Part of USS Daradax: Mission 2 – Wings of Salvation (Sundered Wings Fleet Action) and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

SW – Chapter 5: Ensign Tension

USS Daradax - enroute to Kunhri III
May 2400
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Kerry sat in the observation lounge looking out the windows as the ship travelled at its best speed towards the Kunhri system. She reached for her hot chocolate, topped with an absurd amount of whipped cream and marshmallows as she lost herself in thought.

‘I had been looking forward to the survey mission, could actually do research and discover… this though…part of the job but isn’t research sadly.’

Taking a long sip of her drink she sighs, closes her eyes and leans back in the recliner “How did I end up here? I was in the top 3% of my year in the science track. Why a Raven?” She mutters to herself. ‘The crew is nice but why here…why not a science vessel. I would have loved a posting on a ship like the Dvorak…’  she thinks as she continues to just sit there.

“Well, maybe it’s because you moan about the tasks you are given Kerry. Did you think of that?” Came a voice from behind her causing her to literally fly out of the seat to her feet, it was a good thing she had just put her drink down otherwise she would have been covered. Turning around she sees Ril leaning on the back of another chair arms crossed before her with a wicked looking smile on her face which seems to enhance the ridges on her forehead indicating her Klingon heritage.

Instantly feeling embarrassed and nervous Kerry feels herself calming up. The same thing that always happens when people talk to her when it isn’t about work. “I, um…I…” she stammers as she tries to explain herself.

“You are disappointed to be assigned to a Raven. I get it, suited for board patrol at best or lowly surveys of known areas..not a luxury posting.” Ril interrupts her as she stands revealing that she is out of uniform in just a pair of black pants and a matching black vest top. “Cannot say I was happy with this post after doing security on Starbase Bravo. But I know why I am here…” she pauses before muttering something about a stupid drunk Nausicaan and an uppity lieutenant…” but I have been wondering who did you get on the bad side of for this?”

Surprised by the question Kerry struggles to think of a reply…”Bad side? No…no, that ain’t the case, people, the instructors like me…I got good, very good grades…”

“Oh, sweet naive Kerry. The fleet and postings are more than marks. From what I have seen you don’t really interact with people well.” Ril remarks as she sits down on the chair crossing her legs.”I…”

Before Ril could continue or Kerry responds the door opens and Belania walks in humming an odd Ferenji pop song that she sometimes listened to. Seeing the other two ensigns in the room she perks up “Hey, didn’t realize you were in here. What are you chatting about?” She says walking over to them.

Kerry, already uncomfortable tries to answer, “Oh, nothin…” but before she finishes Ril chuckles and interiors her. “Just about how we have all pissed someone off to get a posting here or at least did something to irritate someone. Been trying to get Kerry to tell me about the skeletons in her closet…” turning around in the chair to face Belania Ril continues, “…so what did one of the few Ferengi and a female at that do to be shunted off to the Daradax? Figure the powers that be would want to show you off on the flagship. Look at who we have here sort of thing. Also, you are a great pilot, no reason I can see for you to be here B!”

Slightly taken aback by Ril’s comment Belania is at a slight loss for words, “Sorry, what? Who did you piss off…sure it was several people to be fair.” She remarks once she processes what Ril had said.

“Pretty much every shithead I had to arrest…” Ril says with a shrug. “Come sit, you have to admit the posting is an odd one; almost a punishment it seems for ones such as you and Kerry. And what is with this mission and whatever it is the Kirin is running off to once we arrive at Kunhri III.”

“I don’t think this is a punishment. I was a good cadet and I remember Belania at the academy, one of the best pilots and navigators they had.” Kerry says trying to sound confident in her response. 

“I didn’t piss anyone off per se – sure I maybe quoted the rules of acquisition a lot back at the academy and joked about selling the cadet’s training and several others I guess ship to my uncle but that was all in jest…” Belania says before trailing off, “I am sure no one took it seriously…” her expression showing a bit less confidence. “Oh no…I may have mentioned that this ship would fetch a good price to the commander during my one-on-one with her.” She says before pausing.

“See told you. Punishment posting; well for the two of us. Kerry, I think you just didn’t impress on people enough. So they stuck you somewhere out of the way.” Ril says with a nod as it confirming her views.

Looking over at both Belania and Kerry, Rill can see they are both second-guessing themselves, ‘Shit, I was just trying to have some fun with them, yeah Kerry is shy but does she honestly think they would put her somewhere quiet and out of the way if she was that good. And Belania, no one would fault her for some jokes…though maybe it was more than “some” jokes…’

“Come on you two, I was just messing with you. That isn’t how the fleet works.” Ril says jumping to her feet. 

Looking up at her Kerry glares with angry eyes, “And what would you know. We all heard about you beating those men you arrested into a coma. Maybe this is a punishment. Get you away from people, get Belania away from something the fleet doesn’t want to lose and me from…well I don’t know.”

Through this Belania shakes her head, “Ril you are a piece of work, what’s the phrase a real pain in the ass.” She turns to face Kerry, “But she is right Kerry. That ain’t how the fleet works. The first mission was a survey mission and a science officer, and a good one was needed. I like to think a solid pilot such as myself would be high on this list as well and as for miss downer over here” flicking her hand towards Ril, “a good tactical and security officer to ensure the mission was kept safe.” She says as she walks up to Kerry and puts a hand on her shoulder, “I want to think they are giving us a chance to really shine.”

Perking up at that Kerry smiles, “that makes more sense actually.” She says as she puts her hand on Belania’s.

Standing up and holding her hands up in surrender Ril sighs, “Look, I’m sorry. Belania, that does make sense. I just, well, am not happy with the new posting and I let that get the better of me. I liked, really liked, my old job and well I have trouble keeping my anger in check. Please forgive me. I know both of you are brilliant in your areas and when it comes down to it I should be helping both of you since you are both fresh out of the academy.”

This takes both Kerry and Belania by surprise. \until now they have really only seen a sullen Ril who clearly wasn’t too happy. Belania nods towards Ril, “Apology accepted, just don’t be such a pain I’m the future.” At this Kerry nods in agreement with a quick “Yeah.”

With a smile Ril says a quick, “Thanks, I will try to not be such a pain. But I do want to ask though what do you think about the Commander and XO? I heard she was in intelligence before this and did some dodgy stuff with the syndicate but the mission was a success so the fleet stuck her out here…”

Both Belania and Kerry laugh at that before Belania responds, “Yeah she is Orion but that doesn’t mean she did work with the syndicate, we had several Orions at the academy with us.” 

“Maybe but that is the rumour I heard back on Bravo before I left. And the XO well l, actually, he seems to just be a stand-up guy and a top-notch engineer, used to work in the dry docks on Bravo. Maybe he is here to balance out the hot-headedness of Kirin…” Ril says with a light laugh.

“Now you are reaching Ril, the commander seems really nice and friendly. She even said I can join her for her morning yoga whenever I want.” Kerry says. “I like her.”

“If you say so Kerry…there is something I am not sure about with her” Ril finally comments after a few moments causing Belania to laugh, “That may just be the crazy security officer suspicion taking.”

“Maybe…maybe,” Ril says just as an alarm on her wrist starts to beep. “Time for me to hit the holodeck, need to burn off some energy…either of you want to join? Fighting off a horde of angry Klingons gets the blood pumping?”

Kerry and Belania both look at each other and shrug. “Sure, could be fun,” Kerry says as they both stand and walk out with Ril.

 

Comments

  • Warp transit is the perfect time for some character development and it sure made for a great read! I appreciated this insight into Kerry’s head. It was at the same time a little sad, and yet relatable, that she takes her assignment to a Raven-class ship as a failure — given she seems to be a lifelong high-achiever. For a new crew, Ril’s scathing assessment of Kerry’s interpersonal skills was surprising, but as a reader, I hugely enjoyed that frank honesty. I also enjoyed the turn for the downright funny when Belania worried her sense of humour got her in trouble, and banished to Daradax! Ril, then, opening up to her new crew made for an supremely satisfying end to the chapter!

    June 5, 2022
  • Ah, ideal chatter is a great way to show off personalities and how they interact. I enjoyed this display, with Ril's hotheadedness and interrogative nature showing through, Kerry's shyness and then Belania's oil on rough waters towards the end attempting to smooth things over with logical deductions and positivity. I feel like there could be some shenanigans here in the future as they attempt to confirm or deny rumours about their fellow Daradax crewmembers. Looking forward to more!

    June 6, 2022
  • Ah the bonding of Ensigns, what could be more fruitful for a story development than three Ensigns hashing out the inner workings of each other and the command structure of their ship. I love how Ril gets into Kerry’s and Belania’s heads with her comments, and how Ril saw this and then did a 180 by telling them that she was messing with them. Ril the hardcore Klingon Sec/Tac that is trying to become a softy, now that is something that I am looking forward to seeing. As always, keep up the great work, and look forward to the next story.

    June 10, 2022