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Part of USS Hypatia: Episode 1: Echoes of Ambition and USS Lakota: Episode 2: A Parting of Ways

3 – Musical Starships

Various
Stardate 24016.6
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Whilst many would have thought the maintenance of auxiliary craft would have been below a Lieutenant Commander who spent most of her time on the pristine bridge of the ship, Maddison Burton didn’t. She had always been hands-on, way back to when her grandfather had her rebuilding lawnmowers and kitchen appliances in her early years. But as she slid out from beneath her latest project, the dark-haired human covered in grease looked up at the figure staring down at her, wondering if she had indeed heard the Andorian correctly.

“Sorry, can you repeat that?” Maddie asked as she rose to her feet while sticking her right index finger into her ear and twirling it. “I think I got some grease in here but I could have sworn you just asked me to transfer?”

“You heard correctly,” Tharia nodded, arms folded across her chest, regarding the woman closely. “Captain Kauhn and I have reviewed your personnel file and we think you’d be a perfect fit for Hypatia‘s needs,” the Andorian let out an uncharacteristic smile as she tried to make the woman feel like a million bars of latinum. 

Reaching for a rag draped on the hull of the Type-12 shuttle, the brunette began wiping her hands. “And what needs are those, exactly?” she asked.

Relaxing her stance, the Andorian had to think on her feet after being put on the spot. “We’re going to some of the most dangerous and volatile areas of space; areas any pilot would love to test their piloting skills in. All while under the watchful eye of our friends the Klingons,” sh’Elas elaborated.

Maddie watched the blue-skinned woman closely while she spoke, and gave the offer some consideration. It soon became clear she had made up her mind.

“Dangerous and volatile you say?” she dropped her shoulders and offered a hand to the Andorian.

“I’m in.”


“Quit it!”

Upon being scolded by her slightly more senior colleague, Lieutenant Italia Ruas ceased spinning on the chair in front of the Captain’s desk and let out a huff. Having been summoned to the room together nearly thirty minutes earlier, Ruas and her medical colleague Akaria Okan had been sat waiting patiently for the Captain’s return from Hypatia.

“I heard someone say that the Captain had been chastised by the Fleet Captain and was being relieved of his command,” the Italian revealed, much to the incredulity of her Risian friend.

“Don’t be absurd,” Akaria scoffed, “do you think he’d have summoned us here if he was no longer in command?”

“Well, not likely,” a deep, masculine voice spoke from behind the two, and the women immediately jumped to their feet upon recognising the Trill’s familiar drawl.

Rounding his desk, Giarvar smiled, taking note of the two significantly different facial expressions: whilst Italia didn’t seem to care that their conversation had been at least partially overheard, Akaria looked more than a little flustered. “And you’re at least partly right Lieutenant,” he told the two women standing opposite him.

Exchanging glances, the two females grew concerned at the words the Captain had shared, and flared at him, almost begging him to elaborate further. Instead, he slid into the chair behind his ready-room desk, and then gestured to the chairs behind them in a welcoming manner. The Captain finally acquiesced to their request once they had appeased him by taking their seats.

“I am being relieved of my command here,” the Trill spoke, causing Italia to shift forward to the edge of her seat and the Risian scientist’s jaw to drop.

“Merda! Che scherzo assoluto. Come hanno potuto Nazir farci questo?” Italia ranted in her native tongue, rising from her seat to pace the room a little. When she eventually calmed enough to stop, she glared across at him. “We’ll fight her Giarvar,” the Italian’s smooth tone masked the ferocity of her words, but her words had not been mistaken by the Captain, who threw his hands up in surrender to placate the diminutive warrior.

“No fighting is required, Lieutenant. I may no longer be in command here, but I’ll be over there instead,” he grinned, pointing to the window across from them, where Hypatia gracefully sat in full view. “I’ve been reassigned, not removed from command.”

When the reality set in, the two women looked at each other again, out briefly at the Hypatia, shared a quick nod, then looked back to the Captain. The senior of the two spoke for the pair this time. “Captain, we wish to transfer with you,” Akaria told him, placing her hands on the desk between them, her tone making it sound more like an order than a request.

“Oh you do?” Giarvar grinned. “Bloody good job I’ve already requested you both, isn’t it?” he revealed, drawing smiles from the two.

For the next ten minutes, the three officers discussed various topics: the fate of their current posting upon their departure; the significantly improved medical facilities Akaria would be blessed with upon her transfer; and the lack of repairs or refits that Italia would have to be involved in. Once the conversation was over, Giarvar gently caressed the arm of his desk chair and rose to his feet.

“I’ll miss this place,” his brows furrowed sadly, and then he led the way out, followed by two excited women deep in conversation about what awaited them upon their arrival at their new assignment.


Studying life-changing bacteria was something Commander Onsas D’orr lived for, which was ironic since the bacteria he was looking at had done far more than change life so far; it had destroyed the lives of everyone it had come into contact with since its initial discovery on one of the Cardassian colonies in the former DMZ. While Onsas had been late to the party thanks to Lakota being first on the scene, he’d dedicated every waking minute since to studying the virus that had decimated the workforce of the Quasaris Biofabrication Centre and beyond. After all, how could he be the one to cure the plague and have his name printed in journals across the galaxy if he was beaten to the cure by someone else?

It was that dedication to the cause that had seen the Captain come calling on this particular evening. He’d entered the room several minutes ago, observing the massive Xelliat who was deep in thought and conversation with himself. So deep in fact that the brute had no idea the Captain was even present until a deep cough caused him to look up from the microscope his deep, sunken eyes had been glued to.

“Captain, my apologies,” his voice was calm, and measured; it was something he had taken years to perfect so that he didn’t come across as too intimidating – his body frame did that for itself.

“Any progress?” Giarvar asked, moving across the room to join the scientist at his station, waving away the apology with a smile.

“I’m afraid not sir,” the larger man frowned, slumping back into his chair. “In the absence of a dedicated xenobiology lab and specialist equipment, my analysis is hindered significantly.”

Perching on the edge of the desk when Onsas had been working, the Captain folded his arms across his chest and stared at the floor. “What if I told you I could get you access to the entire science suite and staff aboard the Hypatia?” a smile crept across his face as he slowly, purposefully looked the science man in his deep, brown eyes.

“I’d be amazed that you had been able to pull such strings with her Captain,” the Xelliat laughed, relaxing in his chair.

“I know the Captain very well,” Giarvar shrugged.

“And what, prey tell, does this Captain want in return for their graciousness?” He suddenly sat forward, his look menacing and his words fearful. “They don’t want the credit, do they? I’m already starting a paper on this thing…”

“No credit,” Giarvar stopped the larger man in his tracks. “All he wants is you to do your best work… as his chief science officer,” the Trill smiled sheepishly, and watched the Xelliat’s mouth drop.

“I… uh… I’d normally jump at the chance for such a posting… Sutherland’s are the creme de la creme of the scientific world these days… but I couldn’t leave here…”

For once, the normally subdued giant was quite animated, shocked even, and Giarvar could see he was struggling with the suggestion, so felt the need to end the charade. He placed a gentle hand on D’orr’s large bicep and calmed the scientist. “It’s ok, Onsas. It’s me. I’m the Captain asking you to go to Hypatia,” the Trill smiled reassuringly. Or at least he thought he had.

“You… want me to leave, sir? Have I done something to offend you? Are you not satisfied with my work? I’ve been trying my bes…”

Giarvar jumped in for a second time. “Onsas! It’s me. I’ve been reassigned to command of the Hypatia, and I’d like you to join us there as my chief of science.”

Onsas D’orr’s mighty frame melted into the backrest of the flimsy chair that only just supported his ample body. “Thank the gods!” Relieved, he finally smiled, and nodded in agreement.


By the time Tharia crossed the bridge and entered into the observation lounge, Giarvar was already there, tapping away at a data PADD and making updates to some personnel files.

“Burton’s in,” the Andorian grinned as she slid into her chair, “I also took the liberty of talking with Kiras and Iddar while I was over there. They’re in too,” she revealed, referencing to other promising candidates they’d discussed as possibilities for other roles on the ship.

“Ruas and Okan were about ready to fight the Fleet Captain if I didn’t let them come over here,” Giarvar laughed, leaning backwards, “and poor Onsas nearly had a heart attack when he thought I was transferring him here as punishment for something, but all three are on board. Things are taking shape nicely,” he placed the data PADD down and held the arms of his chair as he twisted from side to side slowly.

“Any word on our candidate for tactical?” sh’Elas asked, reaching over the table for a glass and pouring herself a glass of water. She waved the glass at the Captain, who politely declined.

“Nazir was pretty adamant there was only one option there,” Kauhn shrugged, “I’m told Peri wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of leaving the Lakota so soon. Nazir almost had to give her an ultimatum of sorts, but she has transported aboard and is stashing her stuff,” he reached forward and slid a different PADD in her direction.

Picking up the device, the Commander read the contents with some interest. “I see news travels quickly,” she smirked, “almost two dozen additional transfer requests. And this one, Linn Mora, is an interesting one,” her antennae dropped as she looked at Giarvar for elaboration.

“Yeah,” the Trill nodded. “He’s a funny one. Had a couple of senior roles across the operations division, but always seemed to get passed over for newcomers. He thought he’d nailed down the engineering role on Lakota, but Prida’s return has seen him drop down the ladder again. Maybe a fresh start somewhere else is what he needs?” he was looking at his XO for her input, or was it for permission?

“Well, if you want him, let’s get him,” Tharia agreed, signing off the idea by sliding the Bolian’s service record back to him.

For a short while, the two conversed some more about the profiles of officers already on the Hypatia, such as the Vulcan engineer who had seemingly been in the fleet for nearly a century, but it was becoming quite clear that they had assembled quite the band of intrepid explorers for their mission.

They were soon interrupted by a female Vulcan, T’Mia, who was the assistant operations chief. She wandered into the observation lounge and stood to the Captain’s right. “Excuse me, Captain. Your communications request to the Delta Quadrant has been approved. You may proceed at your discretion,” she advised him with a curt nod, before departing the room.

“The Delta Quadrant?” Tharia asked with raised brows. “Who do you know in the Delta Quadrant?”

Rising to his feet, the Captain slapped her gently on the shoulder. “Never you mind,” he smirked, and headed for the door. “I’ll leave you with those personnel files, shall I?” he laughed, retreating from the room.

Tharia scoffed as she picked up the next personnel file in the pile and put her feet up on the table.

“Yeah, you do that Captain. Not like I have anything better to do…”