Admiral had been in thought. As the doors had parted his eyes had darted to the man who entered, and a smile spread across his face. Not a warm smile, nor one of humour, but a long ago ingrained human trait to smile to break up their face and make it harder to read. Having spent years working as a Xenotechnologist, Yoshi had practiced this smile, to the point anyone unfamiliar with him might not notice it didn’t quite catch his eyes. He stood, with the grace and ease of a practiced Flag Officer.

“Commander, please, come in,” he said, gesturing to the empty table as he cast a gaze outside the window to the ships around. They were a long way from Romulan space, about as far as one could
get. Esquimalt Station was the last major Federation facility, and the most heavily armed, before you got to the border. It was why Starfleet Intelligence had asked to meet here, and why the Tesla had been summoned to here. That, and it was a Task Force 72 vessel, meaning it fell under his purview what happened with it. Lieutenant Commander Reyes had just left this room, himself headed for redeployment under a different Commander and a different ship, but that wasn’t much of Yoshi’s concern. No, now he needed to move on with new missions and new plans.

Looking back to the man, he smiled again, another fruitless smile. “I assume you had no issues finding us, Merian’s are still uncommon enough amongst the Fleet it seems,” said Minawara, making small talk as he did, settling back into his own chair and getting comfortable. It was likely a wasted endeavour, Vulcans weren’t known for their smalltalk.

Out of politeness Tevek went to take a seat. He moved efficiently and quietly across the deck to the conference table and rolled out a chair. It slid effortlessly across the polished floor, the simple little quirks like this indicating just how new the ship was. "Thank you Admiral." He stated in the same practiced formalities he had become accustomed to using especially with flag officers he had been advised to 'indulge'. Once again he found his eyes studying the map that lined the wall.

It wasn't very often Teveks curiosity got the better of him. But with the speed he had been pulled from his assignment and how quickly this ship was being readied it raised questions in his mind. Questions he needed answered but for now he had to focus on the task at hand.

Sat in a rigid upright position Tevek folded his hands together on the table and looked across at the practiced demeanour that Yoshi displayed. "I have encountered no difficulties sir and since my arrival the crew here have been most accommodating. As for the Merian class, they are certainly impressive." He replied politely.

Tevek paused sensing that the pleasantries could be dispensed with it was time to get down to what Humans called 'the brass tax'. He pressed his finger tips together and looked directly at Yoshi. "I am however still unsure what I am doing here?" He stated. While Tevek sounded blunt it was a sign of his Vulcan heritage rather than disrespect, something that had got him in trouble more than once.

“Straight to the point,” mused Minawara to himself, a slightly more natural smile spreading now. “Commander Reyes has been reassigned, leaving the Tesla in a state of flux, requiring a new Commanding Officer before she can begin her mission.” Keying a few commands into the LCARS control hidden in the table, the Admiral created a holographic projection of the Romulan Neutral Zone, or Zones as many considered it now, over the table. “The Merian class is uniquely suited to fill the role of a patrol ship, equipped as she is for the ability to easily change her mission profile, and the equipping of a Quantum Slipstream Drive. Your experience in Romulan space and the actions of former Romulan governments means that you are well suited to lead this mission.”

Studying the projection of the star charts Tevek leaned back in his chair mimicking behaviour he had witnessed from other officers in many past meetings. As the charts projected a multicoloured glow across his face it didn't take long for him to notice that some of the borders within Ronulan space were outdated. He resisted the urge to speak up, he would correct the record later when he sent Sumaks files to Starfleet Intelligence.

"I see." He stated plainly his left eyebrow quirked with amusement as he tried to imagine Lieutenant Illums reaction to his new assignment. "You feel my presence along the border will appear less agressive to the Romulans?" He asked rhetorically. Tevek knew the answer to that question already. The more important question was 'what was happening' along the border to justify such a heavy deployment of patrol vessels.

Tevek looked up at Minawara. "May I ask Admiral why Starfleet has invested in such a large deployment along the border?" He asked. For the time being he withheld the need to remind the Admiral that the Romulans were in no position to represent a significant threat right now.

“Uncertainty, stability, and caution,” replied the Admiral, as if reading from a diplomatic release. “Which is Federation talk for, ‘We still don’t trust them, and think they are up to something.’” He paused, like he was considering something, studying the Lieutenant Commander’s face. Clearly there was more to the statement, an air of things left unsaid. The two men understood Intel, they understood the games you played, even with your own team.

“And, Starfleet has reason to believe they are up to something.” Several regions became highlighted. “The USS Juno discovered these readings during her most recent ‘Deep Space Observation’ mission.” The holographic display showcased several massive bursts of theta radiation. “Neither Romulan government should be in a position to be producing antimatter in quantities high enough to produce this much Theta radiation. Either we are seeing previously unkept amounts of antimatter waste from the former Romulan empire, or, this is some other byproduct.” Waving a hand, an overlay of various ships appeared along the border. “This is technically under Task Force 47’s purview, however Task Force 72 currently has the highest number of Quantum Slipstream Vessels in the fleet, with three more expected to enter service this month from this facility. Far removed from the Romulan border,” he added. Not just the Romulans, but the Klingons as well, which was what they were really concerned with these days.

“Starfleet is upholding the Treaty of Algeron, and we likely will continue to do so. Our advantage is the speed the QSD affords us, should one of those turn out to be something Starfleet needs to respond to. For purely humanitarian reasons, of course.”

"Of course." Tevek replied in response to Minwara’s comments about the treaty. As he studied the sections of the border that were worst affected. "Sir, I am to assume we have not discussed this matter with either the Republic or Free State?" He enquired.

Again Tevek knew the answer but he wanted to hear it for himself. Starfleet would have given both governments a half-truth and garnered a response which was only half true, which in turn caused suspicion on both sides. He sighed internally, it was for reasons like this he took leave from Starfleet and now he was being put at the forefront of any future conflict.

“Officially? Yes. We have submitted to both governments that we were concerned that the theta radiation is cause for alarm, and to see if they need assistance. We have, at this time, received no response,” responded Yoshi. He gestured a hand at the display. “Our only known response was an increase of ships along the border on their side. Take that as you will.”

It was the exact response Tevek was expecting. Internally he sighed again and straightened himself up in the chair. He had his orders and that was that, he was just relieved he would be on the border to de-escelate tensions.

Immediately the thought crossed his mind to investigate the Theta radiation phenomena, there were a few officers he could enlist to help if he could get them aboard before they left on patrol. His Human side wanted to bite back at the implication of the Romulans being agresors but his Vulcan discipline held him back.

Tevek took a deep breath and firmly tugged his tunic straight. "I shall inform the crew about the change of command and relay our orders." He said plainly. His Human side was excited about the possibility of commanding a ship but again his Vulcan side tempered his ambition. There was a job to be done, a serious one and it would be up to him and his senior officers to ensure its carried out. "Will you be remaining aboard sir?" Tevek asked as he rose elegantly to his feet.

“No, I will be departing Esquimalt soon. The Vesta and her crew have been requested at Obsidian Command to assist with their new telescope being installed, and an opportunity for me to meet with Admirals Leyla, Du Lac and Sepandiyar briefly in regards to the status of 72.” The Admiral couldn’t help but be internally amused, if a little sad for his crew. “We will be available through comms though, should you need anything further.”

Tevek nodded quietly in understanding. Internally his Vulcan sensibilities made him shudder as he stretched out his hand for the customary hand shake. Swiftly he changed his mind and formed his fingers into the more comfortable and formal 'V' shape of the Vulcan greeting.

"I wish you a successful journey Admiral." He stated trying to sound as warm and sincere as he could whilst putting on a practiced smile. "If I may be excused? it appears I have a lot of work to accomplish." He asked politely.

“Carry on as you were Commander,” said Minawara, offering a polite bow of the head in respect of the Vulcan gesture. “Safe travels, good luck and Godspeed,” he said parroting the traditional Earth phrase to a new ship’s launch. He stood and watched as the man departed, sitting down for a moment, to think over the state of things, the chess game he found himself playing with many different actors. A heavy sigh filled the room as he watched other ships depart through the viewport, for destinations unknown.


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