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Part of USS Gagarin: The Unknown

2 – The Unknown

Transport / USS Gagarin
January 2401
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Nilah Virahl had spent her first year after graduating from the academy serving onboard Starbase Bravo. She was enjoying her time within the shipyards and figured she would be there for at least a few years before being reassigned. Though that would not be the case as she sat on a transport that was heading toward Starbase 93. Sitting near the window she looked out at the stars that seemed to just zoom by, thinking about what lays ahead for her.

She was being assigned to the USS Gagarin a fairly new ship that had only been built last year, she was to be their damage control specialist doubling up as an engineering officer. What surprised her more than the transfer was her promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade, she wasn’t expecting that for at least another year or so.

They would be arriving soon, and Nilah was a bit nervous about starting somewhere new and meeting all new people. However, it would be fewer people than what was on the starbase which she eventually got used to. Being a shy person she tried to be more social and meet new people, though in her head she’d be happy to be by herself.

Zhayva was sitting in the row across from where Nilah was, the Orion woman looked over to see that the young woman was just staring out the window. Standing up she walked over to the empty seat next to her. “Are you alright?” Zhayva asked as she smiled while looking at Nilah.

Looking over at the new arrival next to her, “I am fine just lost in thought.” Nilah replied with a smile.

“My name is Zhayva what is yours?” Zhayva asked.

“Nilah Virahl,” she replied looking out the window for a moment before returning her attention to the woman.

“Where are you headed?” Zhayva asked as she was just trying to strike up some conversation as it was getting boring with such silence that was happening on the transport. She had a very outgoing and bubbly personality and enjoyed making new friends even when there wasn’t a possibility of seeing the person again. This was the complete opposite of Nilah.

“To Starbase 93, I am being assigned to the USS Gagarin that is currently docked there,” Nilah replied as she looked at the officer’s face light up.

“Me too,” Zhayva replied in excitement.

“What is your position going to be?” Nilah asked with a smile, she noticed her uniform was yellow. She was curious to know what department she’d be working in.

“Assistant chief engineering officer, what about you?” Zhayva asked.

“Damage control doubling as an engineer,” Nilah replied.

“Great,” Zhayva said with a grin as she adjusted in her seat. She always enjoyed getting to know someone she would be working closely with. “Where were you stationed before your transfer?” She asked.

Starbase Bravo, I worked mainly in the shipyards doing odd jobs on ships that needed to be done such as repairs or even refits.” Nilah responded, “what about you?” She asked in return as she looked at her while standing up for a few moments as she needed to stretch. Having been sitting for a long time she was beginning to get stiff.

“I served on the USS Toran as an engineer for about five years,” Zhayva replied. “Though not as impressive as what the Gagarin is, she was a fine ship regardless.” She replied as she quite enjoyed the Reliant-class ship, she was sad to leave though at the same time she was looking forward to what adventures lay ahead of them.

“So I hear that our chief is rather,” Zhayva began to say before pausing to think of the correct wording she wanted to use. “Harsh,” was the nicer version as she didn’t want to say what she wanted to say. “I hear she has quite the attitude problem,” she added.

Nilah raised an eyebrow and gulped, she rarely interacted with those in charge as she was pretty much left on her own. Though she did get orders, they usually just came to her padd of what needed to be done that day. They continued to chat amongst themselves until the transport arrived and docked at Starbase 93.

Aarven Ashatia had already arrived on board the ship earlier that morning, and she had already met with both the commanding officer and the executive officer. To say that meeting went smoothly would be putting things rather mildly. She didn’t think she made a good first impression, though she could care less as she was here to do her job. She wasn’t planning on making any friends.

While most people were using some of this downtime to settle in or the crew was still arriving, Ashatia would rather spend that time working. She was already down in engineering as the skeleton crew was still working. She made sure that things were running smoothly the way she liked them before heading to her office.

Setting her cup of tea onto the desk, she picked up a padd that contained the crew roster for the engineering department. She began to read each one of their service records to begin to learn about the ones who would be working under her. Her office had an open view of the main doors leading into engineering and most of engineering itself. This allowed her to keep watch while working in her office, looking up she heard the doors open and three officers walking in talking amongst themselves.

Aarven had walked around her desk and towards the door of her office. “You three to my office,” Aarven ordered with a stern tone to her voice. The three of them looked at each other as they each started to get nervous. They just nodded before walking into her office and taking the empty chairs that were located in front of her desk.

Silence filled the room as they continued to sit there, Aarven sat at her desk looking at her padd that contained their service records. After a few moments, she set the padd down and looked at the three of them. “I will not tolerate idle gossip or chit-chat while on duty, keep that to your time off,” Aarven said as she didn’t like idle conversations that didn’t pertain to work. “Am I clear?” She said harshly.

“I think that is a bit much to ask, there is nothing wrong with talking amongst each other as long as we still get our work done,” Savu replied not caring for the commander’s attitude. The other two just looked at her in shock at the bluntness of the Rigelian woman.

“I don’t care what you think Lieutenant, those are my rules and they will be followed!” Aarven spat back as Savu seemed to have struck a nerve. “Moving on, I will have assignments sent each morning to your padd with what I expect to have done by the end of your shift. I also expect you to report to me once those have been completed so I can inspect your work.” Aarven said as she handed them each a padd they will carry with them while on duty at all times. They already had listed on them that they needed to get completed today.

“That is ridiculous,” Savu replied slamming the padd on the desk. “We know what we need to do we don’t need to be micromanaged!” She replied before storming out of the office. The others looked at each other for a moment with their mouths dropped in shock, though they remained silent.

“Well then,” Aarven replied as she would need to deal with Savu later. “I run a tight department that I expect to run as smoothly as possible, I want to keep this ship in tip-top shape. I expect you all to just do your work and we will get along just fine. Do you have any questions?” Aarven asked.

“No sir,” Zhayva responded as Nilah just shook her head.

“Very well, you have your duties for today so I will let you both get to work.” Aarven replied, “dismissed.” She added as the two stood up and walked out of her office heading a bit deeper into the main engineering out of sight of the chief.

“What was that?” Nilah asked looking around making sure no one was around before asking.

“I have no idea,” Zhayvu responded. “I not sure how I feel about her rules, though I think how Savu responded was out of line even if we don’t agree with it.” She added as they looked at their list, a few of the items she had them working together to complete. “I say we let her deal with Savu while we just begin to work,” Zhayvu said as Nilah just nodded in agreement. They went on their way to begin to get to work as they talked about what they were working on.


  • Whew. I can absolutely see why Aarven didn't think she made a good impression. Those final paragraphs were a doozy. Entertaining but wow. Loved the small interactions on the transport ship and I really do hope Nilah and Zhayva continue this in future. As a painful introvert myself, sometimes all it takes is an extrovert friend to help navigate these waters at a comfortable pace. Should be interesting in the coming chapters to see how it all plays out. Aarven will soon learn no doubt that even though you have a job to do, that shouldn't stop you being somewhat approachable, especially if she needs to play nicely with others to get her work done. Nicely done and a great insight into the moods of everyone as they gear up for their assignment.

    January 26, 2023
  • Aarven Ashatia

    Second Officer
    Chief Engineering Officer

  • Zhayva

    Assistant Chief Engineering Officer

  • Savu

    Engineering Officer
    Hazard Team Member

  • Nilah Derohl

    Former Damage Control Specialist
    Engineering Officer