Time: 2137 hours
Location: Alpha Quadrant – Starbase 72
Vausees sat in the center command seat as the Heracles moved through space smoothly. It had taken the ship nearly a week to return from the Gamma Quadrant to the Alpha Quadrant. After only a few days, the crew and the ship were in visual contact with their final destination, Starbase Seventy-two.
“So what do you think, Thý’ella?” Vausees asked the guest sitting to her far left in the guest seat. She inquired of their Angelikós visitor.
Thý’ella nodded, her gaze fixed on the starbase, which was growing in size as the Heracles approached. “Impressive,” she said as she sat back and continued to observe.
“Lieutenant, hail the station operations officer and announce our intent to dock in the primary docking bay,” Vausees ordered as she returned her gaze to the image of the Starbase.
Jonton nodded and began carrying out the order that was given to him. A moment later, an all clear chime returned to his console. “We are all clear to proceed to the Alpha Quadrant doors, which will open once we are within fifteen hundred kilometers.”
“Make it so, mister Neif, smooth and steady,” Vausees said, nodding and looking over at Trever.
Trever nodded and adjusted the Heracles’ course towards the Alpha Quadrant doors. “Course set in, Captain.”
—a few minutes later—
As the Heracles approached the Alpha Quadrant doors, they began to slide open; at first, just a sliver of light seeped through the crack between the two massive doors, and then more as the door edged even further open.
When the two massive doors were fully retracted, ships of the Excelsior and Nova classes could be seen moored to the upper arms.
Vausees stood up and folded her arms behind her back as the Heracles cleared the doors and began its descent to the lower arms within the docking bay. “Mister Jonton, set the ship to condition blue and activate the shipwide intercom,” she told the Lieutenant.
Jonton complied, and a whistle rang out throughout the ship as it continued its descent. “Communications are open, Captain.”
“Attention crew, we will be docking at Starbase Seventy-two in a few moments.” This ship will be docked at the station. I’d like everyone to pack their bags for some much-needed R&R. If you need to leave the Starbase, check with your Department Heads to ensure that all necessary paperwork has been finalized. Furthermore, I issue an order to all of you to enjoy this because we don’t know when the next one will be. “Captain Vausees, out.”
She turned and nodded to Jonton, who closed the ship’s intercom. Reaching up Vausees tapped her ComBadge.
“Chief Tanner, report to my ready room at your earliest convenience,” she said, reaching up and tapping her ComBadge once more.
“Commander Bettencourt, the bridge is yours,” she said as she turned to go to her ready room.
—Captain’s Ready Room—
A soft chime sounded at the door to the ready room as soon as the moor’s attached themselves to the Heracles’ outer hatches. Looking around, Vausees heard the chime and said, “Enter.”
When Charles entered the ready room, the doors slid shut behind him. “Evening, Charles,” Vausees said to her Chief Engineer. He returned her greeting.
“Vausees, what can I do for you?” As he took a seat across from her, he asked her. He was aware that this was a semi-formal request, and that addressing her by her name rather than her rank would not result in a reprimand.
“I need you to set up a couple of rotating skeleton crews from your engineering department to assist the station’s engineering crews when you have time. I’d like to have the entire ship inspected. Any system that needs to be repaired, updated, or replaced will be completed,” she said, looking at Charles. “And Charles, that doesn’t mean you do it alone,” she said, leaning back in her soft leather chair.
Charles looked at her as if he were a child who had been chastised for doing too much and not spreading the work around. Vausees is aware that the Heracles was his baby, and that he disliked foreign hands touching her systems. “If I need to, Charles, I’ll make an order,” Vausees said, noticing the look in his eyes. “This is why I’m having you set up the crews, with you only being a part of one of them.” “That is an order, Charles,” she said. “You are to enjoy yourself and take some much-needed downtime.”
Vausees turned to the holographic monitor, “If I’m not mistaken, Charles, Cho should be on the station,” she said with a grin as she returned her gaze to the man. He had a puzzled expression on his face. “When we returned to the Alpha Quadrant, I made a call.” She is expecting you, so pack your belongings and leave my ship until I call for you.”
Charles nodded and rose to make his way to the exit. “You have a terribly wicked sense of humor, Vausees,” he said as he exited the ready room and entered the bridge, which was now mostly empty except for Cody, Thý’ella, and Debrah.