Alake Van Der Laun’s peaceful slumber was interrupted by the incessant buzzing of his morning alarm.
Coming quickly awake he rolled over to get up and promptly banged his head into the bulkhead.
“Aww dammit!” He cursed “Computer – Snooze!”
He rolled back and rubbed his forehead. That was the third time this week he’d down that.
On his last ship, the Saracen, the wall had been on the other side of the bed.
He lay still for a few more minutes then got up, padded over to bathroom to freshen up, then dressed into sweat pants and a t-shirt before heading down the ship’s small gym for his morning workout.
Van Der Luan was Forty-Two years old, but had spent his career in Security positions and strived to maintain a high level of physical fitness despite his age.
One hour and a punishing routine later he was back, the sweaty gear when into the laundry and he headed for the shower.
Freshly scrubbed and in uniform Van Der Luan entered the Wardroom for breakfast. He ordered from for the replicator, taking his plate he approached the Captain’s table.
“Good morning sir” He greeted Streth and sat down. He and the Andorian had settled into a morning routine with a working breakfast before Alpha shift.
“Morning,” The Andorian was gruff and pre-raktajino, “We must be coming up on 1-SZ soon. Slept the whole night though, good to see no-one’s left us any nasty surprises.” Streth popped a slice of kret-hen omelette into his mouth, “We’ll need to run a full sweep of the outpost as soon as we’re in range.” He somehow contained the food as he chewed and spoke, “You had any experience with these Lookout Class stations before?”
“Not really, I recall we took some Engineers to do some repairs on one by the Neutral Zone, years ago, when I was on the Spatha. Only there for a day or so and I never went aboard it.
From memory, and looking over the specs we got with the mission briefing, they are not much bigger than this ship. Compact and sturdy, but as I say basically a stationary light-cruiser class ship. Same kind of facilities but obviously with upgraded sensors and communications systems.
How about you sir?” He started in on his bacon sandwich and the Steward brought round a fresh pot of Raktajino, made to Streth’s taste.
A wistful smile crossed Streth’s face as he poured coffee into the steaming mug, “Only heard stories.” The deep aroma had lifted his mood already, “They got thrown up quickly in the 2350s before the war. Not much to them, a few bunks, just enough to make things sort of comfortable for an extended stay. From what I know, people were rotated in and out kind of frequently.”
He finished his food, moving his plate aside, “I’m hoping command remembers that and we don’t get forgotten about out here. Been assigned to some out of the way places before, but this takes the cake.” Streth leaned back, “Damn, this coffee’s good. Care for some?”
“It is a little off the beaten track” Van Der Luan agreed “But Insectoids, Shape-Shifters, the Breen and whatever comes across the border for company I don’t think it will be boring.”
He took the offered pot and poured himself an expresso-sized measure of the potent brew. “Thank you.”
He looked up as O’Glynn entered, “Pull up a chair!” He waved the Talarian to an empty seat.
Kaksos had his doubts on the assignment sure but his age forced circumstances. Licking algae off of rocks to survive a Breen Prison had made his tough, but these days it was nice to have a less stressful day. “Aye, boredom is for those who think they’ve trained for it all. In this universe of Q beings, telepaths, higher intelligences, I’ve never run out of training to put myself through.” He finished settling into a seat, continuing as he pulled a ready set of silverware and napkin from his breast pocket…”Besides, we have an outpost to re-animate, that alone will take a year.”
“We’ve got our work cut out for us, that’s for sure.” Streth looked up towards the old Talarian, “I’m glad we’ve got your experience to count on when it comes to the Breen, Kaksos. I thought we’d seen the back of them after the war but well… Here we are. I know getting the outpost up and running is our first priority, but I can’t help but wonder, why Klavdia? What the hell do you think they’re up to this time?” Streth’s gaze drifted down in thought as he asked the last question.
“The usual Breen behavior” Van Der Luan responded over his coffee cup. “Pushing their borders, raiding for slaves, hijacking convoys and generally getting up to mischief.”
Kaksos added in, “Much more than mischief, they use misdirection, and hide in plain sight. One moment you’ve scheduled a summit on your homeworld, next moment six Breen Heavy Cruisers lay waste to Federation Headquarters. Even their mischief is a part of something greater. We will likely need far more than a lookout post if this sector is under their gaze.”
“I hope Command comes to the same realisation.” Streth mused, “You’d think after the Earth attack, we’d be out here with more muscle. Then again, what’s going on the Archanis Sector probably has us good and distracted.”
The Andorian’s combadge sounded, “Bridge to Captain Streth.”
“We’re approaching outpost 1-SZ. ETA approximately thirty minutes.”
“Acknowledged. Begin a level 8 sensor sweep as soon as we’re in range.”
“Aye sir.” The channel closed.
Streth took a swig of coffee, “Better eat quick, gentlemen. Mister Van Der Luan, start prepping an away team to get over there once we’ve completed the sensor sweep. It should give us an indication of any Breen tampering. Kaksos, we could use your help analysing the sensor readings on the bridge.”
“Understood Sir” Van Der Luan acknowledged.
Kaksos stood bolt upright, the coffee in his ready thermos stocked. “Be right with you sir, there is much to go over. Hope you enjoy mind games.”
Streth snorted, rising from his chair, “Can’t say I’ve played a Breen mind game yet. Can’t say I want to.”
The door slid open and Olafsen entered just as the three were getting up.
“Morning Lieutenant” Van Der Laun gave the Security Chief a smile. “Get breakfast to go Christina, we’re coming up on the station, Captain wants us up on the Bridge early.”
“Good Morning Sirs, I’m late for the chit chat. I hate that.” Christina, didn’t really hate that, she was excited to see the station. She grabbed some sort of pastry looking thing and turned back for the door.
Moving towards the door, it opened again as N’Vea entered. “And good morning Doctor” Van Der Luan greeted the Chief Medical Officer. “You can come along too. Grab some breakfast and come up to the Bridge. We’re approaching the Station, we’d like you input on atmospheric conditions over there.”
“If you’re in need of a jumpstart, the raktajino’s good today.” Streth added to the two Lieutenants, “It’s going to be a long one.”
Kaksos smirked to himself and loaded up a second thermos of the proffered Raktajino. It wasn’t common knowledge yet, but Raktajino had an intoxicating effect to Talarians. Very uplifting, it made him almost giddy. He made his way out the door without further comment.
The Vulcan nodded, but declined to take any of the Raktajino, or breakfast. An early riser she slept very little, preferring to mediate early in the morning and then get into the Medical Bay to catch up on any reports, and run the limited amount of experiments that she was conducting on the small ship. Used to smaller working spaces she was able to accomplish quiet a lot of hard science despite the lack of proper laboratory facilities that she might have had access to on a Starbase or university.
“Thank you for the offer, I have ingested a sufficient number of calories for the next few hours,” Doctor N’Vea said nodding to the other senior staff as a form of salutations. The doctor made a mental note to mention proper work-life balance, and the idea that eating at a workstation was not the healthiest way to either eat or work. The last thing she needed was a rash of officers chocking on their food.
The group field out and made their way up to the Bridge and Briefing room.