Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by CeJay, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    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.
     
  2. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think mine was a reptilian, but it could have been an insectoid, a primate, or whatever. It's been a while.
     
  3. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    In the illusion, but not of it.
    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?
     
  4. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    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.


    * * * ​
     
  5. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Location:
    In the illusion, but not of it.
    I wonder how that's handled on current Navy ships?

    Anyway, great segment. Donners handled that very well.
     
  7. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    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.
     
  8. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    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.
     
  9. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Hopefully Texx can help out.
     
  10. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    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!
     
  11. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    CeJay,

    I'm slowly getting caught up but thoroughly enjoyed the first two chapters. Great writing and an awesome start that hints at ominous things to come.

    :techman:
     
  12. Galen4

    Galen4 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    Well, Amaya has a lot of personnel issues right out of the starting gate, reminds me of my manager days. Overall, I think she's handling things well, but I can't help to wonder how these issues will evolve. Is this crew going to grow closer or become more dysfunctional?

    Oh, umm...I need to go back and read the beginning again. The captain has a large 300 pound pet predator in her ready room?

    Wow.

    Great as always, CeJay!
     
  13. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd love to see a Targ as a pet.
     
  14. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Kinda makes you wonder if Maya is having second thoughts about not choosing her own crew by now, huh?


    Always greatly enjoy your comments so I'm glad you're getting a chance catch up with this story. Certainly looking forward to your insights.

    No to worry, you didn't miss anything. Cosmo was introduced in the short story A Star to Steer Her By, but this was his first appearance in this story.

    Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.
     
  15. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
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    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    There's some great characterisation here. The crew all come across as real people with real issues.

    And as pets go, a le-matya sounds more interesting than a beagle. Or a lionfish!
     
  16. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Lexington, 2267


    Bob Wesley possessed the kind of steely, focused gaze that had led some on Lexington to believe that he was somehow able to pierce right through the dark void of space on the view screen and determine what lay ahead for him and his crew long before the ship’s sensors were able to pick up on it. The more rational minded officers on the bridge attributed this seemingly uncanny ability to his long experience as a starship commander instead of on any kind of supernatural senses.

    And it was exactly that kind of gaze with which he appraised the viewer at the moment. Leaning slightly forward in his high-backed captain’s chair, his elbow resting on the armrest and his hand holding his chin with his eyes seemingly in total focus.

    “Ms. Bathory, lower our speed to warp factor four,” he said with no apparent impetus other than perhaps a captain’s intuition.

    The young ensign at the helm reacted quickly. “Slowing down to warp factor four,” she said and manipulated her board to decelerate the six hundred thousand metric ton Constitution-class starship. Not a moment later the deck plates began to hum slightly as the ship slowed.

    Ketteract uttered a not so subtle moan at Wesley’s decision to put on the brakes. As far as he was concerned it was yet another unnecessary delay to getting him closer to perhaps one of the most significant scientific discovery of the decade.

    Kuznetsov, who had more than earned himself the nickname the Bear over his Starfleet career shot the impatient scientist a stern look, letting him know that his input was neither required nor appreciated. Then he turned towards the science console. “Commander, what do we know about this sector of space?”

    Having expected this line of inquiry ever since they had started out on their present course, the Andorian science officer was well prepared. “Beyond Starbase 10, the Gamma Hydra sector is very sparsely populated. There are a limited number of class-M planets in the region and the vicinity to the Romulan Neutral Zone is not exactly a driver for colonization. It is also the home of GRS 2127-341, a former star system containing one of the largest known black holes in the quadrant,” she said and pressed a number of buttons, activating one of her overheard screens to display an angry mass of pitch blackness, perfectly spherical it absorbed every ray of light that came in contact with it. The effect was so complete, it appeared as if somebody had ripped a piece right out of the cosmos. “The Iota Crucis system, our destination, is less than one light year from GRS 2127-341 which means we may soon be exposed to its gravitational effects.”

    The Bear looked at the dark mass on the screen with a concerned look. “What kind of effects are we talking about here exactly?”

    “Our ride might become a little bumpy but otherwise we should be fine,” she said.

    “Deflectors to full,” Wesley ordered.

    “Aye, deflectors to full,” Lawford said. “I am now reading disturbances in subspace directly within our flight path.”

    The science officer checked her sensors and her face quickly turned into a frown before she began to shake her head. “Something isn’t right, this doesn’t look like –“

    And then Lexington hit a sandbank.

    Or at least that was what it felt like for the crew as the bridge suddenly pitched forward without warning. It wasn’t quite as bad as the shockwave hours earlier but it was enough to nearly throw the unprepared Ketteract over the railing and force everyone else to hold on for dear life.

    “Bozhe moi!” the first officer swore after the deck had righted itself once more and then shot the science officer a dark look. “A little more bumpy? Are you serious?”

    “Somebody … somebody needs to install seatbelts on the bridge,” Ketteract moaned as he picked himself up from the floor, his face looked pale as if he was about to get sick again.

    Zha’Thara was back at her station in a flash. “This is not gravitational disturbance caused by the black hole,” she said. “This is …” she didn’t appear to have immediate words for it.

    Wesley focused in on his helmswoman and navigator who needed a second longer to get back into their seats. “Status?”

    “Whatever we just hit,” said Bathory. “It threw us clean out of warp. If we had hit this thing at full speed and without deflectors ...”

    “They’d scrub us off the bulkheads,” finished Lawford for her and gave her a knowing look before he turned to face the commodore, wordlessly thanking him for his foresight.

    Wesley toggled the armrest imbedded communicator. “Bridge to engineering. Damage report.”

    “What in the name of all the harlots in Orion’s Belt are you people doing up there? If you are so determined to destroy my engines, why don’t you come down here and shred them to pieces with a phaser. It would get ya the same results.”

    “I assure you Commander, we’re not trying to destroy your engines on purpose. Now take a deep breath and tell me how things look down there,” said Wesley, having long since gotten used to the unique Tellarite temperament, he had expected this kind of outburst and took it in stride.

    The momentarily silence over the channel gave proof that Wesley’s words had been taken to heart. “We got some blown conduits and a minor coolant leak down here from the sudden stress you put on my engines. If you had a complete imbecile as a chief engineer you’d probably look at a warp core breach within the next few minutes. Fortunately for you I know what I’m doing. Jury still out on the rest of my people though,” he said and then followed this up with a few choice shouts directed at an unlucky engineer who apparently wasn’t moving as fast as he would have liked.

    “Sounds to me like you’ve got a handle on your people just fine. When can I get engines back?”

    “If you stop wasting my time with pointless chitchat, I’d say within forty-five minutes.”

    “Consider our chitchat stopped. Wesley out,” he said and closed the channel.

    “Sir, even once we get engines back, I don’t think we can risk going any faster than warp factor three. Maybe three point four but any faster and we might see a repeat of what just happened,” the navigator explained.

    The commodore nodded. “And I certainly don’t need G’arv to yell at me twice in one day. We’ll take it slow,” he said and swiveled around towards Zha’Thara. “So if this wasn’t gravitational disturbances from the black hole, what exactly did we hit?”

    The Andorian took a step towards the railing. “The best I can tell is that the entire area of subspace around us has been severely damaged. The energy readings I’m getting are similar to what we registered when we were hit by that shockwave.”

    “You say the shockwave did this?” the Bear asked.

    “I can’t tell for certain but we have to assume it is connected.”

    This piqued Ketteract’s interest who quickly attended the science station to help himself to the sensor read-outs uninvited. “This is amazing,” he said, mostly to himself as he peered through the sensor hood. “This is truly amazing. The energy levels required to cause such a corruption to subspace would be nearly immeasurable.”

    Wesley ignored the scientist and focused on the Andorian instead who appeared at least mildly peeved at the man hijacking her instruments. “Commander, do we still believe that the shockwave originated from the Iota Crucis system?”

    “Without doubt, sir. And from what I can tell the subspace damage practically surrounds that system. Whatever caused it, it came from there.”
     
  17. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Aha! Back to the Lexington. Good, I had been wondering what had happened to them. And angry Tellarites always make for entertaining reading. I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops.
     
  18. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Yeah, Lexington is still around and we will be checking in with them on a regular basis to get a bit of historical context.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. *Airline pilot voice* Uh, we appreciate that in today's competitive fan-fic market you always have a choice. Uh, thanks for making The God Particle your fan fic of choice today, uh, and we hope to welcome you aboard again soon.
     
  19. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Agamemnon, 2372


    Master Chief Shane Holladay stepped up to her ready room just as Amaya Donners was leaving.

    “You wished to speak with me, Captain?” he said, forgoing addressing her as ‘ma’am’ as would have been customary for a noncom addressing a female commanding officer. However Maya had made it clear to the ship’s senior NCO and quartermaster that she didn’t care for that from of address and the middle-aged Master Chief had quickly adapted.

    “Chief Holly,” she said, using his preferred nickname and sounding slightly surprised at seeing him until she recalled the appointment she’d made with him earlier. “Of course, I apologize I did ask to meet with you today but it must have slipped my mind.”

    He shot her a good-natured smile. “Understandable. I’m sure you have much on your plate. Shall we re-arrange?”

    She quickly shook her head. “You mind if we walk and chat instead?”

    “It’s my favorite way to chat, Captain. It’s effective and keeps you in shape.”

    She smirked but doubted he needed the exercise, judging by his trim and muscular build which was quite impressive for his age. Maya headed for the turbolift and Holly fell into step beside her.

    “Deck two, section eight,” she said and the lift set in motion.

    Amaya considered Holladay for a moment. His skin was far darker than hers and his white hair and sharply cut beard were about the only physical hints that he had long since passed his 50th birthday. It also demonstrated to her that vanity was not one of his concerns which she thought to be refreshing. “I know we haven’t had much of a chance to talk,” she said as she faced him inside the lift.

    “I didn’t expect you to. I have served with a number of rookie captains and their first few weeks on the job are usually the most hectic.”

    “No kidding. How am I doing so far?”

    He aimed an almost grandfatherly look at her. “You want my honest opinion?”

    “I wouldn’t ask otherwise.”

    He nodded. “You’ve been throwing yourself into work, which I think is a good thing for any officer. Most captains I’ve met, even those just starting out, prefer to delegate much of what you’ve been doing. I’m fairly impressed with your attitude but I’m concerned that you might be burning yourself out early on.”

    She exhaled. “And here I was thinking you were going to cut me down to size.”

    Holly smirked. “Wouldn’t dream of doing that to my captain. Certainly not in her first week.”

    The turbolift reached its destination and the doors opened, allowing them both to disembark.

    “I appreciate your honesty Holly and that you think I’m doing a good job. And no need to be worried; I have ways to relieve the stress of command. I don’t expect to burn out just yet.”

    “If you ever want to take it on the phaser range or need a sparing partner, you just give me a time and a date.”

    “I may take you up on that offer someday.”

    They reached Donners’ quarters and she stopped in front of the doors to face the Master Chief again.

    “My father served his entire life in the Border Service. Started out as a crewman and worked himself all the way up to command his own starship,” she told him. “Do you want to know the first thing he told me when I broke the news to him that I’d been promoted?”

    “I would hope that he congratulated you and then cussed you out for accepting what he’d call a cushy fleet assignment instead of doing some real work as a Border Dog.”

    The captain gave him an astonished look.

    “I’ve done some tours over there myself, so I know how they like to think. And they’re not wrong, you know. They really do some mighty fine work which often goes underappreciated by the rest of the fleet,” he said.

    “I need to introduce you to my dad. You two would get along famously. What made you decide to join the Regular Fleet?”

    He considered her for a moment before responding. “I’m getting to old to wrestle with Orion thugs on a daily basis. I thought I deserved a cushy assignment myself for my last years of service.”

    The twinkle in his eyes gave him away and Maya smiled. “Just for saying that I’m going to make sure you’ll be the busiest man on this ship.”

    Holly nodded in response and she quickly understood that he wasn’t unaccustomed to hard work and probably even thrived on it. Maya was convinced that he was a long way off those retirement plans he had been hinting at.

    “After my parents cussed me out, as you so well put it,” she continued her earlier train of thought, “they both imparted me with an important lesson about running a starship. ‘Make sure you treat your NCOs right’, they told me, ‘and have them whip your green officers into shape.’”

    “Smartest damned thing I’ve ever heard.”

    “Good. Because I expect you to help me mold this crew. Officers and crewmen alike. Many of them are young and inexperienced and on their first deep space mission. Some may have come to expect this to be a cushy assignment on their quest for fame and adventure. I’m giving you full authority to readjust those preconceptions. Make them work as hard as Border Dogs. Hell, harder if you can coax it out of them.”

    The veteran Master Chief’s lips curled up into a devious little smile. “I think I’m going to like it here,” he said. “There’s nothing like a good challenge to get you out of bed in the morning.”



    * * *​



    “So, first week on the job. How are you settling in?”

    Vej, Agamemnon’s Ullian counselor placed a cup of sweet-smelling herbal tea on the coffee table and close to were Amaya Donners had made herself comfortable in one of her plushy lounge chairs, before he sat down in the sofa opposite her.

    Vej had been the civilian counselor at Deep Space Five during her entire posting at that station and the two had become close friends over the four years they had known each other. And while a great many Starfleet officers and captains had reservations about opening up to a counselor, Maya had found his advice and support indispensable. It gave her the opportunity to open up to somebody she trusted implicitly with all her thoughts and concerns. Most of the time it wasn’t anything serious and she simply appreciated the sounding board for her own musings. On other occasions his insights helped her to make difficult decisions or overcome troubling thoughts.

    Ullians of course were also skilled telepaths but just like physicians, they had a strict code about using their abilities without permission. And Vej took his code very seriously.

    “I still have this surreal feeling that this is all just a dream and that I’m about to wake up on DS5 to go back to work as being the station’s first officer,” she said after taking a sip of her drink. “And I don’t mean this in the sense that I cannot believe that I’ve been given my own command. I think it has to do with how things happened and how quickly. How I was Glover’s attaché one morning and the captain of the Agamemnon the next.”

    He nodded. “You haven’t had time to catch you breath. To take a step back and let it all sink in.”

    “That’s right,” she said. “It’s been nonstop since Glover practically hoaxed me into my captaincy. It’s been like a rollercoaster ride and I’m not complaining. I’m loving it,” she added with a big grin on her face.

    Vej responded in kind. “You know the trouble with rollercoaster rides though, right?”

    “Wait a minute, they have rollercoasters on Ullius?”

    He frowned at that. “How come humans always believe they have a monopoly on having a good time?”

    Maya raised her hands defensively. “I guess I’m a human snob.”

    “Glad we agree on something.”

    “The problem with rollercoaster rides,” she continued, “is that they go up as well as down, I get that. But your analogy doesn’t work. Going down on a rollercoaster is much more fun than going up,” she said and looked at him suspiciously. “Are you sure you’ve been on a rollercoaster before?”

    “You got me, alright,” he responded with a sheepish look. “But analogies aside for a moment, there are ups and downs to most things. You are undoubtedly running on a high of excitement at the moment, and that’s good. In fact I’m very happy for you –“

    “But you’re worried that once things settle down I’ll crash into some sort of manic depression?” she interrupted.

    He scowled. “I’m the counselor here. Leave the psychological buzzwords to me. That’s what I get paid for.”

    “Oh boy, if you were hoping for a paycheck did you ever join the wrong ship.”

    “What I’m trying to say is that being a starship captain also means carrying a great deal of responsibilities. You have over 500 men and women on this ship looking at you for guidance and leadership and to keep them safe from the doubtlessly numerous dangers we are bound to face out here. I’ve seen how you’ve thrown yourself into work and how you’re attempting to connect with your crew on a very personal level. But you will have to be prepared to make the hard choices down the line even if that means that somebody you care about could get hurt.”

    She considered that for a moment, taking another sip of tea and then made eye contact with Vej again. “Did anybody ever tell you that you are a regular downer? I bet you don’t get many party invites.”

    “For your information,” he said. “I’m considered to be the enfant terrible at the annual psychologist’s convention.”

    “Is that like being the coroner at the morgue?” she said with a smirk.

    He aimed a displeased look at her.

    “You’re not telling me anything I haven’t already considered,” she said in a more serious tone. “I’ve done my Kobayashi Maru no-win scenario at the Academy and I’ve sent people I knew and respected to their deaths in holographic simulations.”

    “Simulation beings the operative word there.”

    She sighed. “So what? You want me to keep my distance from my crew because I may have to doom anyone of them at a moment’s notice, is that your advice? You want me to become one of those sourpuss captains that made me want to pull out my own hair while I was on DS5?”

    He quickly shook his head. “No, not at all. In fact I tend to like your command style and I wouldn’t want you to change anything about it. It is who you are. But I also want to make you aware of the responsibility which now rests solely on your shoulders. I want you to be able to deal with a difficult situation when it sneaks up on you from seemingly out of the blue without it leaving you paralyzed.”

    “Jeez, thanks for your vote of confidence in my abilities.”

    “You know that’s not what I meant.”

    She glanced out of the windows of her quarters and at the white streaks of the stars caused by the distortion of the warp bubble surrounding the ship. “I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t been nagging at me. Intellectually I know that I’m ready for my own command. That I can handle it and that Starfleet was right to trust me with this awesome responsibility,” she said and looked at him. “But there is that tiny little voice in the back of my mind that wants to doubt all the evidence to the contrary and yell at me that I have no business being in that chair.”

    “Congratulations,” he said, causing her to give him a somewhat perplexed look. “You are human.”

    “Why does that almost sound like an insult coming from your lips?”

    He shrugged and gave her a playful grin.
     
  20. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    You certainly can't say Amaya doesn't have a solid support system aboard the ship. A trusted confidant and a top-notch chief of the boat are nothing to sneeze at.

    Excellent character moments here, proving once again that Amaya has a good head on her shoulders and has more than earned this command.