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Part of USS Venture: Episode 1: On the Frontier’s Edge and USS Venture: Season 1: Into the Frontier

Targeted Considerations

Captain's Quarters
Stardate 24008.5, 1430 Hours
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Entering the sanctuary of his private abode, Thaddeus ambled over to the sofa in his living quarters and collapsed with exhaustion. Legs hanging over the end of the sofa, he kicked off his boots and tucked a hand beneath his head. It had been a long day so far, especially with the early morning wake up call from the night shift commander, so with the bridge relatively quiet and the XO on watch, he had taken the opportunity to get some rest.

Not that he’d be getting much rest, given the situation they faced in less than a single Earth day’s time. What awaited them all was causing him a great deal of consternation. With a sigh the Captain began his latest log. “Computer, begin recording.”

After the customary confirmation beep from the computer signalled the recording was active, Thad began talking. “Captain’s Log, Stardate 240010.5. We have successfully departed Starbase 11 and are en-route to the location of the distress call from the unidentified Gorn vessel,” his tone was quiet but stern as he spoke, staring at the ceiling above, as if searching for his thoughts. “Continued communication attempts go unanswered, and Starfleet Command informs me that they are having no joy through diplomatic channels either. For now, we press on as normal, with all departments reporting ready and all systems functioning within normal parameters,” at least that part was a little cheerier, right?

“As we get closer, with a predicted ETA of some twenty hours, I wonder if this could be some form of elaborate trap…” he continued, his thoughts wandering a little freer as he began to delve deeper into his concerns. “Although I have never encountered them personally, I’ve heard the stories… I’ve done my research. Fiercely territorial… incredibly strong… vicious…” Spinning on his backside, the Captain placed his feet on the floor and both hands either side of him on the sofa cushion, glaring at the floor. “And what of these breeding parties they have been known to send into the territory of their neighbours? Am I leading my crew into a situation where they will be harvested? Abducted? Taken to these so called ‘harvesting planets’, or simply turned into hosts for their eggs here, aboard Venture?” Shaking his head in a bid to shift the glum expression, he couldn’t help the negative thoughts. “If push came to shove, I’d rather destroy this ship and ensure no such fate could befall my people…” that was the very darkest of thoughts, but on a slightly chirpier note he added more. “But there is much to be done yet.”

Pushing himself up using his carefully placed hands, he rose from the sofa and hobbled towards the glass dining table that dominated his living space. “Commander Palmer is working with our Strategic Operations Officer, Commander Astrid Fleming, on possible tactical and boarding scenarios should communication continue to be a problem,” he told, his tone changing, more optimistic, as he poured a glass of room temperature water. “Our new scientist, Lieutenant Shepard, has been tasked with working alongside her medical peers in order to ensure that we know everything we can, and are as prepared as possible for any encounters we may have,” he topped up the glass and returned to the comfort of his sofa.

“In the absence of department heads for engineering or operations, Lieutenant’s V’lessaa and Nikti continue to perform admirably. Their single objective at this point is to ensure that all systems continue to operate at peak efficiency during this entire scenario,” he was coming to the end of his log now, the audible crescendo there for anyone to hear. But then, the positivity evaporated as he let his thoughts overwhelm him once again.

“Until we know more,” he began, his tone deep yet quiet, “no stone can be left unturned in our preparations. I will not take the chance that this crew will suffer the same fate as the SS Puget Sound…”

For many serving on a starship, the bridge was often the one place that was revered and the focus of their attention, with many striving for the chance to be in on the action from the command center. For others, a select few, there was no better place to be than the true heart of the ship; main engineering itself. For those few, there was nothing that could beat the rhythmic pulsations of the warp core as their vessel hurtled through space at incredible velocities. For Commander Dahl, an engineer in a past life (quite literally as his second host had been an engineer aboard a freighter many years previously), a feeling of intense longing often overwhelmed him and no matter the situation, nothing calmed his nerves or steadied him like a visit to the engine room.

He found himself in need of a calming location this particular afternoon. With all that was going on, and the developing situation with the Gorn, the Trill found himself feeling more than a little tense. So, true to form, he had arrived in engineering and, for however long he had been there, he’d stood at the rail surrounding the upper platform. Hands clasped on the rail and, more importantly, with eyes closed, the Commander’s breathing had steadied to its own rhythmic pattern, almost as if in sync with the pulses of the core. He was so calm, so focused, that he never heard the footsteps approaching from behind until a voice startled him.

“I have never understood the human connection with the warp core,” Lieutenant V’Lessaa  remarked, raised eyebrow and all, as the executive officer practically jumped out of his skin. “Apologies if I startled you, Commander…”

Closing his eyes again, the Commander took a deep breath. “It’s calming,” he told the Acting Chief Engineer, “tell me, what do you see, or hear?”

Clasping her hands together behind her back, the Vulcan raised a different eyebrow this time. “I see an observable gauge of engine performance. Harmless secondary photons emitted from the inner layers of the core, providing a visible, pulsating blue glow. The speed in which these photons travel is connected with the speed of the vessel itself,” V’Lessaa explained to the man, entirely unsure of what he wanted her to say. “Curious. You were an engineer, were you not?” she asked him.

“Mmmhmm,” Aamin nodded, eventually opening his eyes and staring with joy at the warp core.

“Then surely you are aware of what is before you,” the Vulcan asked, stepping forward and standing beside the first officer, looking out at the core she was responsible for maintaining.

Aamin laughed. “I am, Lieutenant. I am,” he shook his head slowly, “what can I do for you?”

V’Lessaa presented the Trill with the data PADD that had been hidden behind her back. “Our status report. I can confirm that all systems are operating at normal parameters, save one…” she pointed to one particular section of the report. “We are having a little trouble with the targeting array, but I have enlisted the assistance of Lieutenant T’Mia from tactical operations and estimate we will have the problem fixed in a matter of hours,” she assured him.

Nodding along as he read the PADD’s contents, the XO had no qualms with the issue or her estimation of the repairs completion. He’d worked with the Vulcan on a number of occasions, even recommending her for transfer to the ship almost a year ago from their previous posting, the Ulysses.

“Keep at it,” he nodded in acknowledgement, handing the PADD back to her. “If you need anyone else from anywhere, take whoever you need,” the Commander authorised before tapping the rail with his left hand. “I’ll be on the bridge if you need me,” he smiled, turning and heading away.

V’Lessaa watched as the man left. “Your presence is always welcome, Commander,” the Vulcan called after the executive officer, before heading off to rejoin her colleagues in their work.