"Crossroads, Part 2"
Whilst the first piece looked at Commander Takashima, the alien ship, and the arrival into the Andromeda Galaxy, this part looks at the other main characters just after they get there.
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Bridge, Alien Ship
Position Alpha, Andromeda Galaxy
Stardate: 54198.2 (March 14th, 2377)
Jehu was surprised at just how quiet the ship had become following Commander Takashima’s announcement about their situation. He suspected that most were still in shock, trying to process the fact that they were in another galaxy, dwelling on all those they had left behind and the very real probability that they may never see home again. With his parents long since passed to the Next Phase, the only family he had left was his older sister Jaye who, like him, was in Starfleet and knew the risks that came with putting on the uniform. Even though he knew that, it didn’t stop him from grieving for her and the uncertainty she would face and questions she would ask.
He shook such thoughts from his mind, now was not the time to dwell on it—he was on duty and as the newly appointed second-in-command, he had to show strength. It had only been a few hours since they had been transported across galaxies, that Takashima had stepped to the side with Jehu and asked him to be the ship’s XO. It had been a surprise to say the least, but he knew why the Commander had done it, they needed to set up a structure and hierarchy that they crew could identify and follow in order to give them support for what lay ahead.
With Takashima down main engineering—helping Ra-Vahneii try to figure out what the device was that was responsible for their predicament—Jehu was in command on the bridge. He didn’t sit in the central chair on its raised balcony, though it would allow him to watch over everything that was going on, it wouldn’t allow him to actually do something useful. So he was seated at the helm, teaching himself how to operate the controls and read the displays. Their computer and language experts onboard were trying to tie the universal translator into the ship’s mainframe, so as to make it easier for the crew to learn the systems, but it was a slow process not without complications.
He had always been a decent pilot, keeping up with his certifications to allow him to fly both shuttles and starships, but that was with Starfleet-designed craft. The intuitive feel of a standard flight control display was lost on the alien ship. So far he had managed to activated the starboard thrusters and set them spinning (fortunately the ship’s inertial dampeners were good enough so the crew didn’t feel a thing), then through trial and error he’d found the port thruster controls and brought the ship back to a dead stop. He had also learned were the navigational sensors were and run a full scan, which continued to read clear.
Sighing with frustration, edged with exhaustion, he massaged the bridge of his pale nose and felt the slight give of bone underneath—Ahvorans had highly flexible skeletons, partly due to the fact that, unlike humans, their bones didn’t fuse together as they developed, which made them very pliable. Taking a moment to refocus, he looked up and out through the viewports that dominated the forward two bulkheads of the hexagonal-shaped command centre. The vista ahead of them looked so normal, the inky black of space with thousands of stars visible—part of him had expected the Andromeda Galaxy to look different somehow.
“It’s weird having windows that large on the bridge,” Lieutenant Nhataq commented from the seat next to him.
He glanced at the Ktarian, who’d let her dark hair tumble over her shoulders, partly obscuring her face. She glanced at him with her vibrant blue eyes, tucking a thick lock behind her ear, the light catching the flawlessly smooth, iridescent scales on her face.
“It is a little unsettling,” he admitted quietly. “It does make me wonder if they also act as a viewscreen or not.”
“Well this is a totally alien ship, we can’t judge it by any Alpha Quadrant principles—it took the eggheads two hours to work out how the toilets worked.”
“Yeah, that was unpleasant.”
Nhataq stood up and stretched. “How about I go grab us a couple of nutrition bars and then we take another stab at this?”
“Sounds good, thanks Nhataq.”
“As the Ferengi say, it never hurts to suck up to the new boss.”
He chuckled to himself as she headed towards the elevator through the starboard side doorway. Tweaking his neck a little, he looked around at the three others who were trying to figure out the consoles. The helm and weapons consoles were half of the consoles on the lowest tier, directly in front of the command chair, and were the ones closest to the viewports. The two others behind them seemed to be for sensor use and communications, whilst the four stations on the port and starboard bulkheads were for a variety of key ship systems—or at least that’s what the general consensus was.
They had yet to really look at shifts and crew rotation, so everyone was just working where and when they could, only taking a break when their bodies demanded sleep from them. That would need to be the next thing he spoke with Takashima about, their time on the ship (however long it proved to be) was a marathon, not a sprint; they needed to pace themselves—the Commander included. Though Jehu had only known the Commander for nine months, when Takashima had first come onboard the Mandela
he had been an unknown element among a crew that had been serving together for years, so he had kept a close eye on the new First Officer, determining his methodology, strengths and weaknesses—Jehu always liked to know just who he was working with. So he knew that Takashima would push himself further than anyone else and as his new exec, it was up to Jehu to ensure his safety and well-being.
So the sooner they got things figured out onboard, the sooner they could come together as a proper crew. With that in mind he turned back to the helm and, starting from the thruster controls, tried to work out where their sub-light drive was located.
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