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Old February 25 2012, 03:30 PM   #1
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And a Star to Steer Her By

Leading up to Amaya Donners' first ever solo adventure, I'm re-posting her 'origin'-story. Originally posted here last year as part of the Eagle Vignette Series Two: Crossing Over.

If you enjoy this story, come back this spring to find out what happens next in her own full-length story: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle.

And a Star to Steer Her By
Featuring characters from DarKush’s Dark Territory, Galen4’s Star Trek: Intrepid
and TheLoneRedshirt’s Tales of the USS Bluefin.

February 2372

There were a few constants in the universe that simply would never change. Matter and ant-matter would always explode when coming into contact with each other, a black hole would always swallow up all light surrounding it, Klingons and Romulans would never see eye to eye on anything and starship officers would always butt heads with starbase personnel.

And the worst kind of starship officers would always be captains. Always demanding, always imbued with that sense of self-importance and always with the unshakable belief that their mission, their ship and their crew was the one most significant in all the known galaxy.

Amaya Donners didn’t care for starship captains and yet she had made it four years as the executive officer of the space station Deep Space Five, having dealt with countless ship commanders, without ever letting them to believe that this energetic, efficient, comely woman harbored but the slightest resentment against them and their ilk.

After all she was quick to flash a pretty smile and ensure that the captains who came to her with their requests would get exactly what they asked for and sometimes even what they needed.

It was a terrifically well-maintained façade.

“Look, Commander, I appreciate that your people have a full slate, I really do. But I don’t have the time to sit here for three more days and wait for them to get around to the Guadalajara. If it was anything other than the warp coils I wouldn’t even waste your time but without the overhaul we won’t even make it half way to Starbase 12 where we are expected urgently.”

Amaya’s dark skin wasn’t prone to blushing and that certainly helped in this situation. She so wanted to tell him straight and without mincing words that there was simply no way that she could have her work crews skip a navigational deflector replacement on the Galaxy-class USS Venture so that they could tend to his little Oberth science vessel which inexplicably had gotten itself into one seriously bad fix and now had the scars to prove it.

Instead and as always she kept her cool. “I want to help, Commander. But it’s just not going to happen. I can promise you that your ship will be fully warp capable by the day after tomorrow and you’ll be able to get to wherever you need to go then.”

“I would prefer if you’d refer to me as captain.”

She caught herself glaring at him but replaced it with a more amicable facial expression so quickly that he probably never even noticed. “Of course, I apologize, Captain.” But it was getting to her that this man, younger than her, holding the same rank, needed to make a show of being referred to by his title. It was his right of course and she mentally berated herself for the slip-up.

He waved it off as if it wasn’t a big deal at all even though she could tell from the look in his eyes that to him it was. “I’m not trying to make your life difficult.”

But he was so clearly doing just that.

It was only then that she saw something else in his eyes. Captain Jason Aubrey may have been younger than she was but his tired eyes seemed to belong to man a great deal older. What ever he and his little ship had gone through had clearly taxed him enormously. And then there was that impatience brewing under the surface which he was fighting to keep from showing perhaps as much as she was trying to deflect from her own true feelings.

“But being second in the queue is simply not going to be good enough. I need to be out of here by tomorrow and I’m afraid neither one of us has a choice in that matter.”

“I really don’t think –“

Aubrey placed a padd on her desk. “Orders from Starfleet Command.”


She simply looked at the padd without bothering to reach out for it, slowly realizing that he could have played that card at any point but had waited until now that he had found her unwilling to be convinced by his insistence alone.

She looked up and thought that she could see pity in his face now. He shrugged. “Sorry,” he offered meekly.

Amaya Donners had a poker face like the best of them and showed no outwards sign of this game-changing revelation. Instead she picked up the padd and quickly scanned it over. It didn’t reveal what Aubrey and Guadalajara had been up to but it made it quite clear that the top brass at Command wanted him back at Starbase 12 without delay.

She nodded. “Very well, Captain,” she said. “I’ll have her prioritized and shipshape by late tomorrow.”

“Thank you, Commander,” he said and then quite unnecessarily added, “I appreciate your help.”

She gave him a quick nod, which he returned in kind before turning on his heels and stepping out of her office.

As soon as he was gone she dropped the padd unceremoniously back onto the desk. “Why me?”

* * *

Commander Amaya Donners had not always felt that way about starship captains. In fact, back at the Academy she had desperately wanted to be one herself some day. Time had the tendency to change one's outlook on life.

She had graduated near the top of her class and received a coveted billet as the helmsman of a brand new starship. She quickly came to realize that she had a real knack for engines and eventually became the chief engineer of the venerable USS Columbia. After serving years on that ship, she had been in line to take over the vacant first officer spot until a good friend of hers had come in to scoop it away from her. She hadn’t held it against Michael Owens at the time and received her own XO billet shortly thereafter on the Bellerophon.

Her assignment on that ship had lasted for all but two months before she was recruited away by Admiral Samson Glover to become his adjutant. She had never regretted that decision even if she felt a profound sadness and not a little bit of survivor’s guilt when she thought of the fate that had befallen the ship and crew she had barely known at Wolf 359 just weeks after her transfer.

But Deep Space Five had been the perfect match for her. It wasn’t a starship of course but running the station and serving as the admiral’s right hand woman had kept her fairly busy and she had risen to the challenge with great enthusiasm. She had also grown fond of her crew and of Samson who over the years had treated her like the daughter he had never had.

If it hadn’t been for those pesky starship captains insisting on throwing wrenches into the well-oiled machinery she had turned DS5 into, the galaxy would have been a perfect place.

Amaya stepped onto the operations center of the station and took a seat at her usual workstation. DS5 was by no means the most modern facility within Starfleet. On the contrary, the Orbiter-class station was a relict of the previous century and had the cramped interiors to prove it. But it was her station and she didn’t want to exchange it for anything.

“How did the meeting with Aubrey go?” asked Lieutenant Jasmine Mendes, the station’s chief of operations, from her own workstation.

“Bump her to the top of the list,” she responded without looking up from her station, putting the orders into writing even as she spoke. “Pull as many people as you have to from the Venture to get Guadalajara’s new warp coils installed by tomorrow.”

“That bad, huh?” said Jasmine.

Amaya just shook her head. “Don’t even get me started.”

“I know you don’t want to hear this but Captain Ebnal won’t be happy if he’ll have to wait for his new deflector,” said the engineer.

“Tell him, tough luck.”

Lieutenant Raeger, the blonde-haired communications officer smirked. “Can I use those exact words?”

“Yes,” said Donners and then looked up when she realized what she had said. “No,” she corrected herself quickly and uttered a sigh. “If he has any concerns ask him to contact me and I’ll be happy to discuss them with him.”

Raeger looked at Mendes, still smirking. “And so her mission to keep peace among the unruly crowd of starship commanders continues. Another battle waged but the outcome of the war still very much in doubt.”

Amaya glared at the communications officer who refused to wipe that silly grin off her face. “I swear to God, Christine, if you don’t shut up soon I’m going to have you shown out of the nearest airlock.”

Raeger pointed at her superior officer. “Now that’s exactly how you should talk to your friends on those starships,” she said and looked at Mendes for confirmation. “Right?”

Jasmine smiled but shook her head. “Fat chance. Maya's simply too nice to say something like that and mean it.”

Donners grumbled. “I must be, seeing that I’m willing to put up with the likes of you two on a regular basis.”

Any further conversation on the subject was put on hold by an insisting beeping from Raeger’s station. “We’re getting an incoming message from Starfleet Command.”

This was hardly unusual. Admiral Glover was important enough in the fleet hierarchy to be in frequent contact with the top brass back on Earth. Donners turned to look towards his office adjacent to the operations center but could tell that he had not arrived yet. “Put it through to my station,” she said. As Glover’s adjutant she was quite used to speaking to high-ranking officials and while other officers of her rank and position may have been hesitant to field a direct call from the Commander, Starfleet or the CINC, she had never had any qualms about it.

“Coming through now,” announced the communications officer.

Donners screen switched to show the official Federation emblem and then the face of a gray-haired Starfleet admiral sitting at his desk. From the vista of the window just behind him it was clear he was calling from San Francisco.

The familiar face put a smile onto her lips. “Admiral, it is good to see you again.”

He appeared similarly pleased. “And you, Maya. How have you been?”

Donners was not one to complain even if she had good reason to so her smile never wavered. “Very well, thank you, sir.”

Jonathan Owens looked skeptical for a moment. They knew each other mostly because of Amaya’s close friendship with his son, Michael Owens. They had attended the Academy together and remained close afterwards, even after he had stolen her first officer position on the Columbia. And while Michael and his father had some undeniable issues with each other, Amaya had always understood that it was wise to keep on good terms with powerful men. It hadn’t been difficult with Owens, Sr. She genuinely liked the mysterious Starfleet admiral even if it was nearly impossible to figure out what exactly his duties entailed. Officially he was the head of something named the Department of Special Affairs and Investigations but his section was true to its cryptic name and nobody she’d ever met had been able to tell her what it was they did.

“Why do I have a hard time believing that? You can flash that pretty smile of yours all you want but I can tell something’s bothering you.”

“It’s nothing, Admiral, really. Just one of those days,” she said and then tried to change the subject. “I’m afraid if you’re looking for Admiral Glover, he is not in his office yet.”

But Owens was not easily distracted. “I think it’s that horrible little station of yours. What you need is a change of scenery,” he said sternly.

This she found rather annoying even if it didn’t show on her face. There was nothing wrong with the station and she certainly didn’t feel like leaving it. “You’ll better not let Admiral Glover hear you talk about DS5 that way,” she said with a playful grin.

He waved her off dismissively. “If it been up to me we would have replaced her years ago. I suppose resources are scarce at the moment,” he said and then added, “And you need to start thinking about your future, young lady.”

She liked Owens well enough but she really didn’t care for where this conversation was going. Thankfully her boss had decided to pick that moment to emerge from the turbo-lift. “Ah, the admiral is now available for you, sir.”

This actually caused Jonathan Owens to laugh. “You were always a smart one, Maya, knowing exactly how to tell somebody to mind their own damn business without actually saying it.”

“I would never presume to tell you anything of the kind, sir,” she said good-naturedly.

“Of course not. And don’t think you'll be able to dismiss me so easily. I’ve made it my life’s work to get involved into other people’s business so expect to hear from me again soon. I think I’ll hold for the admiral now. Pleasure speaking with you.”

“It was all mine, Admiral,” she said and then placed the call on hold and looking up just in time to see Samson Glover crossing over towards his office. “Good morning, sir.”

The tall man of African-American descent nodded towards his first officer. “Morning, Maya.”

“I’ve got Admiral Owens on the line for you.”

“Very well, please pipe him through to my office.”

Moments later and after Samson Glover had taken his seat behind his desk Jonathan Owens’ face appeared on his computer screen. This time the man didn’t waste time with idle chitchat. “Samson, I have a favor to ask of you.”

The frown on Glover’s face turned uglier the longer he listened to what the other admiral had to say.

* * *
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