USS Pioneer NCC - 74757


Docked at Starbase Sirius
Speed: Docked
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Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Party Time
Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Stardate 962307.28
MD009 2100 hrs

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Something feels out of place Part V

Posted on Tue Sep 25th, 2018 @ 5:35am by Ensign Dana Wakefield
Edited on on Tue Sep 25th, 2018 @ 8:05am

Mission: Episode 4 - The Sum of Our Parts
Location: USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD002 1300 hrs
2407 words - 5 OF Standard Post Measure

Last Time on Something Feels Out of Place Part IV

"The Captain is in the wrong here. As I see it you have several options. Confine him to quarters. Offer him the post of your XO for the duration of the mission, whatever that is. Or if he gets to "reluctant" brig him for insubordination."

Dana shook her head, this was turning out to be like the Kobayashi Maru exercise at the Academy, she felt as though she was in a no-win situation.

"Very well, I'll consider my options, you both dismissed," she said quickly glancing at the two men, before turning her attention back to the matter at hand, just what was she going to do?

And Now The Continuation

May 29 2394 1300 hrs (relative time)

"You know, I don't think your friend likes me." Aiden said as he handed Dana a coffee, "She gave me such a look today when she came out of the briefing room."

Dana looked up from the PADD she was reading as she took the coffee from him, she couldn't believe he was bringing this up now, their relationship was the last thing on her mind at the minute. "I don't even know if I like you," she replied, taking a sip of the coffee as Aiden's facial expression changed.

"I...." he paused, he thought things were going well, in fact, truth be told he had fallen head over heels for her, he just hadn't managed to tell her yet. "You don't know if you like me or not?" he asked with a surprise tone in his voice, "So what, I'm just a toy, a plaything, does our time together not mean anything to you?"

Dana put the PADD down, before looking him directly in the eyes. "Aiden, it is complicated, for one you're my executive assistant, how is it going to look?" she paused for a second "I mean for both of us, what are people going to say, you're sleeping with me to climb the ladder fast, and the Admiral has a toy boy who she probably took advantage of, plus at the moment, I don't have time to think of us. The future of the Federation rests on my shoulders, I'm trying to save as many lives as possible here."

Aiden stood, emotionless "So I don't mean anything to you then?"

"I didn't say that... I just said it's complicated"

"Well how do you feel?" he said half shouting in anger.

Dana was simply making the situation worse, she put the coffee down on the table and picked up the PADD. "I don't have time for this right now, I'm leaving," she said as she began to make her way to the exit.

"No... you need to answer me," he said, stepping in her way.

"Don't make me call security... because we both know I will... and they get very protective over me."

Aiden stepped back, it wasn't an ideal threat because she had seen the Admiral call security before. "I just want an explanation."

Dana reached out to touch his arm, but she recoiled, she saw the pain on his face, he did indeed deserve an explanation, but she just couldn't give him one now. "Goodnight," she said as she exited his quarters.

-- Sophia's Quarters --

Dana stood there pressing the door chime over and over if that didn't give the impression it was urgent nothing would.

"Come in already!" Sophia called in a groggy voice. She had just wanted to catch a few hours of sleep to be fully alert during their next phase. "Computer, lights, slowly." She wrapped a bathrobe around her shoulders and tied it shut in front, stepping towards the door. "Oh, Dana... come in, you caught me napping."

"Napping at a time like this." She barked, annoyed, upset, emotion stirring in her stomach. "I've decided your right, and even though everything inside me is screaming that I should have him court-martialled, I'm going to ask him to be my Executive Officer for this mission, that's if the old fool actually agrees to it, and if he doesn't then I really am throwing him in the brig for insubordination." she blurted out, not even halfway through the doorway.

"Calm your tits", Sophia said, "Give me a chance to wake up." She grabbed a mug of strong coffee from the replicator and, having picked the 'lukewarm' option, downed it straight away, before recycling the cup and sitting down on her sofa. "Now, please... slowly."

Dana shot her a smile and started laughing. "I'm sorry, I feel like I'm going at warp 9 and I'm ready to hit something." She said as she took a deep breath. "Although I still don't know how you can sleep."

She slowly walked over to Sophia's replicator "Tea, white, two sugars" Which was even odder for Dana as she normally didn't like tea.

"I haven't slept in three days", Sophia said. "I needed a nap. I'm only half El-Aurian, I can't do the full week like my mother, and I don't want to be on the last leg of my stamina when we have to turn off the ventilation system."

Dana smiled, "I'll let you off for the nap then," she said taking a mouthful of the tea. She wanted to let her friend know what had just happened with Aiden, but she knew after the conversation that Sophia really didn't like him, so she turned her attention back to the question at hand.

"As usual you are right, you're going to ask Wilfred if he wants to act as my Executive Officer, for the duration of this mission. I could have him confined to the brig, or I could have him court-martialled but neither will do the mission any good and that's all I care about at the moment," she said with a sad expression on her face.

"It would not matter anyway", Sophia said. "We'll either succeed, and this timeline will disappear as the aberration that it is, or we'll go to our doom and get wiped out in the fight." She shook her head. "What did he say when you asked him?"

"Well I couldn't possibly ask him, you saw how we both reacted earlier, so as your superior officer I'm delegating the task to you." to she half smiling, that was one privilege of been in command.

Dana glanced at Sophia, "I couldn't be doing this without you, without your guidance and support, I just want you to know how much I do appreciate it and if anything goes wrong or anything happens to me in this mission, I want you to know, you are and will always be my best friend and I love you." she said getting all emotional.

Sophia smiled. "Remember what I told you a little over twenty years ago?" she asked, the war had just started in earnest then, and Dana had been barely out of nappies. "Plan for the future, live every day as though you've got a hundred more years ahead of you. This does not apply today. It's our last day, one way or the other. Our counterparts in the other timeline may or may not be granted a glimpse in their memories, of what has happened here. But what we do is not for nothing."

Dana nodded, it wasn't worth thinking about, she was now in charge of the Federation's last task force, every spare ship capable of battle was under her command, today the Federation would succeed and things would go back to normal or the Federation would simply become a footnote in some history book somewhere.

Finishing her tea, she managed to give Sophia a smile, not only was Sophia her best friend, her trusted confidant, she saw her as a sister, she loved her and respected her and she was never one to hold back on an opinion that Dana needed to hear. Suddenly the lights dimming and the red alert alarm going off quickly focused her attention as she glanced at Sophia "No rest for the wicked, we better head to the bridge, I need to see what's happening and it's time for me to actually take command, I hope you're ready for some diplomacy."

"Aye", Sophia agreed. "Go on ahead, I'll be right with you." She had to change back into her uniform, which wasn't too much of a hassle since she was using the skirt version for as long as her leg was still hurting, it was just a lot easier to get into and out of. A few moments later, she limped along after Dana.

((( Bridge, Warship Pioneer )))

It didn't take Dana and Sophia long to get to the bridge, but what was surprising was Aiden was also there, he looked sad and upset but he simply did his usual job.

"Admiral on the bridge" he announced.

Dana didn't nod or acknowledge him, instead she glanced over at the Captain, he was busy barking orders, but that was about to change. "Report."

Wilfred turned around a glare at his daughter. "Six enemy ships on long-range sensors, heading this way," he said, at least keeping the Admiral in the loop.

Dana glanced at Sophia, before clearing her throat, she had previously designated this task to Sophia, but right here, right now this needed to come from her.

"Captain, earlier..." she paused for a moment, then looked her father in the eye. "What you said was absolutely right, but you know what is at stake here and I firmly believe that by working together we can succeed, I'd like you to be my Executive Officer for the duration of this mission."

Wilfred didn't break the gaze, he saw the emotion is his daughter's eyes, 'That took courage to admit' he thought to himself before glancing at Sophia, raising an eyebrow.

Sophia, stepping onto the bridge just in time to hear those words, nodded at him. It wasn't her idea but she approved, and she didn't care whether he thought it was her idea or his daughter's, so long as he'd finally agree. Morale was close to breaking point, and it hadn't occurred to Sophia in time that a commanding officer's morale was fragile as well, in times as dire as these. Was she the only one whose morale was good? Probably yes, as she was the only one with absolute confidence in what they were doing. The benefit of an El-Aurian's senses, she reflected.

Wilfred looked around, his crew had served him well and he knew what was at stake, Dana did not have to share with him the mission, but she did and the stakes were indeed high. Pausing for a brief moment, he glanced at Sophia again and then back to Dana.

"Very well, Computer, transfer command of this Vessel to Admiral Dana Sutherland, Authorisation Sutherland four, nine, beta, six."

The computer gave a series of confirmation tones as it executed the Captain's orders. "Transfer of command codes complete."

Dana smiled at her father for the first time in years as she slowly approached the Captain's chair, he hadn't caused a fuss and now she had the expertise of one of Starfleet's most decided and experienced Captain's.

"Your orders Captain?" Wilfred asked, standing to attention.

She glanced around, all eyes were on her, the crew were in the dark, they didn't know the extent of the mission or the danger that lay in front of them. "How long until the enemy vessels are in range?"

"Fifteen minutes" a voice of an unknown Lieutenant replied.

Looking at Wilfred she nodded, "I'm going to speak to the crew first." she said pressing several keys on a console next to the Captain's seat, the whistling tone of internal communications echoed throughout the ship.

"All hands, this is Admiral Dana Sutherland. A few moments ago your Captain transferred command of this ship to me, and for the duration of this mission, your Captain will be acting as my Executive Officer."

"I know many of you may not have heard of me and most of you do not know me, but you have to know one thing. The Pioneer will stand as the flagship to a task force that has one aim, to ensure the survival of the Federation, and to honour the sacrifices of the men and women who are no longer with us, people who have laid down their lives for the ideals and beliefs of the Federation."

"We will succeed or we will die trying. It seems the enemy knows we are coming, but so is our fleet. I know some of you may doubt me", she said as she glanced at her father, "and others have faith in me", she glanced at both Aiden and Sophia. "But know that I have faith in your abilities as a crew and that no matter the outcome that you will execute your duties to the best of your ability."

With that the whistle of the internal communications sounded again, indicating the end of her speech, she slowly glanced around with all eyes on her, her father and several bridge crew were smiling. Dana nodded at her dad before giving her first order.

"Battle Stations." she barked, before turning to Sophia "Send a message to the task force, we are about to engage the enemy, new rendezvous point, I want them all here, now, as quick as they can."

"Aye", Sophia replied, glad that their internal crisis was finally at an end. She occupied the operations console, from where she could direct not just starship but also task force operations. And more importantly, she could do it sitting down. "New rendezvous point, thirty seconds before contact", she reported. "I recommend defence pattern beta five." It meant cruisers inside, destroyers outside, moving quickly to intercept ramming vessels and torpedoes without getting caught themselves. "We should be able to take out that fleet." There'd be casualties, but they'd make it through.
To Be Continued

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Junior Grade Dana Wakefield
Chief Operations Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Sophia Meridhia
Chief Counselor, Empok Nor
PNPC Niall


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