USS Akula - The Transcript

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Mysterion, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 28, 2001
    Suburban Mos Eisley
    I originally posted this a couple years back on the Federation Reference site that Aridas used to have.

    It's kind of an introduction to characters that will feature in an eventual fanfic series I intend to write.

    For those of you who like to cast roles in stories: FWIW, I see Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy) as Tsuchida, and Topher Grace ( That 70's Show) as Davis.

    The first "transcript" involves the CO of USS Akula.

    Hope you enjoy it.


    Interview with: Lcdr. Amelia Mariko Tsuchida, Starfleet, Commanding Officer, USS Akula, PA-1090

    Conducted by: Ens. Gerrold Davis, Starfleet Archives Office, Oral History Program, 26 December, 2290, Outpost Neris

    As part of Starfleet’s ongoing Oral History Program, we have interviewed various Starfleet personnel in a variety of positions and assignments. This interview focuses on a little-seen part of the fleet, TacFleet’s Border Service.

    The subject of today’s interview is Lcdr. Amelia Mariko Tsuchida. 44 years old at the time of this interview, Tsuchida had already distinguished herself numerous times over the course of her career. Joining Starfleet as an enlisted crew-person in 2265, she served a number of years as an ordnance technician on various vessels. During the Kzinti Incursion at Zetar in 2272, Tsuchida was a Petty Officer Third Class in the phaser crew aboard USS Soyuz. When the main phaser battery sustained major damage during the battle, most of the phaser crew, including the section’s Chief Petty Officer, was killed. Petty Officer Tsuchida took charge of the surviving members of the phaser crew and enabled Soyuz to continue fighting, ensuring the defeat of the Kzinti.
    For her actions, Tsuchida was promoted immediately to Petty Officer First Class, and offered attendance at Starfleet’s Officer Candidate Course. She graduated that course in short order and was commissioned in the fleet as an Ensign. Tsuchida spent the next few years in various assignments, eventually being assigned to USS Aerfen. Tsuchida and the Border Service were a match made in heaven. Under the command of the famed Captain Hunter, Tsuchida flourished and found herself soon promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. She served as Operations Officer of USS Korinthos, and was then assigned as First Officer of USS Akula when that vessel was commissioned in 2288. When Akula’s Commanding Officer was fatally wounded in an off-duty bar fight on Ectair six months later, she was assigned as Akula’s Commanding Officer, and shortly after promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She has held that position since, turning down at least three opportunities for promotion and assignment to larger vessels. Tsuchida has earned numerous Letters of Commendation, and the Starfleet Medal of Valor with a cluster in lieu of a second award.
    We sat down with Lcdr. Tsuchida in the crew’s mess of USS Akula.

    DAVIS: Good morning, sir.

    TSUCHIDA: Okay. Let’s stop right there. You can call me by name, or my rank, address me as “ma’am”, or just yell out “hey” you”, but I do not go in for that politically correct “gender neutral” crap that you all back at Command are pushing. That stuff doesn’t fly on my ship. Clear?

    DAVIS: Yes… ma’am.

    TSUCHIDA: Better. Good morning, ensign.

    DAVIS: Thank you. Now, can you tell our viewers a little bit about yourself?

    TSUCHIDA: Well, what’s to tell? My name is Amelia Mariko Tsuchida. I hold the rank of Lieutenant Commander in Starfleet, and I’m currently the commanding officer of the perimeter action ship USS Akula stationed here at Outpost Neris.

    DAVIS: That’s all? A little modest, considering…

    TSUCHIDA: I’ve just done my duty to the best of my ability, ensign, as we all do, right?

    DAVIS: Ummm, right. Well, what can you tell us about your vessel?

    TSUCHIDA: Akula is the first vessel of the Akula sub-class of the Akyazi class perimeter action ships. She’s been in commission a little over two years now, and I’ve been aboard that whole time, and in command of her for all but six months of that time.

    DAVIS: What can you tell our listeners about your mission out here?

    TSUCHIDA: USS Akula is the lead ship of Perimeter Action Squadron 261, Perimeter Action Group 26. Our home-port is Outpost Neris, but we don’t spend a lot of time here. Most of the time we’re out along the border sectors looking for trouble.

    DAVIS: “Looking for trouble”, some might say that’s a bit provocative.

    TSUCIHIDA: Well, I’m not going to be responsible for how anyone chooses to interpret my words. I think I’m speaking clearly enough. Look, out here you can just sit in one place and trouble WILL come to you sooner rather than later. I feel it’s better to go find it before it finds you. When one has the initiative, one tends to have a better day, you know?

    DAVIS: How did you come to command this ship?

    TSUCHIDA: I was initially assigned as Executive Officer of Akula when she was commissioned. About six months after that, we were out at Ectair…

    DAVIS: That free-port planet out toward the Romulan Neutral Zone?

    TSUCHIDA: Yes, that’s the one. Anyway, we were taking some shore leave there and our CO, Lcdr. Thelev was in this bar. Well, some Klingons off of a merchant ship start talking some bad crap about the Andorian royal family. Thelev had a bit too much saurian brandy that night, and took on all four of the Klingons. It was very ugly, and thankfully, very quick. I took temporary command until we could get back to Group here at Neris, and ‘fleet confirmed my command and I was promoted to Lieutenant Commander.

    DAVIS: Okay. So, how big of a crew do you have?

    TSUCHIDA: We carry a crew of 75. Seven officers, and 68 enlisted personnel.

    DAVIS: With such a small crew, do you do anything differently than the bigger ships in the fleet?

    TSUCHIDA: Yes. A lot of our people have more than one job. My Exec, for example, is also our Strategic Officer. And our Medical Officer lends a hand as Science Officer when we need one of those. Fortunately he’s edoan, so he’s got a hand to spare.


    TSUCHIDA: Oh, for… relax, ensign, it was a joke.


    DAVIS: I understand that PA crews tend to become pretty close-knit.

    TSUCHIDA: That’s very true. We’re not as crowded these days as we used to be. Like in those older Kiaga and Agilis class boats, for example. These newer ships have two personnel to a room. That’s relatively cushy, but it’s still a pretty small ship relative to some others in the fleet. And being away from port for six months or more at a time, well… you learn to like the person next to you fairly quickly, or else you’re going to have a VERY long time of it.

    DAVIS: But, aren’t personnel on the PAs all volunteers?

    TSUCHIDA: Three times over. They have volunteered to serve in Starfleet, they’ve volunteered to serve in the Border Service, and they’ve volunteered to serve on a perimeter action ship. No one serves on a PA in their first assignment. We need people who already have some experience somewhere else.

    DAVIS: Does that work?

    TSUCHIDA: Most of the time, yes. Most of the people who make it this far are very motivated and do just fine. We do get some folks who have heard some of the stories that make it back to the inner sectors and think this is all some sort of swashbuckling adventure party. They don’t stay around too long.

    DAVIS: They ask for transfer?

    TSUCHIDA: If they live long enough, yes.

    DAVIS: Is the casualty rate that high?

    TSUCHIDA: Well, I might be exaggerating just a bit, but I‘ve lost more than my share of friends out here over the years.

    DAVIS: So why stay? I understand you’ve turned down a number of promotion opportunities.

    TSUCHIDA: Well, two or three, maybe. Look, I like it out here. This is the frontier, this is what it’s all about.

    DAVIS: A lot of people would say that the Exploration Command is what Starfleet is all about.

    TSUCHIDA: Look, Exploration Command does an excellent job at what they do. And, sure, that’s important. But, so is what we do. We do our job to give everyone else the security to do their jobs. Look at the shooting between us and the Klingons the last few years.

    DAVIS: So you wouldn’t want to serve on one of the heavy cruisers?

    TSUCHIDA: Oh. You mean the whole “going where no man has gone before, strange new worlds” thing? No. That’s fine for some folks, but I like what we’re doing here a whole lot better. There’s an old saying in TacFleet: “Exploration Command makes holo-vids, but TacFleet makes history.

    DAVIS: Um, yes. What do you say to those who advocate a de-militrarization of Starfleet?

    TSUCHIDA: As little as possible. Look, what we do out here might be distasteful to some, but we fulfill a necessary function. If we weren’t here, the Klingons, or the Romulans, or whoever wouldn’t just sit contentedly on their side of the border because they weren’t being “provoked”. They’d be in your backyard before you know it. That’s not paranoia, that’s fact. What do you think would’ve happened back in ’68 if the Organians hadn’t shown up when they did? The same people who advocate that position are the same people that will try to tell you that Starfleet isn’t a military organization to begin with. Well, I’ve been shot at too many times to believe either of those arguments, thank you. Go figure.

    DAVIS: What do you say, then to those who call the Border Service a bunch of “pirates”?

    TSUCHIDA: I don’t think you want to hear the first word that comes to my mind on that. We might be a bit loose when it comes to uniform regulations and piddly little things like that, but we’re disciplined when and where it counts. It’s easy to say all that stuff when you’re sitting back on Earth, but out here? I’ll put my band of “pirates” up against any of those spit-shine and starched Constitution class crews any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    DAVIS: Let’s change the subject for a bit, shall we?

    TSUCHIDA: Okay, fine.

    DAVIS: Touring the ship a bit earlier, I noticed a few things I’d like to ask you about.

    TSUCHIDA: Fair enough, within the bounds of security requirements.

    DAVIS: Oh, nothing like that. First off, I noticed a lot of crates and containers of supplies stacked-up around the ship. Doesn’t this ship have fabrication equipment?

    TSUCHIDA: Oh, we have it to be sure. But, I’m not going to get caught six months away from a re-supply with no spare parts or toilet paper if those fabricators break down. I learned that early on in my career. All this “magic” technology is just fine and spiffy. Until it breaks. Then you’d better be ready to cope. And, I instill that in all my crews. If you pull off that access panel over there, you’re going to find a printed hard-copy manual for the system being accessed and a flashlight.

    DAVIS: Hardcopy manuals? Why?

    TSUCHIDA: What are you going to do if the same thing that just geeked your systems also wiped all your data padds?

    DAVIS: Oh. Good point. What can you tell me about the room we’re in?

    TSUCHIDA: This is the crew’s mess. On a lot of ships, the enlisted crews and officers dine separately. Not here. First, I don’t like the command briefing room across the hall enough to use it for a wardroom. Second, I think eating together helps with the team-building necessary to keep our mission going.

    DAVIS: What about the decor? For example, what is that hanging over by the door?

    TSUCHIDA: That is a hull-plate from the first Orion slaver we took out in the Kat system back after we first commissioned. Over there is a disrupter coil from a Klingon bird of prey.

    DAVIS: And the mural over there? Why a shark?

    TSUCHIDA: Our ship’s name, Akula, it’s the Russian word for shark, so… That was painted during our fitting out back at Pederson Spaceport by the weapons crew. Every year on the anniversary of our commissioning we add a little more to it. See down there? Those are the signatures of everyone who has served aboard. I guess eventually it’s going to cover the entire mess here, and we’ll have to move out into the corridor.

    DAVIS: I’ve also noticed that you and your crew don’t wear the standard Starfleet uniform.

    TSUCHIDA: Oh, the “monster maroons”? Those are okay as Class A dress uniforms or for inspections, but for day-to-day use, we prefer the Class C coveralls we’re using here. Just another reason to stay away from those Constitution class ships. I hear they’re wearing them all day, every day. Feh. And the black color of these uniforms hides the dirt better. That’s a joke, but for the hard work we do, comfort is a must. And you can get into it quicker when the alert klaxon goes off.

    DAVIS: And all the patches and insignia?

    TSUCHIDA: Okay, I’ll grant you that not all of those are regulation, but I feel it builds esprit, so I allow them. I find having the squadron or group insignia on the uniform helps give us a sense of our place in the overall scheme of things.

    DAVIS: Even the skull and crossbones there?

    TSUCHIDA: Especially that one. That’s our squadron insignia. Look, if the folks back home want to insist we’re pirates, we might as well live the dream, huh?

    DAVIS: And the cat I’ve seen roaming about the ship?

    TSUCHIDA: Oh, Roswell? Well, she’s been aboard since before we commissioned. She probably was sneaked aboard back at Pederson before we launched. Thelev looked the other way, and so do I. Gives the crew someone to look after, and I like her purr. As long as she’s out of the way during alerts, and she has been so far, she stays. Regulations about mascots be damned. Sometimes it’s just easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

    DAVIS: That last seem like it’s sort of a motto for you.

    TSUCHIDA: Sort of, yeah. That and: you can never have too much ammunition or toilet paper.

    DAVIS: Okay. Um. Sure.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2008
  2. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    That was pretty damn amusing. I'd like to read more.
  3. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 28, 2001
    Suburban Mos Eisley

    There'll be more, but I can't promise when. Intend to do one for each of the major characters in the story (helps me figure out their "voice").
  4. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Jesus, were you shadowing me? I just posted that like 3 minutes ago. I like the interview format to learn your characters' voice. Wish I'd thought of that.
  5. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 28, 2001
    Suburban Mos Eisley
    Shadowing? Nope. Good timing? Maybe.

    I think I saw the "interview" technique in a book about writing. It might have been David Gerrold's "Worlds of Wonder", but I don't remember for sure at the moment.
  6. Data Holmes

    Data Holmes Admiral Admiral

    Apr 21, 2001
    zone.33 lounge at club Planet Noir
    I liked it back when you put it up on FRS. I still like it. Great work man, can't wait for more.

  7. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 28, 2001
    Suburban Mos Eisley
    I thank you, Sir.
  8. HyperionReborn

    HyperionReborn Lieutenant Red Shirt

    May 15, 2007
    Loved the Ships of the Star Fleet reference! It's one of my favorite Trek resources, and I also make heavy use of both books in my writing.