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Part of USS Heracles (Archive): Boldly Going

New Orders – Part Two

Enroute to SB72 - Alpha Quadrant
Jan. 24th 2400
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‘It has been several days… almost a week,’ Vausees thought as she looked at the main viewscreen at the passing space before them. This route was always the longest one for her as she sat there in the command chair, hoping that something would happen to kill the long stretch of boredom; she found herself in.

Debrah walked over with a PADD in hand and handed it to her. “This week’s summary results,” she said.

Vausees took the PADD and looked it over, knowing all too well that the information on the PADD was accurate. She looked up at Debrah and nodded. “Another satisfying week. Keep up the great performance,” she stated as the PADD was handed back, with her signature added.

Debrah nodded to her Captain and the XO before she returned to her station behind them. She could tell that this part of the return was starting to eat at her wife, but she kept it to herself, knowing that at the end of the day, she would be able to ease some of that stress away, alone with her.

Standing, Vausees looked at Cody, “Commander, I’ll be in my Ready Room if I’m needed. The con is yours,” she said before heading off the bridge through the door that led into the Ready Room. Once there, she sat in her plush, comfortable chair and pulled up the audio from the message again. That had been sent to them from their Command at StarBase 72.

As she listened to the message, Vausees wanted to know why the orders couldn’t be sent over the subspace channels. This puzzle she knew was going to end soon enough but she hated being in the dark about orders, mystery orders at that.

A chime at her door brought her back from within herself and she looked up at the door, knowing all too well who was on the other side. As soon as the door slid to the left and the officer entered, a smile crossed Vausees mouth. But as quickly as the smile appeared it left, she knew that right now was not the time to show affection to her wife.

Debrah on the other hand knew that she had to do something for her wife. “I know this isn’t the time to do this, but you need to talk to me and tell me what is eating at you,” Debrah demanded.

Vausees looked at her wife and lowered her head, “Has it been that noticeable?” She asked while she looked at the dull steel surface on the solid oak desk that was in the room.

Debrah shook her head, “No, but I know you well enough to know when something is eating at you. I have an idea as to what it could be, but you know that I don’t take chances when it comes to you.”

Vausees looked at her. “I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what is going on,” she stated as she leaned back into the chair. “I am not the only one that feels like something is going to be off about our next mission.”

This caught Debrah off guard and she tilted her head slightly to the side, “What do you mean?”

“Ever since we got that audio from the Task Force Commanding Officer, both myself and Cody have been feeling that something is off about the mission that we are about to get,” Vausees admitted as she looked into the emerald green eyes of her wife.

“Who else knows?” Debrah asked.

Shaking her head, Vausees replied, “No one.”

~~~

Later that evening Zyvia looked at Cody, she could tell that something was on his mind, and she slid in behind him and began to rub his bare shoulders. As she rubbed she tilted her head to the side to catch the profile of his face.

“Care to share?” Zyvia asked as she continued to rub his shoulders.

Cody looked at her for a moment and smiled. ‘Am I really that easy to read,’ he thought to himself. “Just command stuff babe,” he stated, hoping that would be enough to satisfy her curiosity.

Zyvia smiled, “I know it’s more than that but I won’t pry.”

She was right, but only the Captain and himself knew that something was off. “Thank you,” he stated as he closed his eyes and enjoyed the attention that his shoulders were getting from this woman whom he found very attractive.

~~~

A soft chime sounded within the bedroom of the Captain’s quarters. A lazy arm came down to silence to chime only to miss. The covers suddenly exploded as Debrah sat up, annoyance registered in her eyes. A soft moan behind her caused her to look back at the bare back of her wife. Silently she swore for disturbing her. Leaning down she kissed her wife’s back before slipping out and padding over to the shower.

The sound of the sonic shower was the final straw that woke Vausees. She lay there with her eyes closed, wanting nothing more than to sleep the day away but she knew that they were only a few hours away from SB72. Slipping out of the bed she joined her wife in the bathroom, sonic shower.

A few minutes later…

Vausees stood in the turbo-lift as it ascended the one floor up to the bridge, Debrah had already left ahead of her. So she waited in silence as the lift came to a smooth stop on the bridge. Stepping out of the lift she dismissed the alert of her arrival and took her place in the central chair.

“Report,” she announced.

Cody looked at her as he began to lay out what had happened on the night shift. Vausees nodded as she listened. ‘Another night of silence.’ “Nothing on the long-range?” She inquired as she looked ahead of the Heracles into the darkness of space.

Debrah shook her head. “Nothing, Captain,” she replied.

‘Odd,’ Vausees thought. She had practically memorized all of the movements along this stretch of space that was before the arrival point to the Starbase. Pushing the thought aside she turned and looked at her Operations officer.

“Jonton give me a full spectral spread for any ion or tachyon trails.”

Jonton nodded and his hands flew over the console as he entered the commands for the ship’s scanners. He performed this task twice and shook his head as he looked up at Vausees. “Nothing, Captain,” he said as his look turned to that of confusion. He assumed that there was a reason behind her request as if she knew something was missing.

“Lieutenant, place the scan on an oscillating timer and have it run until just before we arrive,” Vausees ordered.

“Aye, Captain,” Jonton replied as he set about the task.

Cody looked at Vausees before leaning in. “Something you care to share?”

“It might be nothing, however, since we began our tours aboard the Heracles I have made it a priority, to know what is going on in this section of space, and three ships that have always been here during our travels are missing.”This intrigued Cody, “All three have always been here?” He repeated.

Vausees nodded. “Every time,” she replied, “I am sure it is nothing to worry about. Which is why I have the scanners running overtime until we are near Starbase 72.”

Cody nodded slightly, realizing the sudden concern that his captain had for the missing ships. “A precaution for an ambush,” he said while returning to sit back in the chair.

“Exactly,” Vausees replied.

Two hours later Jonton looked down at his console’s monitor and a single ping registered. “Contact. Bearing 348, mark 36.”

“Can you identify it, Lieutenant?” Vausees asked.

“Negative, just outside of our IFF scanners range. This also means that they can’t identify us and more than likely don’t even know we are even here. Since we are pushing the scanners passed their intended maximum range.”

Vausees nodded, “Let’s hope that gives us the advantage over whoever they are,” she said, “Tag them and keep scanning. Let me know the moment they move, either toward or away from us.”

Jonton nodded as he placed the contact in a circled tag marker.

“Lieutenant Neif, how far are we from 72?” she asked her Chief Flight Control Officer.

“Ten minutes at our current speed and heading,” Trever replied.

“Debrah, when we are five minutes out inform 72 of our findings,” Vausees ordered.

“Understood, Captain. Anything else that we need to transmit?” Debrah asked.

“Not at this time. I’ll let you know,” replied Vausees.

Five minutes later…

“We are five minutes out Captain,” Trever informed the Vausees.

She looked back at Debrah, knowing that the Commander was already on the task that she had given. Suddenly the viewscreen changed.

“Captain, you are ordered to make the best possible time.”

Before she could reply Jonton spoke. “Captain, I am now detecting several incoming ships heading for our location.”

Vausees looked at Trever, “Pour it on, Lieutenant.”

Trever nodded and began to increase the Heracles beyond its maximum speed. “9.5…9.6…9.7…” He began to announce the increases.

“Take us to 9.79 and keep it there, Lieutenant,” replied Vausees.

“9.79, aye, Captain,” Trever repeated as he slid the controls into place.

“Debrah, hail 72 and informed them that we are coming in hot with some company,” Vausees stated as she leaned forward in her chair. She knew that they were only seconds away from the defense grid that surrounded the Starbase.

Jonton reported that their guests were turning back.

“Trever drop us out of warp,” Vausees ordered.

Looking out of the viewscreen the stars that were flashing past them suddenly stopped and in their place was a massive spacedock and the base of 72’s operations in this part of the Alpha Quadrant. As she continued to look at the impressive base she realized that there were more ships than normal here.

“Starbase 72, this is Captain Vausees Vax, Commanding Officer of the USS Heracles requesting docking.”

The screen was silent for a moment before it shifted to an officer wearing an operations uniform. “Glad to see that you have made it in one piece Captain. Request granted for Alpha 3-4. Also, Captain, you and Commander Bettencourt have been requested to report to the CO’s office.” The screen then returned to its static view, before she could reply.

She looked over at Cody, who shrugged his shoulders, “You got me Vax.”

“Debrah place the ship in Blue and make sure everything is ship-shape.”

Debrah nodded as the interior lighting shifted from running lights to a blue hue. Vausees stood up and looked at Cody, “Shall we.”