“Altering course, bearing zero-five-four-mark-zero-nine-three. Reducing speed to one third impulse.”
Lieutenant Commander T’Rani was becoming irritated at the adjustments she had to make and announcing them to the bridge crew only exacerbated her dislike for it. The original course she had plotted had taken into account numerous disturbances that sensors had detected, however after entering the thermobaric clouds she had to deal with how quickly the density of certain regions shifted. The ship could enter those dense areas but they would cause damage. T’Rani had opted to remain at her post until they were through.
“That’s forty-seven.” announced Hunsen from where he sat in the captain’s chair. The chief engineer had volunteered to lead beta shift, he had wanted to monitor the ship’s systems during their passage and Captain McCallister had agreed. It gave the rest of the senior staff a moment to relax, take some rest before returning to the bridge to see their exit from the clouds.
T’Rani looked over her shoulder, she too had been counting how many course corrections she had to make. She knew that the Hunsen, who was her predecessor, was not making any critical judgement about her piloting but his remark was more of a reminder about how long she had been sitting at the helm station. “Indeed.” She countered back with before returning back to her focus on the helm.
“T’Rani, if you want to take a break, I’m happy to take over if you want to get yourself a drink.” Hunsen offered.
“Thank you, commander, but I will take a break once we are through.” T’Rani replied in a polite manner.
Looking down at the sensors, Hunsen shared what he thought of the clouds. “This feels like we are moving through a neutronic wavefront.”
“Indeed, the rapid changes coincide with a class nine wavefront than anything else Starfleet has encountered.” T’Rani agreed.
“Well you’re doing a grand job in getting us through the story.” Hunsen complimented the pilot.
“I am…” T’Rani paused to consider her response. “…grateful for the encouragement, sir.”
Hunsen smirked as he could tell that T’Rani appreciated it but wanted to get back to her work. He went back to reading the latest status report and left her in peace to deal with the turbalance ahead of them.
Entering the Auditorium, with their guest beside him, Flemen was pleased to see the ship’s central hub of recreational activity in full-swing.
“And this area is called the Auditorium, it’s where most of the ship’s social events take place.” Flemen explained, looking up at Shu’varn.
The Pendari archaeologist just nodded a few times as he looked around the room. It was like he was picking out targets as he studied it. “And your entire crew all interact with one another?” He asked.
“More or less.” Flemen answered. He pointed to where several of his colleagues sat, “In the evenings those who finish their duty shifts come here to relax and unwind.” Flemen suggested they walk over to the table his comrades had.
“Interesting.” Shu’varn stated as he followed Flemen, still eyeing everything around him.
Walking over to one of the rectangular tables, Flemen smiled over to his friends and introduced their guest to them. “Everyone, this is Professor Shu’varn, who we rescued earlier today.”
They all said hello and greeted the Pendari with smiles.
Bowing his head at them, Shu’varn greeted them. “I hope I am not disturbing your evenings.”
“Absolutely not.” replied Lieutenant Tierra, the Deltan engineer stood up. “I’m Lieutenant Tierra, assistant chief engineer. This is my wife, Lieutenant Abbej and this is our good friend Lieutenant Jisaraa.”
Both women welcomed the Pendari when they were introduced. Abbej spoke up first after glancing over his attire, or lack thereof. “It’s lovely to meet you professor, Commander Reyas informed me you are a Tkon specialist.”
Taking a seat that Flemen had pulled out for him, Shu’varn nodded. “I am, but spending some time with your Lieutenants Flemen and Tomaz, I feel they rival my knowledge.”
“Ignore them both, they only spent most of yesterday reading up on the Tkon.” Jisaraa mocked. “Are you feeling better, sir? We heard your craft was damaged by a subspace eddy.”
“I am, your Doctor Slyvexs is quite the healer.” He said. “She is quite the woman.”
“That she is.” agreed Tierra. “I’m not sure if anyone told you but we think we can begin repairs on your ship tomorrow. Nothing too serious we can’t handle, with your permission of course.”
Raising both hands to show his gratitude, Shu’varn smiled further. “I am grateful for your efforts lieutenant. Your captain and crew are very generous and welcoming.”
“Professor, can I get you a drink?” Flemen offered.
“I will have whatever you all are drinking.” Shu’varn replied.
Looking at his friends, Flemen knew what they were all drinking. “Let me guess, another round of Risan mai-tai?”
All agreeing, the three women were grateful for Flemen to go off and get their drinks.
Looking around the room, Shu’varn appeared almost fascinated by his surroundings. “Are you okay, professor?” Tierra asked.
“Yes I am.” He answered. “I am confused, what does your crew do? On my homeworld, Pendari social events normally result in some sort of physical display of our strength. Will that be taking place tonight?”
Chuckling slightly at his question, Jisaraa answered him. “No, sir, not quite. Each evening we have a range of social events coordinated by our moral officer. Tonight, it is an old tradition from Earth called karaoke night.”
“Oh, I see.” Shu’varn said, just as Flemen returned with their drinks. Picking up one of the brightly orange and yellow drinks, he sniffed it and seemed to like the sweet aroma. “And what does one do at a ‘karaoke night’?”
“Sing.” Tierra explained. “One would pick a song from any style of music from any period of time from any culture and sing it.”
“Although it was cut recently to prevent anyone from singing any religious chants that could last over a long period of time. Normally it has to be a piece of music that is now longer than three or four minutes long.” Flemen said as he took his drink. He looked around and then back at his friends. “Where are Samris and Tomaz?”
“Just about to take the stage.” Abbey indicated with her drink towards the raised platform in the centre of the room.
Flemen turned to see the Romulan counsellor and Barzan strategic operations officer step up onto the stage, both holding glasses of Romulan ale in their hands. Straight away he knew this could be dangerous and hoped neither of them showed themselves up, especially in front of their Pendari guest.
Sitting on the upper floor of the auditorium, in the booth that was effectively the captain’s private dining area, McCallister was enjoying the evening’s entertainment with his wife, first officer, yeoman and chief medical officer. After having dinner with their sons, all of whom had requested to be allowed to leave before karaoke night started so they could go hang with their friends elsewhere on the ship, the captain was now starting to feel somewhat calmer over their current mission. Besides the odd tremors here and there, their journey had gone well…so far.
“Oh dear lord, please don’t tell me Tomaz and Samris are about to make fools of themselves?” Slyvexs questioned aloud from her seat.
The captain’s private dining hall was of a decent size and was just an offshoot from the upper level. It had the ability to be completely private with bulkheads that could move into place to prevent anyone from looking in or they could allow those who were in it to look down at the lower main area of the Auditorium and experience the entire atmosphere in the room. Right now, the captain and gone for the former as the good mood that was in the room was appealing to him.
Slyvexs had a perfect view from her seat to see what was happening and with a glass of aldebaran whiskey, she was enjoying her evening off. “Isn’t there some rule about the senior staff not singing?”
“I’m afraid not Slyvexs.” Reyas remarked as she sipped on a glass of fine sauvignon blanc. “Plus, I think it’s good for Samris and Tomaz to be seen by the crew that they are fun and approachable.”
“I’m not sure if drunk on Romulan ale is a good example though.” Duncan said, indicating towards what both men had in their hands.
Chuckling slightly at that comment, McCallister had to stop himself and give out a slight ‘ow’ as his ribs were still hurting from his earlier encounter with their Pendari guest. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen either of them get up and perform before.” He remarked.
Court, who was leaning over the edge of the trans-aluminum railing which helped them look down at the stage, “I just can’t wait to see if they remember any of this.”
“This will be a laugh.” Reyas said as she got up, still holding her glass and pulled Slyvexs up with her. Both women walked over to the side where Court was and Reyas gave out a ‘whooping’ noise of encouragement as both men took the stage.
Chuckling at his wife’s enthusiasm, McCallister couldn’t help but smile more. He looked over at Duncan and noticed that he was playing with the glass that had Ktarian beer in it. “Max, you okay? You seem a bit preoccupied.”
“Huh?” Duncan asked, looking at his superior. “Sorry, sir. I’m fine.”
“Max, we’re off duty. Please call me James.” McCallister requested. “And are you sure there’s nothing on your mind?”
“Just the mission.” Duncan answered honestly.
“Yeah, I know the feeling.” McCallister said, just as the music started up. “Come on, let’s enjoy what your protege is about to sing.”
“Yeah, let’s!” Duncan agreed and got up to join McCallister who was moving over to where the others were.
As they approached, the music (which was quite upbeat) was blaring through the speakers around the room and had most people moving. Both Samris and Tomaz started to sing, the words appeared on the holographic rolling screen before them, they shouted out “my, my” but didn’t have a chance to finish the sentence as the ship was rocked hard and everyone almost fell to their feet.
Grabbing his wife tightly, McCallister steadied her and himself. He hadn’t been wearing his uniform, instead was wearing his civilian clothes (as had everyone else) for the evening, but he still had his combadge on him. Tapping it straight away, he called up to the bridge and asked what was going on.
“That sir was us leaving the thermobaric clouds.” reported Hunsen, “We had to push the impulse engines a bit to push past a forming subspace eddy but we’re out and clear for now. What are your orders sir?”
“Have Delta Shift take over and set a course for the next barrier, maximum warp.” McCallister ordered.
“Aye sir.” Hunsen said before closing the channel.
“Here’s to surviving bad weather.” Slyvexs said, raising her glass.
“We’ve got a plasma field to get through next.” Reyas said.
“Well then, here’s to getting through the next stormfront.” Slyvexs said, correcting her earlier toast and taking a sip.
Joining the doctor, McCallister took a sip from his own drink and was glad that part one was complete. He only hoped that the plasma fields would be just as easy as the thermobaric clouds.