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Part of USS Corax: Caduceus Pt. 1

Chapter 13 – There Has Been A Change

USS Corax
Feb 2401
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Aris found himself once again ensconced in his ready room after a quick meal with Damien. He found the encounter pleasant enough, the conversation coming easily, but altogether too brief. Quietly hoping it wouldn’t be the last time, Aris returned his focus to his paperwork. He was overall pleased with their progress so far. No requisition orders had been received and no areas of concerns highlighted.

Getting to his feet, Aris decided it was high time to return to the bridge and get an update on their situation. As the ready room doors slid open, Emma got to her feet.

“Captain on deck.”

“As you were, Emma.” Aris replied with a smile and a wave of his hand. Nodding, Emma returned to her post and turned to face Aris, all while keeping an eye on the console in front of her.

“Anything to report?” Aris asked as he took his seat after making sure Emma was situated before doing so.

“Negative, Captain.” Emma replied. “Holding steady at maximum warp, I forecast our arrival in approximately five days.” Taking a small breath, she added. “Lieutenant T’Keterk has also requested a meeting with the two of us, he is somewhere in the engineering section I believe.”

“Thank you, Ensign.” Aris replied. “Shall we get him up here and see what he has for us?”

Settling back in his chair, he tapped his badge opening up a channel. “Captain Suin to Lieutenant T’Keterk.”

“Go ahead, Captain.” T’Keterk’s voice replied.

“Please report to the bridge, Emma has informed me you have some developments to share.”

“Affirmative, Captain. I will be along shortly.” T’Keterk then closed the channel.

T’Keterk had just finished compiling his last diagnostic and simulation results when the Captain had requested he return to the bridge. Holding tightly to his padd, he exited the office that had been his home for several hours and headed directly for the nearest turbolift. Today was turning out to be rather busy but the information he was in possession of would assist the Captain with his decision making once they arrived. After a brief wait, the turbolift door opened, depositing T’Keterk outside the bridge.

Aris and Emma both turned when they heard the door to the bridge opening, revealing T’Keterk. “Captain.” he nodded as he retook his station.

“Lieutenant.” replied Aris. “Emma tells me you have some information for us.”

“Indeed, Captain. I have been taking this opportunity to run a few diagnostics and some simulations in anticipation of our arrival in the Proteus System.” T’Keterk continued. “All diagnostics have come back clean, however I have been running simulations to test efficiencies to our systems.” Tapping his console, he looked back up at Aris and Emma. “I have transmitted the results of these simulations to your terminals for perusal.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” Aris replied. “I’ll take these under advisement.”

Before the conversation could move further, an alert from the navigation console captured their attention. “Priority message being received from Starfleet Command, Sir.” Emma reported as she turned back to face her console.

“On screen, Ensign.” Aris replied as he straightened his uniform and sat a bit taller.

In a matter of moments Aris, T’Keterk and Emma were met with the sight of a member of the Admiralty. “Captain Suin, thank you for responding so promptly.”

“What can we do for you, Admiral.” Aris replied by way of greeting.

“Starfleet Intelligence has been reviewing reports out of Proteus in conjunction with Starfleet Medical.” The Admiral began, settling back in his own chair. “It is my duty to you inform you there has been a change to your orders.” 

“What sort of change, Admiral.” Aris asked, a sense of unease now permeating through the bridge.

“It has been determined the USS Corax will not be sufficient to support the local populace.” the Admiral continued. “Your revised orders are to immediately alter course and divert to the following coordinates.”

Emma’s terminal beeped once indicating the receipt of updated course information.

“Admiral?” Aris cocked his head slightly, confusion mounting.

“Effective immediately you are being reassigned.” the Admiral deadpanned. “I have transmitted updated orders to your padds. You are to rendezvous with the referenced vessel and assume command on arrival before resuming your original course.”

“Understood, Admiral.” Aris replied as he looked to the shocked faces of T’Keterk and Emma.

“Oh and Captain?” the Admiral butt in. “By you, I am referring to you and your senior crew. A crew exchange will take place when you arrived at the rendezvous point.”

“Thank you, Admiral.” Aris replied with a small smile. “We will alter course immediately.”

“Go forth, Captain. We will be following your progress with interest.” the Admiral responded before closing the channel.

“Emma, alter course to the coordinates transmitted by the Admiral.” Aris sat back down and processed the new information for a moment. Mind made up, he opened up the shipwide communications channel. 

“Attention all hands, this is the Captain.” taking a breath he decided to get it all out. “Our orders have been changed. We are immediately diverting course to rendezvous with another vessel upon which we will assume command on arrival. Please gather your personal belongings and any projects you are working on and prepare for a crew exchange on arrival. Please know my office is open should you need to talk about this.”

Closing the channel he looked to the two officers present with him.

“Course laid in.” Emma reported.

“Shall we?” Aris queried. 

“At your order.” Emma smiled.

“Agreed.” T’Keterk replied. “Best not keep our new friends waiting.”