Part of USS Altai: Here Be Monsters

Are You Certain?

USS Altai, Bridge
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Lieutenant Commander Walker sat there in the command chair of his ship, the Ambassador Class vessel by the name of USS Don S Davis, that was following alongside the USS Altai to their destination. He had every confidence in his crew, all well experienced and knew exactly where they were going, along with the standing orders from Walker of ‘Just follow her lead.’ Reason for this is because his attention was no where on the view screen or what was out there. Sure he’ll put his eyes on the listening station once he sees it, and sure he’ll go blabbering off about nostalgia as well, but no, his attention was solely on his Chief Petty Officer, Amanda Cooper. She had been one of the most reliable engineers on his team since he recruited her from the Starfleet Construction Yards at 40 Eridani A. She had been with him since he commanded the Crazy Horse, Excelsior Class vessel, going around evaluating stations and outposts, making whatever repairs and upgrades they can, least until the conflict with the Hunters of D’Ghor made him and his team have a ship change to the USS Don S Davis, the Senior Administration of Starfleet Corps of Engineers felt that a higher class vessel would be ‘more protective’ as they put it, and not only allow him to continue his job but also be considered as some sort of damage control. And it has worked for the most part, but now Starfleet has other concerns, thus why the USS Don S Davis, along with her expanded cargo bays full of supplies needed to get the Listening Station fully operational, was following the USS Altai. Orders were orders.

But let’s get back to the matter at hand…. “Are you certain about this, Chief?” Walker asked.

Chief Cooper stood there, staring at the view screen, getting a glimpse of the system that they were entering before turning her attention to him. She had dropped a bombshell on him, big time. She told her Commanding Officer that she wanted to transfer to the Listening Post, to be the Station’s Engineering Officer, to be the one who not only brings the station to full operations, but to also be the one who maintains it and keeps it that way. It was important for Starfleet, and she felt that it was her calling. Of course she didn’t tell him until just a few minutes ago. “I am certain, Commander. I had been thinking about this ever since we were given word that we would be departing from Starbase Twenty-Seven and come all the way out here to bring some old listening post back online. It’s what I have been looking for in my career. Sure it isn’t a Cardassian Space station, and I know I’ve had my hand in repairing and upgrading all those outposts and stations over the years, but this is different. This listening post, it is important and I intend to make it my job to keep it running to exactly what Starfleet expects. I am going to prove it to them, that some day, I can be a Master Chief Petty Officer of Starfleet. Unless of course I get some crazy battle field commission if the Breen were to invade or some crazy crap.” She smirked as she placed her hands on her hips, turning her attention back to the view screen.

Walker sighed heavily, disappointed that he was going to lose her but then again, he was somewhat proud of her. She was like family to him, and hearing her wanting to achieve such a big goal as that, he knew he couldn’t say ‘No’ to her. He would only be getting in the way of her goals. “All right then. I assume you already have everything packed?”

Amanda smiled and looked at him again, “Even got my personally owned Holosuit all packed away. Better than having no holodecks on this ship, and I have no doubt that a small listening post like that has any either.”

Walker nodded his head before pushing himself up from his chair. “Comms, what’s the time?”

“0805, sir.” Responded the Comms Officer.

“Alright. Please send a message to the USS Altai. Tell them I would like to speak to their Captain.” Like the good old naval tradition, whoever is in command, regardless of rank, is called the Captain. Certainly gives Walker a goal to achieve for…Captain…

{Engineering-ACEO office}

Pampo was fascinated by the assignment, but leveraging a promotion out of it was the finesse bonus prize. His work with Starfleet Intelligence was off books, his assignments strictly under the diplomatic banner, and his service path listed as OPS. Truth be told, Pampo hadn’t worked a day in OPS since the Academy. A darling of the diplomatic corps, and his connections running deep, his assignments had been softballs. Now, he had a chance for a real assignment, doing the work he fantasized about.

“If I understand you Captain Orod, I’m to be your man on the inside… ” Pampo stroked his beard, staring at the Andorian from Starfleet Intelligence, “…Such discretion will require a higher access to system resources to cover my tracks adequately.”

Orod snorted, “Lieutenant is plenty for what we need. Make sure they toe the line, root out undesirables, report malfeasance. You want a full Pip on your collar? A tour out here will make it happen, but payment comes after the job is done.”

He took the loss with grace, quickly shifting topics, “I may find my silver tongue at rest, with nobody out here, they may come to rely on my rather non-formidable mechanics cover story.”

Orod was getting impatient, “You’ve managed to pass muster so far, this isn’t an assignment for the Elite, I have confidence you can make a character work for the setting.”

As he was getting nothing, Pampo pressed for some kind of silver lining to this assignment. “I have no experience with the Breen, with the mission briefs from 31, I’d stay relevant to them in many ways.” Another side effect of this was once you gained access it was never revoked, the person was silenced if they posed a threat.

Orod actually seemed to agree, he considered for a moment, “We can’t acknowledge how we received the information naturally, but that’s reasonable. Take a runabout from Don Davis, outfit it for long range travel, ask the captain to prep it for field work as well. I’ll have diplomatic corps sanction it as a state vehicle. On your reconnaissance runs you’ll meet with our field agents. If that is all… there is much to do.”

Managing not to smile, “No sir, we have outlined the mission well. I believe we are due within moments, see to my transfer orders then. I accept.”

Just before the comm link with the USS Altai was established, one of his team members approached him and handed him a PADD. Walker looked it over, seeing it was requisition orders for a runabout, as well as modification requests. Walker wasn’t going to complain about having one of his ship’s runabouts being requisitioned or modified, not like other Captains might. Being a Senior Officer of Starfleet Corps of Engineers, in command of a ship modified with extra cargo space to do repair and upgrade just about anything, he can easily get that runabout replaced without even asking. Walker would just place his thumb print right on the reader, acknowledging the requisition and modification request of one of his runabouts, practically handing it over and approving the modifications that one of his teams will take care of now that they got the approval. Walker returned the PADD to the officer and nodded his head to them before returning his attention to the view screen.

In the Fabrication bay of the Don S Davis, A trigger phrase activated the outfitting of the State Vessel, a variant of the Danube designed for spy work. Stealth systems and composite alloys twisted into the standard outfitted structure, a miniaturized matter/antimatter reactor and upgraded weapons and shields. The intelligence field package came with its own small armory of small arms and tricky tricks along with a restricted AI for systems access. Folded into any space possible, the standard issue Danube with a prominent UFP logo was all that greeted the eye.

{NX-0145: Prydwen}

Pampo admired the ingenuity of the craft, running his hands over the frame. He had wanted his own for so long, and now he had it. It could fly forever if he stopped once in a while to keep it fueled. His ambition anchored him to tradition but a part of him knew his heart belonged to no organization. Halanans are of two spirits, Hasskin was his counterpart and though he slept most of the day, Pampo wondered if the call to adventure was his alternate self working into the forefront.

He decided to commit to this new path. He was certain this was his choice, and the right thing to do. This ship was proof, he had gotten his reward, and the promotion from this simple assignment would vault him into the next circle of the game. A simple matter of life and limb, the usual stakes. He boarded the vessel, asked for clearance and flew under his own power out of the bay.