With the entire crew called together in docking bay two on Starbase 47, Mark Russell the first officer stepped in front of the fifty individuals whose responsibility it was to ensure the ship operated at all levels. He straightened himself and looked over to the bay entrance. The door opened and R’Tor stepped in and made his way toward Mark and was closely followed by another officer whose look caused a slight uproar from the assembled crew,
“Captain on the deck!” Mark called out, which stifled the chatter of the crew. Everyone came to attention and Mark sidestepped and took a position behind and to the right of his captain.
“Thank you all for your patience…at ease,” R-Tor began. The crew went to parade rest, which was more comfortable than being at attention. “You’re here because we are taking on a mission that will require a great deal from us all…” As his deep blue eyes gazed upon his crew, he only noticed a few fresh faces. “If you’ve not heard the news, ,,, portions of the Romulan Star Empire have declared independence.”
Several eyes widened and a few whispers began to rise up, but R’Tor quickly stifled them, “For this reason, we will patrol a sector that has declared independence.” R’Tor continued to explain the mission and its importance, how they will need to provide humanitarian aid if needed. He also warned that there is no telling what reaction the Romulans, or other factions could have in response to this declaration and while the Romulans do not appear to be acting currently, that the situation could change rapidly. He paused to catch his breath for a moment and continued, “What makes this different is that the majority of systems will consist primarily of Reman inhabitants.”
A stir of concerned voices rose slightly. “For that reason,” R-Tor spoke in a louder and deeper baritone voice that overwhelmed the whispers. “We are taking on a special operative,” He turned slightly to his left to recognize the officer and turned back to continue his speech,” “Lieutenant Kozan, as many of you have already noticed is indeed a Gorn….but,” and the captain held up one furry finger to emphasize his point, “He is also a Starfleet Officer and is to be treated with the same curtesy and respect of anyone wearing this uniform….Am I understood?”
The crew came to attention and responded in unison, “Sir, yes sir.”
Mark stepped forward and ordered them to report to their duty stations and that the ship would be departing the station within the hour.
An hour later, R’Tor and the other bridge officers were settling in. “Clark take us out and could you set a course for the Quirinus System.” Clark smirked, “Do I have much of a choice?” He asked rhetorically.
“Not unless you want to be court martialed,” R’Tor responded, understanding his pilots remarks were based in levity.
“Hummm…Court martial verses stirring up a hornet’s nest of Romulans.” He stated as he waved his hands in front of him as if he was weighting the decision. Then he looked back at his captain with a smile.
R’Tor crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes with no levity in his stance.
Clark turned back to his station and ran through the procedures to disengage from the starbase.
The ship moved away from the station and warped out of the area. It was about this time when Lt. Koz stepped onto the bridge and reported that he had completed uploading the updated mission parameters and data into the computer system, including the most recent information on the Velorum sector.
Ready Room which also doubled as R’Tor’s quarters was a tight squeeze for the three officers all sitting around a small round table. “Ok, Koz….out with it, what are we walking into ?”
Kozan dipped his head as his translator began to warble. “My contact is a Ramen commander who is a major player at Port Umbra.”
Mark and R’Tor were just about to ask what the Port was, when Koz asked the computer to report on it. The computer began in its flat voice: “Port Umbra is a lucrative mining and trading post built within a large asteroid within the Penate Debris Field of the Quirinus System….This 6 – mile long by 4-mile wide post is built within an asteroid that is retrofitted with thrusters and rudimentary stabilizers.”
Before the computer could continue to rattle on, Koz gave the order to end.