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Old April 28 2012, 03:08 PM   #16
CeJay
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Agamemnon, 2372


She had been deluding herself for far too long.

She had stubbornly maintained that she had been perfectly happy in her old job and that the last thing she’d ever want to do was command a starship. And for seemingly good reason. As the first officer of Deep Space Five one of her tasks had been to face starship captains on an almost daily basis and most of the time they were either unrealistically demanding or insufferably arrogant. Sometimes both at the same time.

Why then would she ever want to join those ranks and see herself transformed into one of those persons who seemed to believe the galaxy revolved around them?

Because, put simply, it was the greatest feeling in the world.

She had been unexpectedly given command of the Agamemnon less than a week ago and she was still riding a high of excitement and anxiety. She truly felt as if the galaxy revolved around her now but at the same time she was determined to not let it change her. She’d be damned if she turned into an insufferable, arrogant starship commander who would give a mere starbase administrator sleepless nights.

This was her dream come true and she would not let it turn into anybody’s nightmare, not if she could help it.

She smiled at the various crewmembers she passed by as she walked down the corridors of this newly commissioned starship.

All of them wearing the predominately black jumpsuits with a gray turtleneck and colored shoulder sections to denote their department. As an officer previously based on a starbase she had worn this uniform variation for years but they had only been recently introduced to starship crews as well. From what she had heard they were not very popular and Maya wouldn’t have been surprised if Starfleet were to introduce a new uniform style soon.

She tried to put a name to every face she saw but soon realized that with a crew of 555 individuals that would be a challenging task, no matter how much time she had spent going over the ship’s personnel record. She had done her best to memorize the names of the 65 officers on the ship and most of the NCOs. That left her with scores of enlisted crewmembers and civilians. She wouldn’t give up on trying to know each face even if routine crew rotations made it unlikely she’d ever be able to know them all.

It hadn’t helped that she’d had extremely limited input into selecting her crew. The Agamemnon had rolled off the Atlas V Fleet Yard less than three months ago and a short time later, Captain Robert Jamison had been installed as her commander who had made most of the personnel choices. Ultimately the eighty-year old veteran captain had made the decision to retire from active duty when he had suffered an aneurism just weeks before the official change of command ceremony, leaving Agamemnon fully staffed but without a captain.

Donners wasn’t entirely sure how her name came up for the position but she had a suspicion that Admiral Jonathan Owens and Samson Glover had somehow been involved. She had been Glover’s adjutant for the last four years and the way he had talked to her – after playing a cruel yet good-natured little prank on her which had culminated in her promotion – had made it clear that he was at least partially responsible for getting her this command.

Owens’ involvement had been less obvious. The father of her good friend since their Academy days and now fellow starship captain, Michael Owens, had dropped subtle hints to his intentions just a week before she had been offered Agamemnon. Of course at the time she had not expected anything amiss. In fact she had been rather annoyed that everybody seemed to have an opinion about her career.

Admiral Owens had been the first person outside DS5 to contact her to congratulate her on her new position and then promptly asked for her assistance in a delicate matter with which he was involved with and which he claimed to be of uttermost importance. He had not divulged any details but by the way he had presented it, she had little doubt that it was an official Starfleet order, handed out outside the usual chain of command. Agamemnon was to report to Owens as soon as their current shakedown cruise was complete.

Amaya didn’t see anything suspicious about this turn of events. She trusted Owens even though his secretive aura made that difficult at times. And if he really had had a hand in her getting this command, she had nothing but gratitude for the man.

She banned those thoughts to the back of her mind as she continued her tour of the ship, something she had done every day since they had left DS5. By the end of their weeklong shakedown she was determined to know every nook and cranny of her new ship.

Her first stop: Deck 14, main engineering.

She found two of her most unique crewmembers there. Her Xindi-Insectoid chief engineer Lieutenant Commander Chen and her Selay chief medical officer, Doctor Ssestar-Rass.

Amaya wasn’t surprised to find them together. They weren’t the only non-humanoids in her crew but they were perhaps the ones least acclimated to working with other species. This was especially true for their CMO. She couldn’t quite deny her own reservations about having a reptilian doctor overseeing the health and well being of a mostly humanoid crew, especially considering her obvious lack of experience in the matter. It turned out that Jamison had been Ssestar-Rass’ sponsor to the Academy and had thought very highly of the first ever Selay to join Starfleet. The doctor possessed an innate curiosity for all things unfamiliar, which served her well in her new position, she was eager to learn and had been a skillful physician on her own world. She had also impressed her Starfleet tutors with her almost encyclopedic knowledge of human and other Federation species’ anatomies and physiologies.

She was however, Maya had found, a little clueless when it came to social interactions with the crew. All in all, she found her rather endearing and Donners had every intention to give the Selay a chance to prove herself in this position.

Chen, whose full name was a lot longer and a lot less easy to pronounce was quite a different story. Even more so than the green-scaled reptilian, it took a little getting used to seeing an over six foot tall ant-like creature in a Starfleet uniform. Amaya knew that the Xinid had a long and rich history. Marred in tragedy, the one time Starfleet enemy had been responsible for one of the worst attacks on Earth all the way back in the 22nd century. And while that period of history wasn’t exactly her strong suit, she understood that the Xinid had been a somewhat nomadic people after those events and rarely made contact with the outside world.

Chen was different. Like Rass he was very much an explorer. At only 13 years, he was already a Starfleet veteran, having spent almost 10 years on various assignments before landing on the Agamemnon. As such he had an easier time getting along with his more humanoid colleagues and had taken the Selay doctor under his wing, trying to impart her with the same lessons he had learned about interspecies relations over time.

“Good Morning, Commander. Doctor. How is my ship and crew today?” she asked as she approached the two officers.

They turned to face her. “Captain,” said Chen in greeting. “You will be happy to learn that the engines continue to perform at 98% efficiency after seventy-nine hours at warp eight point five. Antimatter containment remains stable and main EPS flow is well within standard parameters.”

“Excellent,” she said and stepped closer to the centrally located matter/anti-matter reaction chamber and the large magnetic constriction segments with their swirling blue pulses which to her looked almost mesmerizing. She placed her hands on the bright red railing surrounding the warp core pit and let her gaze wander upwards and along the pulsating blue column. “I’ve been reading great things about this class-nine warp drive,” she said. “I understand it has a tricyclic input manifold and produces a maximum output of four thousand teradynes per second,” the captain added and then glanced at the chief engineer. “Should give us what? Warp 9.972 in a crunch?”

Chen seemed surprised or perhaps impressed by the way his feelers and mandibles twitched slightly. “Actually, the drive is rated for 9.975. It is not a speed I would recommend however.”

She nodded. “Trust me, I’m not planning to take her that fast unless I absolutely have to,” she said and looked over a console attached to the railing. “The warp coils now use specially refined verterium cortenide made up of monocrystal cortenum. I hear the folks at the starship design bureau are hoping that this will lessen the negative impact high warp speeds will have on subspace.”

“That … is correct,” said Chen.

She aimed a big smile at him. “Used to be an engineer myself,” she said. “And you know what they say: Once an engineer, always an engineer.”

“I was not aware people said this.”

Maya glanced back towards the warp core assembly. “Of course this makes that old class-seven drive I had on the Columbia look like an antique in comparison. When do you think we can conclude the engine stress test?”

“I recommend that we maintain current cochrane levels for another six hours.”

“Good,” she said. “Going this fast for this long is starting to make me a little dizzy.”

The doctor focused on the captain with apparent concern. “You may be experiencing symptoms of motion sickness which has been observed in many space-faring species after prolonged exposure to high warp. There are a number of remedies I can recommend which –“

“Doctor,” she interrupted the Selay in a hushed tone. “I assure you I am not suffering from space sickness and I would prefer if you kept your voice down. The last thing I need is a rumor to spread among the crew that their captain gets queasy whenever we go to warp.”

Ssestar blinked rapidly. “Humblest of apologies, Captain,” she responded in an equally low tone of voice. “I did not wish to imply that you are unfit for duty in any capacity.”

Maya smirked. It wasn’t difficult to read Rass’ embarrassment and if Chen’s antennae behaved similarly to those of Andorians, she guessed that he was concerned about the good doctor as he focused in on her, no doubt thinking that his lessons in the finer nuances of human humor had not yet paid off.

“Relax, Doctor, I was merely joking. What’s the status of the crew?”

It took Rass a moment to understand that the captain had not been serious and that the conversation had now been steered into a different direction. “I have completed mandatory medical examinations for the majority of the crew and have found it overall in good health. I have observed some hesitation by a small number of individuals to voluntarily undergo their physicals.”

The captain nodded. “You will find that some people are not particularly comfortable around doctors. They may need a little bit extra prodding to get them on a bio-bed. I trust it’s nothing you cannot handle.”

“I suspect that some persons have been reluctant to be examined by a non-humanoid physician. My support staff has been very helpful in addressing these issues,” she said.

“Good,” Donners said. “Give the crew some time to get used to having you as their doctor. But if you encounter any more problems bring them to my attention. I expect crewmembers to fully cooperate with you just like they would with any other CMO.”

Rass inclined her head slightly in an approximation of a nod. “I will, Captain. Thank you.”

She gave them both a parting smile. “Carry on,” she said before she turned and left engineering.

“Now, remember what I said about human tendencies to make facetious remarks in unexpected situations?” said Chen after the captain had left.

“I recall. This is not the first time I have made this mistake today. I find it challenging to distinguish a serious comment from a jovial one. How can you ever be certain?”

Chen’s antennae twitched slightly and his large black compound eyes took a moment to focus on the doctor. “In my experience I have found that sometimes all you can do is to make a guess of it.”


* * *
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Old April 29 2012, 12:45 AM   #17
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

A fantastic character piece here as Maya not only interacts with two of her senior staff, but gives us a look at her engineering chops as well.

I appreciate the diversity in Agamemnon’s crew, and the fact that Captain Donners is willing to go with the flow of her predecessor’s crew selection.

Chen and Rass are quite the pair, and given their reptilian natures, it makes sense that they’d become friends among all the warm-blooded humanoids.

Terrific stuff!
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Old April 29 2012, 03:56 AM   #18
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

I enjoyed that section for all of the above reasons bar one, I thought the engineering scene felt like an unnecessary infodump, but I liked it nonetheless.

I'm looking forward to seeing where the Agamemnon goes from here.
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Old April 29 2012, 02:29 PM   #19
CeJay
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
A fantastic character piece here as Maya not only interacts with two of her senior staff, but gives us a look at her engineering chops as well.

I appreciate the diversity in Agamemnon’s crew, and the fact that Captain Donners is willing to go with the flow of her predecessor’s crew selection.

Chen and Rass are quite the pair, and given their reptilian natures, it makes sense that they’d become friends among all the warm-blooded humanoids.

Terrific stuff!

Thanks Gibraltar. Admittedly I cheated a little bit here. I didn't want to go through the motions of assembling the crew and instead wanted to jump right into the action hence the reason Donners was assigned to an already fully crewed vessel. But it fits her character, certainly at this point, that she wouldn't try to shake things up by brining in new people.


BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
I enjoyed that section for all of the above reasons bar one, I thought the engineering scene felt like an unnecessary infodump, but I liked it nonetheless.

I'm looking forward to seeing where the Agamemnon goes from here.
Yeah. Infodumps can be annoying, I agree. It's difficult to avoid them completely when introducing new characters though. Also I really wanted to make sure Donners comes across as a competent engineer by trade. She clearly knows her technobabble.

Thanks for reading.
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Old April 30 2012, 02:50 AM   #20
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Wow, I too love the diverse crew here. And I think including a Xindi, especially and insectoid, is a great choice. I don't think we hear enough about the Xindi given that they nearly destroyed earth at one point.
I always enjoy seeing a new captain take the reigns, and Donners is no exception. It's probably more challenging to command a "Pre assembled" command staff than one you pick out yourself.

Also, I thing the concept that drives this story is rich with possibilities.

Hungry for more!
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Old April 30 2012, 09:38 PM   #21
CeJay
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Hey, thank for reading and commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed this so far.

I'm actually not the first UT writer to use a Xindi crewmember, I believe Brother Benny beat me to that. I may however be the first with an insectoid.

More coming real soon.
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Old May 1 2012, 04:48 AM   #22
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

I think mine was a reptilian, but it could have been an insectoid, a primate, or whatever. It's been a while.
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Old May 1 2012, 10:02 PM   #23
Dnoth
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

I always kinda liked the Selay. They are one of those species that is memorable, but we know next to nothing about. Should be fun to fill in the blanks.

I'm curious how you're going to get these two crews to interact...or not?
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Old May 2 2012, 08:29 PM   #24
CeJay
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

After engineering her next stop was the deck below which among other things contained the security chief’s office, the armory and the brig.

She overheard the loud voices the moment she had stepped into the security department.

“I cannot understand how you can possibly dispute the outcome of the exercise, Lieutenant. It has to be obvious even to you that we won that engagement.”

“If by won you mean getting yourself almost disemboweled, I’d agree.”

“That’s because you cheated.”

“Lieutenant, I have thick plumage and I can almost put up with all the nonsense you’ve been throwing my way lately but for your own benefit I urge you never to say that again.”

Amaya’s bemused smile which she had maintained pretty much since leaving engineering quickly turned into an ugly frown when he spotted her Aurelian chief of security loudly arguing with Marines commander Beatiar Sh’Fane and in front of an audience of half a dozen security officers no less.

“I don’t know how else to put it, Lieutenant. I had you dead to rights when you simply –“

The Andorian stopped herself in mid-sentence. Not because of the Avian security chief whose wings had begun to unfurl in a sign increasing anger and frustration but because she had spotted Donners step up to them.

“Captain on deck!” she barked and immediately stood at attention.

Me’riab and his security officers followed suit half a second later.

Amaya wasn’t exactly used to this reaction to her presence. Starfleet no longer followed such strict military rituals on a regular basis but the same apparently wasn’t true for the Marines. And the chief of security had most likely followed along instinctively, now wanting to seem disrespectful in front of his new commanding officer. Maya felt that the avian was a little stiff but then she hadn’t come across many security officers who weren’t. But it concerned her that she had yet to see Mer’iab crack so much as a smile which admittedly she wasn’t sure he was capable of considering that large beak adorning his face. She hadn’t heard him make a single joke or facetious comment to hint towards any sense of humor at all. Maya had always felt that a good Starfleet officer had to have at least a little bit of a funny side. Men and women who took themselves too seriously were not just difficult to work with, they could be downright dangerous.

As she considered the two officers standing at attention in front of her she realized that good humor was likely the last thing that ever crossed their minds. Then she realized that nobody in the room would move until she told them so. “At ease,” she finally said and immediately seven boots stomped the floor in unison as everyone stood at parade rest.

“Is there a problem here, Lieutenant?” she said, addressing Mer’iab.

“No problem, sir,” he responded immediately.

She looked him over suspiciously. He didn’t make eye contact with her and instead kept his gaze perfectly straight, aimed at the wall behind her. Maya found this slightly unsettling.

She turned to the Andorian in the Marines uniform. “Is that right?”

Sh’Fane nodded sharply. “The Lieutenant is correct, ma’am. There is no problem.”

Maya looked back and forth between the two officers. “See now, I find that hard to believe considering the rather loud and public conversation I just walked into.”

At that the tall avian with the amber plumage made eye contact with her for the first time. His prominent beak made it difficult for her to read his facial expressions but those intense blue eyes did appear slightly discomfited. “I offer my apologies, sir. We were having a professional disagreement and we probably should have had it behind closed doors.”

“I agree. Let’s do that right now, shall we?” she said and pointed at his office. “Everybody else, carry on.”

Within moments Mer’iab, sh’Fane and Donners had stepped into the adjacent office just about large enough to comfortably accommodate the three of them. Nobody made any move towards one of the three chairs.

“Ok then, let’s have it. What’s going on?”

Neither of them seemed to want to go first.

“Let me get this straight. Your captain asks you a simple question and you both decide to give me the silent treatment?”

The two of them looked at each other, clearly uncomfortable with the position they had been put into. Maya thought she understood. They had no qualms about uttering their grievances to each other like the warriors they both were but it was an entirely different matter to escalate their problems to their commanding officer and thereby implying that they were not able to deal with their own issues.

“Sir, I believe it is a matter which we can resolve ourselves,” Mer’iab finally said.

Maya shook her head. “I’m not sure I agree. If two of my senior officers feel the need to yell at each other in front of the crew, I’d much rather make it my business. Call me nosey, if you want,” she said and then quickly reminded herself that she was beginning to sound like one of those arrogant starship captains.

“Permission to speak freely, sir?”

“Whatever it takes, Lieutenant.”

“Lieutenant sh’Fane and I disagree on the best manner in which to utilize her people on Agamemnon,” Mer’iab continued. “As the chief of security on this ship I believe it falls under my authority to oversee all security related matters on board as it is outlined in Starfleet regs. The Lieutenant appears to have a different interpretation of those regulations.”

“Permission to speak freely, ma’am?”

Maya rolled her eyes dramatically. “Please, don’t hold anything back.”

“We are on board Agamemnon because Starfleet is considering assigning detachments of Marines on every ship of the line. As the Lieutenant is fully aware my men are part of an important pilot project to gauge the effectiveness of a well-trained and combat ready team of Marines on a starship. However if the Lieutenant feels it necessary to exclude us from security duties on board, this entire project becomes redundant.”

Maya leaned against the desk and uttered a little sigh and maybe realizing for the first time that being a starship captain would come with its own set challenges and difficulties, even if they appeared entirely silly to her ears.

She had only recently learned about sh’Fane and her company of 87 Marines which had been assigned to Agamemnon as a pilot project. Apparently somebody in the upper echelons of Starfleet felt that this was potentially a great idea in the face of the seemingly greater dangers starships now faced. The Akira-class had been considered the perfect test bed for this project. With its impressive offensive capabilities it was already likened to something akin to a battleship even though Amaya Donners took objection to that term.

Agamemnon was a heavy cruiser which happened to be well armed but nowhere in her mission specifications did it state that she was a dedicated vessel of war. Regardless how she felt about this, it had made sense to somebody to give her a regiment of combat-trained Marines.

However it seemed nobody had considered how this would go over with the ship’s already existing security detachment.

“Alright, the way I see it, Lieutenant sh’Fane has a valid point about having to be involved in ship security matters,” she said and then continued just as Mer’iab tried to speak up to object. “However I would expect the chief of security to determine in which way or form this would happen.”

“Ma’am, with all due respect, if it remains up to Lieutenant Mer’iab, my men and I will do nothing but twiddle our thumbs all day,” the Andorian said. “That’s not what we signed up for.”

Maya nodded to acknowledge the problem.

“Sir, I have no objections to the Marines being on board but the truth is that they are not required for any routine operation. Their strength lies in special operations such as boarding missions or repelling intruders. Otherwise my people are perfectly capable to carry out their duties without any further assistance.”

Sh’Fane gave the captain an insisting look as if to emphasize her issues with Mer’iab’s attitude.

Maya didn’t know either one of these officers well enough yet to know if they were being entirely straightforward with her and she halfway suspected that they were holding back their true feelings in front of their new commanding officer. She decided that it would take some time to potentially get to the root of the problem. “Lieutenant,” she said, addressing her security chief, “find ways to incorporate the Marines in routine security duties. I don’t expect them to take over but I want to see a healthy ratio involved in ship duties. Above all, I want you both to demonstrate to me that you can work together. I also want it to be clear that if you guys can’t pull this off, it will reflect poorly on the both of you, is that clear?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Understood,” Meri’ab said with what appeared to be very limited enthusiasm.

“And the next time you have a disagreement, take it in here, will you?”

They responded wit curt nods which Maya felt displayed the appropriate amount of humility. “Very good. Carry on then,” she said and left the office.


* * *
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Old May 3 2012, 04:10 AM   #25
Gibraltar
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Good command compromise here by Maya. She's putting all the diplomatic skills she learned as DS5's XO to good use.

Let's hope the security division and the Marines can learn to play nice.
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Old May 3 2012, 09:39 PM   #26
Dnoth
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

I wonder how that's handled on current Navy ships?

Anyway, great segment. Donners handled that very well.
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Old May 3 2012, 11:17 PM   #27
The Badger
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Given the information she's been given, that seems to be the best decision the Captain can make. But it's also clear that neither Me'riab or Sh'Fane are entirely happy about it.
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Old May 5 2012, 04:42 PM   #28
CeJay
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

She had managed to recoup her feel-good attitude shortly after she had left the security department behind. Yes, she had been annoyed by the fact that two of her senior officers clearly didn’t get along even though it was essential that they worked together but at the same time she couldn’t help but feel that this would be an extremely boring captaincy if everything just worked perfectly right out of the gate.

It was going to be up to her to mold this crew into an effective unit and it was a challenge she looked forward to, road bumps and all.

She decided to check in on one more department before making her way back to her ready room for a well-deserved cup of hot and spicy raktajino.

Deck 4: Primary Science Lab.

Agamemnon’s offensive capabilities came at the price of a much more limited scientific scope. Still the ship was equipped with six science and research labs and a dedicated stellar cartography section and possessed a full set of sensitive sensor equipment.

She found the man in charge of all this working by himself at a computer station tucked in the corner of Agamemnon’s largest science lab.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Wayne Daystrom defied the stereotype of what a scientist was supposed to look like. The tall and muscular young man would not have looked out of place as one of Mer’iab’s security officers or even in a Marines’ uniform but instead he had followed a time-honored and prestigious family tradition by pursuing a career in the sciences.

Maya felt a certain kinship to Daystrom. It had not been difficult to notice that the man felt at least slightly ambiguous about his position which she attributed to his insecurity of being put in charge of an entire department on a starship at a relatively young age. She couldn’t deny that she was plagued by similar feelings about her nascent captaincy.

Daystrom’s shoulders were slumped as he slowly typed into his workstation while referring to a padd he held in his other hand every few moments. He did not notice the captain enter. The light levels had been dimmed significantly.

“I may have to check with Doctor Rass to be sure but I can’t imagine this is good for your eyes,” she said as she approached the science officer.

He turned to look at her and his entire posture changed dramatically. Not the same way as the security officers had earlier. He didn’t jump to attention like a first year recruit but instead he stood, straightened his shoulders and offered a warm smile. “Captain.”

“I’m sorry, Lieutenant, I didn’t mean to interrupt your work.”

He quickly waved it off. “It’s nothing important, sir.”

She did not miss that the smile never quite reached his eyes. “How are you doing, Wayne? You settling in alright?”

“Yes, thank you for asking. And I’m happy to report that all sensors are working at optimal efficiency. The navigational deflector and the long range sensors will need a bit of fine-tuning still but otherwise the boys and girls at Atlas V really did a great job with her.”

“That’s certainly good to hear.”

A short and awkward pause ensued between them and Amaya felt as if other matters were on the young man’s mind which he may not have wanted to share with his captain. She decided that she wanted things out in the open. It seemed to have worked with Mer’iab and sh’Fane. Or at least she hoped it had.

“Take a seat, Wayne,” she said.

Daystrom sat back down and Amaya took the chair at the adjacent workstation. “I’ve been watching you over the last few days and I get the distinct feeling something is troubling you. Want to talk about it?”

“It’s nothing, sir.”

“Do you mind if I’m the judge of that?”

He seemed to consider his next words very carefully which Maya always saw as a bad sign. “It’s this assignment. Please believe me when I say that I don’t want to sound ungrateful and that I consider it a tremendous honor to be serving under you.”

“I hear the but coming,” she said.

“I am not really sure how to explain it. All my life people have had the tendency to compare me to my great-grandfather. I suppose I look a little like him and I certainly inherited not just his size but also his fascination with research and the sciences. People have come to expect that I’ll be just like him someday, follow in his footsteps as it were as some sort of scientific prodigy. How many prodigies do you know who serve as a science officer on a battleship?” he said, sounding embarrassed as the words came over his lips.

She cringed slightly. “First of all, Agamemnon isn’t a battleship and I don’t want you to pay attention to anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.”

“Yes, sir.”

“As for your concerns about measuring up to people’s expectations, well that’s a lit bit trickier. All I can really say is that I have found it much healthier when you stop worrying what people may expect from you and instead focus on what’s important to yourself. You are not Richard Daystrom. You are your own man with your own path. And that path has led you to become the chief science officer on a ship of the line which, if I may say so, is no small feat.

You are just at the beginning of your career, Wayne. You may find that you enjoy doing this for a long time to come or maybe you find that you’d rather be a dedicated researcher like your great-grandfather was. Give it some time before you start obsessing about not measuring up to one of the greatest minds in Federation history.”

Daystrom’s smile widened and Maya thought that this time it was genuine. “You’re right,” he said. “I’m sorry I knew I was being silly but hearing it from you, I think you put things in perspective for me. Thank you, Captain.”

She got up and returned his smile when he immediately left his chair as well like the gentlemen he was. She gave him a friendly clap on his upper arm. “I was glad to help. And if you ever want to talk, you know where to find me.”

He nodded gratefully and she turned to head for the exit.

She stopped before reaching the doors to shoot him one last look. He had sat back down and returned to work on whatever he had been occupied with before. She noticed that his shoulders were slumped again and that his facial expression had returned to the dour look he’d worn when she had first entered the lab.

Maya doubted that her little prep talk had been sufficient to make the young man forget all about his admittedly complex trepidations. It had been a good start, she decided before leaving the lab for good.


* * *


Truth be told she really looked forward to that hot cup of raktajino after her daily tour of the ship had concluded. She sensed that one more challenge awaited her when she found Lieutenant Tess Allenby outside of her ready room as soon as she stepped onto the bridge.

“Captain, may I have a word?” the blond-haired woman asked with little delay. By the tone of her voice it was obvious that she was agitated and that she wanted to have this conversation in private.

“Of course, Lieutenant,” she said and led her into her spacious ready room.

“Would you care for a drink?” she asked.

“I’m fine, thank you.”

As much as she wanted to sip on spicy Klingon coffee, Donners decided against indulging in a hot beverage while dealing with a clearly distressed senior officer. She was detecting a troublesome theme however.

She took a seat behind her desk and gestured the lieutenant to sit in the chair opposite hers but Allenby politely refused yet again.

“I need to speak to you about Ensign DeSoto, sir. His behavior is completely inappropriate and I am convinced it has come to a point were perhaps re-assignment is not entirely out of the question.”

Donners fixed the young woman with a surprised look. “Yours or his?”

“His, of course,” she shot back.

“Of course.”

She started to pace the length of the office. “I assure you I wouldn’t bring something like this to your attention unless I felt it was absolutely necessary. I hate the idea of having to escalate a personnel issue in this manner but the man – and I’m using the term very loosely here as he behaves more like a boy than a man – has left me no other choice. God knows I’ve been trying to put up with it but I have my limits.”

“I see. Would you mind stop moving –“

“You have to believe me that I’ve tried everything I could to resolve this matter without having to make it official. I’ve tried speaking to him on numerous occasions but to be perfectly honest, it’s like talking to a ten-year old. He just doesn’t want to listen. This is not a behavior appropriate for a Starfleet officer,” she went on as if Donners hadn’t spoken at all and continued to pace.

Maya tried to hide her irritation. “I just need you to calm down and stop –“

“I don’t want you to think that I’m the kind of person who enjoys badmouthing other officers behind their backs, because I’m really not. I just want to be able to carry out my duties to the best of my abilities but this is becoming increasingly difficult with somebody like Ensign DeSoto playing these stupid –“

A loud hiss finally achieved what Donners hadn’t been able to do and Allenby stopped in her tracks and turned around to see a vicious-looking wildcat bearing down on her, his head lowered and peering up at her as if getting ready to pounce any second.

The green and yellow le-matya looked more than strong enough to jump the lithe woman and rip her apart limb from limb before she could even think of trying to defend herself. She began to back paddle with her eyes wide open in shock.

“What I’ve been trying to tell you, Lieutenant, is that Cosmo gets grumpy when people raise their voice in my office and try to wear down the carpet. And by the way, I don’t care for it either,” said Donners with a smile which made it difficult to judge if she was being serious or not. The sincerity of the three hundred pound wildcat however was not in question.

“I … I’m sorry,” she stammered, keeping her eyes on the advancing animal now showing off a set of impressive and razor-sharp teeth as well as gleaming claws.

“Cosmo, be a good boy and leave the lieutenant alone,” said Donners casually. The le-matya stopped and then turned his head to look back at his mistress. “We talked about this. No hissing in my ready room.”

Cosmo aimed one last look at the lieutenant before he retracted his claws and trotted towards his favorite spot right by the window where he laid down with his head on top of his paws, appearing almost pouty by not being allowed to play.

Donners shrugged. “He may be smart but he’s also still an animal and its tough for him to ignore those instincts. Don’t worry he hasn’t actually attacked anyone in years.”

Allenby nodded slowly, clearly not entirely convinced.

“Now where were we?” she asked with renewed cheer. “Ah yes, you were ranting about Mister DeSoto while completely ignoring me.”

“I’m so sorry, sir,” she said quickly.

“Forgive and forget,” she shot back. “Now, sit down and let’s start again.”

This time she took that seat.

“I understand that Bobbie can be a little immature at times but suggesting that he should be re-assigned is a little extreme. Not to mention that I wouldn’t want to be the person breaking the news to his father,” said Maya.

“With all due respect to his family, DeSoto Junior is not fit to be a Starfleet officer and he’d be the first one to tell you that he doesn’t have a care in the world about the exemplary legacy that his father and his grandfather have built.”

Maya couldn’t help but think about Wayne Daystrom. Similar background, entirely different set of issues. “Why do you feel he is not fit for Starfleet?”

“Because he has no discipline, sir.”

“Has this anything to do with his tendency to play practical jokes?” she said with a knowing grin which she quickly dropped when she realized that Allenby was not amused.

“They are way out of line, sir, and for whatever reason I have been singled out. Today he had the replicator produce a plate of gagh for my lunch and two days ago he reprogrammed my sonic shower to only produce water. Have you ever been soaked from head to toe in hot water? It’s disgusting.”

“You’ll be surprised to learn that for a long time that’s how humans tended to take their showers.”

“People also tended to slaughter animals for food. It’s barbaric,” she said.

Amaya suppressed her urge to roll her eyes. She could tell why Bobby DeSoto had singled out Allenby, she must have made for a mighty inviting target. Sure, she couldn’t condone his actions, at least not officially, but she could certainly understand them. And if this had been the Academy she would even have considered it well-practiced routine. You play a prank on a fellow cadet and they’ll get you back eventually.

But she was also fully cognizant that this wasn’t the Academy and her operations manager, as stuck up as she may have appeared, had every right to be free from fear to be hazed by a fellow officer.

“I think re-assignment may be a punishment unbefitting the crime.”

“Due respect, Captain, I’m not so sure.”

Maya shot her a look that left no room to interpret her resolve in the matter. “I am and that will have to be sufficient for you.”

She nodded quickly in response. “Yes, sir.”

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Lieutenant. Rest assured that it will be addressed.”

She got the hint that this conversation was over and stood. “Thank you, Captain.”

“Dismissed.”

Allenby left the ready room and Donners couldn’t help feeling that perhaps some crew issues were best left in the hands of her first officer. She had enjoyed being a hands-on captain and having the ear of the crew over the last few days and she had no intentions of changing this approach anytime soon but it was her prerogative to delegate when she felt it necessary. The Bobbie DeSoto/Tess Allenby feud clearly fell into that category.

Just like Mer’iab and sh’Fane she needed these officers to work together and respect each other and right now at least the latter did not seem to be the case. She made a mental note to discuss the matter with Arden Texx once they would meet for their daily catch-up session and then stood to head for the replicator.

“I think I’ve earned my raktajino now,” she said.

Cosmo wordlessly agreed by raising his head.
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Old May 5 2012, 07:18 PM   #29
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Geez, she is so...anal. Quick, someone get the stick out of her ass.

Hopefully Texx can help out.
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Old May 6 2012, 04:58 AM   #30
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Yeah, Allenby’s got issues, but she also has a valid point. The regular academy hijinks aren’t going to fly out here in the real Starfleet, and DeSoto’s got to learn to grow up.

Amaya’s hard-earned diplomacy skills are serving her well, though I think Daystrom put too quick a shine on his upward mood swing. The young man’s got legacy issues, and he’s going to have to work through them over time.

Wonderful character building going on here, Cejay… keep it coming!
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