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Part of Challenger: Hell Hath No Fury


Challenger NX-03
Monday, April 21st, 2155
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Major Viktoria Yu kept her focus on the report she was reading, she was almost finished with it and she wanted to ensure she had digested every single word. “That looks fine Rupesh.” She finally said as Yu looked over the data tablet that she had been reading from and up at her detachment’s First Sergeant: Staff Sergeant Rupesh Iyer. 

“Thank you, ma’am.” The Pakistani sergeant replied with a gentle nod.

“Ensure our teams understand that we may not be engaging in a hostile race, but the Andorians respect the military and strength. I don’t want the MACOs to make Captain Burton look bad if he invites their Chancellor to tour the ship again with any of her generals.” Yu said as she passed the data tablet back to Iyer.

Iyer nodded again. “I’ll ensure the troops are clearly briefed ma’am.” He added.

“I know Lieutenant al-Fayyad is planning a number of inspections in the coming days, let’s make sure that Khawla doesn’t have any issues too.” Yu mentioned, referring to her Egyptian deputy. 

“All teams will have their boots shining bright enough for the lieutenant to see her face in them!” Iyer joked back.

Chuckling at his confidence, Yu nodded in approval of Iyer’s attitude. “Make it so Sergeant. Is there anything else?”

“Only that I’m happy to report that Private Jenkins has passed another module in his field medic exams.” Iyer stated with some pride.

“Excellent!” Yu said, pleased with the news. She stood up from where she sat in her office, in the charcoal grey leather chair by her desk and walked over to where a pot of coffee sat. She picked up the pot, gestured towards Iyer if he wanted one. He declined the offer with a shake of his head and the raising of his right hand. As Yu poured herself a cup, she motioned for him to sit down on the small grey leather sofa that sat up against the opposite wall. Their meeting was now moving to a more informal atmosphere and she wanted Rupesh more relaxed as they spoke. “I knew Liam would be a good addition to the detachment.” She said in between sips of her coffee as she made her way back into her comfortable desk chair. Crossing her right leg over her left one after she sat down, she carried on talking. “On top of that I think Ensign Stewart is a great influence on him too.”

“He certainly seems less green.” Iyer agreed. “His performance in our last four drills have been outstanding, in fact he even outdid some of our more experienced troops. He seems more focussed compared to how he was when he came on board.”

“High praise there Rupesh!” Yu exclaimed. “If he keeps this up, he’ll be in line for a promotion.”

“It would be rightly earned.” Iyer said. “I suggest we add him to the captain’s bodyguard unit when he visits Andoria.”

Yu took a sip from her coffee mug. “Hmmm.” She said. “I’m still not convinced with Sub Commander T’Plau belief that the captain could be a target from extremists on Andoria who are against the Coalition.”

“Nevertheless, being prepared isn’t a bad thing, surely ma’am?” Iyer asked, interested to gain her view on the subject.

“Yes, you’re right Rupesh but on the other side does it prove we trust our Andorian allies if we send the captain down with a whole team of MACOs to escort him?” Yu countered back with.

“Then can I suggest we reduce the number down?” Iyer considered.

“T’Plau wants an equal amount of MACOs to Armoury personnel.” Yu said before taking another sip of her warm black coffee.

“Then send just Jenkins, and then she would only have to send one of her people.” Iyer suggested.

“Just Jenkins? Do you think he’s up to it?” Yu asked.

“He is and by the time we reach Andoria I will make sure of it.” Iyer said confidently. “So, what do you say Major?”

Yu looked over her mug at the Sergeant. “I say: why are you still sitting here trying to convince me? Get out there and get our boy ready!” She finished with a slight chuckle. 

Iyer grinned at her and stood up from the sofa, leaving the major’s office swiftly. As he left Yu spun herself in her chair to be in line with her desk, she placed her coffee mug down on it and looked at her computer screen and sighed. She now had to think of a plan on how to persuade T’Plau to cut back on the heavy guns she wanted to assign to the captain’s protection.

“Ouch!” Crewmember Harris screamed as the osmotic eel was pulled from his leg by Ro-fa Ben-Ami. The Doctor just smiled as she cleared the enlisted officer’s leg of the residual sticky secretion coming off from the osmotic eel from where she had placed it to heal the wound on his thigh. She was pleased that his scream didn’t startle some of the other animals in sickbay. Most of them enjoyed their sleep at this time of day. 

“Ah don’t be a baby Jay!” Ensign Stewart said in a joking matter as he watched Ben-Ami plop the alien sea creature back into its tank that he held. Stewart then closed the tank’s lid to avoid the eel from escaping before taking it over to where it was safely kept in sickbay. 

Harris just looked up at where Stewart headed with expression of annoyance for the lack of sympathy from his friend and the ship’s senior nurse. “Thanks Niall.” He said in between gritted teeth before looking to the doctor who was treating him. “So, has it worked?”

Ben-Ami had been studying the work the eel had done on Harris’ leg while the two men had their childish spat. “Very nicely in fact.” She answered coolly. She was quite proud at purchasing the eel and several other animals to help her with her assignment to Challenger. They had been suggested to her by a fellow colleague from the Interspecies Medical Exchange programme. She had seen them being used by Denobulans and Vulcans in various treatments, but this was the first time she had used the osmotic eel by herself on Challenger, a fact she wasn’t going to share with Crewmember Harris. When she had mentioned using them as a treatment, he had turned a dark emerald green. 

Harris began to rub his leg and pouted at the scar that was starting to form where he had been shot during a mission on a trading outpost two weeks ago. He had joined Captain Burton and Commander Stanton on a simple trading mission. They had been purchasing some spare parts that Commander Stanton wanted when they had been caught in the crossfire between the Outpost’s local law enforcement officers and two very disgruntled Rigelian-Jelnas. Harris had been shot in the leg by a plasma bullet that had bounced off a cargo container from one of the Rigelians. The curly-haired crewmember rubbed his leg one more time, hoping that it would magically make the scar disappear. “How many more treatments?” He asked in between pouts. 

Taking the medical scanner from Stewart, who had now returned to her side to observe the results, Ben-Ami scanned the damaged tissue and read the results. “At least another four, possibly five treatments, depending on how much you rest your leg, Mister Harris.” She said as she switched the scanner off and moved away from her patient to let him dress himself.

Giving out a sigh of frustration, Harris pulled his body completely round so his legs were now hanging over the edge of the central bed he had been sitting on in sickbay. Stewart passed him his uniform jumpsuit. Harris winced at the slight pain that his leg was giving him as he tried to put his feet into the bottom part.

“Here let me help you.” Stewart offered as he knelt down to avoid Harris from injuring himself any more by putting his uniform on.

“Thanks.” Harris grumbled back, embarrassed at the inability to dress himself properly and having his friend do it for him.

Ben-Ami returned to the two men as Stewart helped Harris come off the bed and passed the captain’s yeoman a data tablet. “I’m keeping you on light duties still and I’m expecting you to attend your physiotherapy sessions. If you don’t exercise those muscles in your legs, then you will cause yourself more damage, Mister Harris.” She mentioned, indicating to the tablet that contained those exact orders on it. 

Harris sighed again as he read the tablet’s contents. “Great.” He said. As a workaholic he enjoyed being on duty and as the captain’s right-hand man in almost all clerical duties he was always on his feet, running errands for the captain and other senior staff. 

“Hey if you want Jay, you can join Liam and I for a training session in the gym? It may help your muscles if they were properly stretched out” Stewart offered with a smile.

“That wouldn’t be such a bad idea.” Ben-Ami added.

Cringing at the idea, Harris replied. “Thanks Niall but last time I walked in on your training session with Liam it’s not the type of physical activity I want to do!”

“Hey!” Stewart said quickly, in annoyance for Harris revealing such a private thing in front of his superior officer. Stewart had gone bright scarlet from embarrassment. 

Ben-Ami just laughed it off after working out what Harris implied about her assistant. “Niall by now you should have learnt that hearing about your romantic encounters with Private Jenkins won’t embarrass me or get you into trouble! Just make sure you don’t get caught by the captain again.”

Scratching his head in humiliation at what she said, Stewart just nodded. “Yes ma’am.”

“But Mister Harris I would suggest you take Niall’s offer up. You’ve been neglecting attending the gym and it would mean less osmotic eel therapy if you did some training of your own. The choice is yours.” Ben-Ami remarked as she crossed her arms.

Harris looked at Stewart and rolled his eyes. “Fine but can we do it without Liam there; he gets all MACO when he works out.”

“Ha, I’ll tell him you said that!” Stewart said back with a grin. 

The doors to sickbay then opened, revealing Captain Burton to be entering. At that point all three officers appeared to stiffen in their postures and the atmosphere in the room became formal at his arrival. 

“Captain, please state the nature of your medical needs!” Ben-Ami said, greeting him with a warm smile.

Burton returned the smile. “I don’t have anything thank you Kefira.” He said and looked at Harris. “How’s the leg Jamie?” Burton asked with sincere concern for his yeoman.

“It’s getting better thank you sir.” Harris replied, grateful for his captain’s concern.

“As long as he does some work outs!” Stewart added.

Burton chuckled at that. “You better do it Jay; you owe me three squash matches. Commander Stanton just doesn’t play as fairly as you do!” He expressed this before looking at his chief medical officer. “Do you have a minute Kefira?”

She nodded after giving Harris a look to say he was clear to leave them. She motioned for Burton to join her over at the two stools that sat by her main office area. “What can I help you with sir?” She asked after sitting down and crossing her legs and leaning up against the raised desktop.

Burton had jumped into his seat and passed her a data tablet he had been holding in his hands. “I understand your friends with an Andorian doctor named Chirurgeon Nathaal  th’Oraem?”

“Natha? Yes, I am, why has something happened to him?” She asked as she took the tablet, a hint of concern coming through the end.

“No nothing bad, but he has recently been made the Chirurgeon General of the Andorian Imperial Guard by Chancellor Margerit.” Burton remarked, pointing to the report that was on the tablet. “As Andoria’s highest ranking military doctor I was hoping you would be prepared to lean on your relationship with him to see if he can give us an insider’s perspective on how things are on Andoria since the Chancellor’s rise to power.”

Ben-Ami looked up at the captain now. “Are you expecting some sort of trouble sir?”

“No.” Burton said, shaking his head. “Call it the tactician in me, but I want us to know all we can know about what is happening on Andoria before we arrive.  I want this mission to run a lot smoother than some of our others have. I thought you could get in touch and see what he would say about recent developments.”

She considered the idea for a moment. “I have to admit sir, Natha and I haven’t spoken to each other in a few months now. We met through the IME while I served on the Yorktown and we wrote to each other as much as we can. He may not have the time to respond to my communiques.” 

 “Sounds like a good time as ever to reignite an old friendship then. Even if it’s just a quick message that says you’re going to be in his neck of the woods and you would like to see him.” Burton suggested.

“I’ll see what I can do for you sir.” Ben-Ami said, after realising the captain really wanted her to do this and she understood where he was coming from. She too wished this upcoming mission to Andoria would also go smoothly. Having more information about the current situation on Andoria would definitely help them. 

“Thanks Kefira.” Burton said with a warm smile and stood up from his chair. “I owe you one!” He shouted back at her as he headed towards the door.

“Just make sure you don’t let your Yeoman get shot in your next mission!” She returned as she watched him leave with a grin on his face at her response.

Stepping out onto the bridge, Captain Burton was faced with seeing his First Officer sitting comfortable in his chair. He smiled at the image before him, his entire senior bridge crew were all working quietly and getting on with what they had to do. In his absence Levesque was able to command the ship and crew with the same distinct style he did. Since taking on these roles together he felt the two of them were an excellent team and the two of them had a number of similarities in their expectations of the crew and how they led them too.  Burton found himself enjoying having Levesque as his executive officer; she was an excellent sounding board and always gave him alternatives that he may not have considered. On top of all of this the two of them had formed a close working relationship where they could use their similar sense of humour to get through their daily work and during their off time they were able to share in each other’s interests.

The lift door behind him closed and with the swooshing sound it created, Commander Levesque looked over left shoulder to see who had just used the lift. “Captain.” She said, greeting him and slowly rising from the position she was in. “We’re just about to enter Andorian territory.”

“Excellent.” Burton said as he took over from her as they passed each other as she made her way back over to the science station. “Any signs of an escort?” He added looking at her as he sat down.

“None.” She replied a second after checking the sensors quickly. “However, Ensign Hennessey did intercept something interesting.” Levesque said and looked over to their communications officer to clarify what she was saying.

Burton turned to look at the older man sitting at the station to Levesque’s left. “Ensign?”

“Ah yes sir.” Hennessey said after clearing his throat. “We picked up a transmission from an Andorian battle cruiser that they had engaged a Malurian ship.”

“Malurian?” Burton repeated, as he thought about where he had heard that name of race before. “Didn’t Enterprise engage one of their ships in their first year?” He asked out to everyone else.

“I think you’re right sir.” Levesque responded as she quickly accessed the historical database from her console. She nodded once she lifted the file from the computer banks and began reading a brief summary of it. “Captain Archer stopped a Malurian leader named Garos from mining veridium isotopes from the Akaali homeworld; they were a pre-warp civilisation.” 

“And if memory serves me well when Enterprise did engage them in orbit the Malurians were heavily armed.” Burton.

“As are Andorian battle cruisers.” T’Plau added from the tactical station to Burton’s right. “Malurian merchants and mercenaries are known to be a deceitful and aggressive sir. If the Andorians were engaging such characters, then they are well within their rights to do sir within their territory.”

“I’m not disputing that at all T’Plau.” Burton said looking at his armour officer. “I’m more concerned at the notion the Malurians may try and take a punch at us.”

“Unlikely sir.” T’Plau replied back with. “The Malurians would not venture so deep within Andorian territory to engage us. I would summarise this situation was simple a skirmish. Vulcan ships have also engaged Malurian mercenaries on our borders before.”

Burton winced at T’Plau’s words. “Either way I want us to keep an eye out for any more trouble.” He turned to look at his communication’s officer. “And Ensign, make sure you are discreet at whatever Andorian channels we intercept. I don’t want to upset our new allies.”

“Aye sir.” Hennessey said, red faced that he may have caused a diplomatic problem for the captain later.

Burton remained seated in his chair and looked over to where Levesque sat at her science station. She noticed him looking and returned the stare with a simple smile of assurance, showing him she supported his decision. He smiled back and returned to focusing on the main viewer, a shiver went down his spine after she had smiled at him. Where was that from? He thought before returning his attention to his duties.

Imperial Bird-of-Prey ChR Dhivael

“Garos you fool, you were meant to be undetected!” T’Voras sneered at the grey skin reptilian humanoid on his main screen. T’Voras remained posed at the edge of his black leather command chair in the middle of the control centre. 

The Malurian looked down at T’Voras from where he stood on his own ship’s control centre. “Do not lecture me Romulan on what I should have done. We would have been undetected if you had not changed our rendezvous point.”

“If you had kept your warp profile masked like we had shown you then the Andorsu would not have chased you out of their territory!” T’Voras spat back. “You’re fortunate enough they didn’t destroy your ship.”

Garos smirked at his Romulan counterpart, “As luck would have it, we were able to give them a heavy blow which forced both of us into a standstill. We damaged their engines which meant they were not able to pursue us.”

“Very well.” T’Voras stated as he rubbed his chin as he leant against his chair’s armrest. The command chair was almost like a throne, if he hadn’t been of such a muscular size it would almost have engulfed him. As such he kept his regal pose before his partner, which was a phrase he found difficult to deal with. However, Admiral Valdore believed that his plan of hiring mercenaries to deal the newly formed Coalition of Planets its first blow was one worth pursuing. “We must now bring our plans ahead of schedule, rendezvous with the fleet on the edge of the Docana system at once.”

“Understood.” Garos remarked before closing the channel with a punch on his controls to his right.

T’Voras looked over to Decurion Morek. “Monitor Mister Garos.”

Morek nodded silently and went straight to his work.

“Centurion Rarek,” T’Voras said as he came to his next decision. “Put us in a direct parallel course with our Malurian allies in stealth mode.”

“Yes Commander.” Centurion Rarek said from her flight control board, into which she was beginning to punch a sequence of fast instructions into the Dhivael’s navigational computer.

Sitting back slowly in his chair, T’Voras reflected on what was happening with this current mission. He may not have been able to stop the Hevam emaifha at Gai’h’er-mne but he would be sure to see this mission be successful, whatever the cost.