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Part of USS Thyanis: Acts of Mercy

A New Command, An Old Mission

Devron Fleet Yards
Stardate 77703.38
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As he stepped onto the bridge, he drew a deep breath. The soft beeps of consoles and the other ambience were not new sounds to the doctor, but they took on a new light. This wasn’t just a posting on some star ship. He had spent four years with the USS Amanda. He had acted as a Physician on Starbase Bravo. Everywhere he had gone, he had always been a doctor. Everywhere he had gone, he was always serving on someone else’s ship. He was always a cog in the chain of command.

It wasn’t until he stepped onto the bridge it had hit him. At that moment the real gravity of the situation started to set in. This was his command. In the past, he had been responsible for maintaining the health of the crew. In the past, he had reported to the Captain. It finally dawned. He was the captain now. Sure, he was a little ‘c’ captain.

Give it enough time, and who knows, he might find himself with the rank to match his new position. He understood that the ship was but a small vessel. He knew that his mission range was limited. He knew that there was a lot of work to be done by her crew. However, the daunting nature started to subside. The Thyanis was his command. 

He was still responsible for the well-being of the crew, even if he wasn’t the one handing out medication and applying hypo sprays. He might not be the one employing the medical tricorder. His job had turned. Where once he had been largely reactive as crew members showed up in his sickbay, the ensign would have to be proactive. He couldn’t go faffing about throughout the former Romulan Neutral Zone.

“Captain on deck.” The clipped, feminine tone echoed over the bridge, and several officers turned to regard their new commanding officer.

As Cimojzen Kurios looked across the bridge, he saw at least two humans, a fellow Trill, and a Romulan who looked like she was going to break something if she stood any straighter in place. In one hand was clutched a PADD, which was now extended towards him.

“At ease.” He raised an eyebrow, taking the PADD with a slight flourish. “If that is possible for our fine Romulan officer.” He stressed the final two words hard. “I wouldn’t want you to pull a muscle before we are underway,” he looked down at the rank pips on her collar, “Cadet-?” He let the word hang expectantly.

“Cadet Etan, sir. I have familiarized myself with your history, and I can assuage your concerns. I will not be a hindrance to our mission, captain. This cadet does not get injured easily.” She stared forward attentively, “unlike your kind, we do not break so easily.”

A tense moment passed between the two. While Kurios looked over the Romulan curiously, he shook his head. “Is that really the best way to address a superior officer?”

This caused Etan to turn her head. “If you review the PADD, I think you will find everything in order.” Some of the edge was gone from her voice. “I also wanted to assure that you understood the assets at your disposal, captain. This is a fine crew. I took the time to study the crew dossiers. Enclosed will be suggestions on the roles best suited to the individual officers.”

Kurios skimmed the report, but one name near the top of the list most interested him at that moment. “Do you believe that you are really a fit for a command position on the bridge?” The Trill tilted his head. “It isn’t very often that a person suggests themselves to hold the position of First Officer. It doesn’t give the best look.”

“If you review the attached documentation, I think you will agree with my assessment, sir.” Etan’s tone was more relaxed now, even if her posture was not. “I merely matched members of the Thyanis according to their skill sets. I became quite familiar with the logistical needs of this area, and personnel are as much assets to the former Neutral Zone as food, resources, or even medical aid.”“You do understand this gives an appearance of impertinence?”

She looked her captain in the eye. “I understand that, sir. I also understand that as captain, you deserve the best that our ship has to offer. I am telling you that I fit the bill. I will tell the captain what is needed and what is necessary. No more.”

After a moment, this drew a smile from the Trill man. He shook his head as he looked over the PADD. “I can’t say that I am as familiar with our crew manifest as you clearly are, ensign.” He hefted the device. “So please, brief me. Introduce me to our bridge crew.”

The Romulan rounded on the ship’s captain, but stopped. Drawing a steadying breath, she motioned towards the helm as she began. “Our crew is of course mostly staffed by ensigns and cadets as officers, sir. Ensign Krause in particular is a recent transfer from Starfleet Headquarters. He had mostly piloted a desk before he came to Starbase Bravo, but his flight record at the Academy was excellent.”

“A little,” Cimozjen wiggled a hand in the air for emphasis, “unusual to post an administrator to a new posting on  a starship, isn’t it?”

This question appeared to confuse the Cadet. “We are a small ship with a junior crew.” She pulled the PADD back a bit towards herself for just a moment. “His simulation record has been excellent. I saw no reason against it.” The Romulan watched her captain nod to himself for a moment as she extended the PADD expectantly. A variety of emotions flashed over the Trill officer’s face as he considered the situation. As irritation overtook her, the Romulan felt her own features stiffen as a flash of anger washed over her. “We are a small ship, with a small bridge, with a small crew, sir. He passed the necessary examinations and his scores were more than satisfactory.” 

“So long as we keep a small presence in the system, and we only make small movements in our small ship, I think we should only have small troubles. Keep in mind, Miss Etan, that we are out there in a role of support. I am less worried about our normal situations. The unusual situations are the ones that concern me.”

“His scores,” she repeated, “were more than excellent. His previous posting notwithstanding, he is an excellent pilot. I have the scores,” she jiggled the PADD in her hand, “for you to examine. More than that, there are records on our head engineering officer, and several other officers at hand. They are just as detailed. Some of them are even more detailed than I have on Krause. I wanted to be prepared for every eventuality. You needed every help that you could when dealing with a new crew, at a new command.”

Taking the PADD in hand, Cimojzen started to scroll through the data. He gawked for a moment, reading carefully through the document for several moments. The mildly antagonistic tone was far softened when he spoke again. “Tell Purh in engineering I wish to speak to her before we get properly underway.” He nodded, clearly falling into deep thought. “If she is half as prepared as you are, I think we will be prepared for almost any troubles we might encounter.” The Trill handed the PADD back to Etan.”

“Yes sir. Anything else?”

“Have Ensign Krause plot a course bordering along the Romulan Neutral Zone, Miss Etan. We will need to set out shortly after I speak with ensign Puhr. There are a lot of colonies out there, in diverse need of aid.” The tension on the bridge might have been palpable, but the call to order was clear. There was an undercurrent of compassion in the cantankerous doctor’s observation. “We have a lot of work to do. Have the helm set a course for the former Romulan Neutral Zone. Let’s do Captain Maxwell proud.”

“I am already plotting the course as directed, sir.” There was a twang to Ensign Krause words that Ensign Kurios could not place. “We are already due to deliver construction supplies to a number of smaller colonies, and there have been some reports of pirate activity in former RSE space. With your permission, I will confirm our flight path and stand by as soon as you have decided we are ready to be properly underway, sir.” The promptness and friendly tone of the Trill at the conn, though business-like, stood in stark contrast to Kurios’ own tones. 

“Understood, Mister Krause. Go ahead and plot the course. Keep a particular out for any unusual activity. We want this first run to be completely by the books, of course.”

“Of course, sir.” The subordinate Trill’s hands moved over the conn with a fluid grace that only came from experience and confidence. “The course will be standing by shortly, ready for your command.” Krause was no green cadet.

Cimozjen Kurios walked back slowly towards the back of the small bridge, sinking into thought. Despite the small command, despite the small ship, despite their small part in the greater mission the crew was capable. Hopefully, Ensign Kurios would prove a capable command officer, worthy of this crew.  Though his posting had changed, he slowly realized that his mission had not. 

This was a new mission for the crew, but this was an much older posting for Doctor Kurios. The biggest change now were his patients. The old adage, the guiding principle of his occupation was “do no harm.” Now that his patients included a large swathe of Romulan space, he was going to have to tread carefully.