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Part of USS Auckland: Caduceus Pt. 2

Chapter 4 – Bridging the Gap

USS Auckland
Feb 2401
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Gin and Emma both got to their feet after the Captain had dismissed them and headed for the bridge each taking their station. Emma sat at the navigation console began reviewing current astrometric data and calculating the best way to reach Proto II. Gin took the seat directly to the captain’s right and began to read over the information Aris had transmitted to their padds. She must have been making a face as she read because Emma had spoken up.

“You look concerned, Commander.”

“Not at all, Ensign.” Gin looked up at the new navigator. “Just a bit anxious.”

“May I ask, why? Emma replied, giving her full attention to the Executive Officer. Emma had stayed updated on the evolving situation since the day they had all crowded into the Captain’s ready room on the ship that was now returning back to Starbase 93.

“It feels a bit silly.” Gin answered. “But ships like this aren’t often assigned postings outside of Federation space especially into former Romulan territory, unless there are exceptional circumstances.”

“Of course Commander, though I would agree these circumstances are definitely exceptional.” Emma continued. “The people of the Proteus System are hardly in a position to deal with a plague outbreak.”

“If official reports are to be believed, their medical facilities seem to be coping well, but for an outbreak of this size? of a preventable illness?” Gin was almost in disbelief, Terrellian Plague was a known very treatable illness. 

Knowing she hadn’t had a chance to go over all the information, Emma gave her the cliff notes. “Proto II and it’s surrounds were a former Reman mining colony, so we can guarantee the Romulan overseers would have been vaccinated against this illness, why would they give the Reman’s the same courtesy?” Emma’s face darkened slightly. “What consequence was it if a few Reman’s lost their lives.”

Knowing the relations between the Remans and Romulan Star Empire at the time, Gin nodded in acknowledgment. Up until today she had never known of the existence of the Proteus System, but with the dissolution of the Empire, more information was coming to light. Circumstances were exceptional indeed. The actions taken here today could have lasting results in future dealings with the independent worlds and systems. 

“Besides, apart from the Delta Quadrant, I haven’t had many opportunities to travel beyond the Federation border so we can face this together.” Emma replied with a smile. “And I doubt the Admiralty would put us intentionally in harms way. So lets take advantage of the low level of supervision and do what we can for these people”

“Fair point.” Gin conceded. “And thank you for your perspective.”

“Any time, Commander.” Emma replied before turning back to her calculations. “Oh and Commander, every second Friday at 1900 hours we all get together in the lounge to talk about our weeks, debrief, catch up on news and get out of duty mode. You’re more than welcome to join us so we can all get to know each other better.”

“Thank you again, Ensign.” Gin replied. “I will have to see if I can make the time.” This would take some time getting used to. The Auckland generally had a permanent command crew with specialists and researchers rotating through, but if this group of crew made up of a fresh graduate, a repatriated citizen and seasoned professionals could be this tight-knit after one assignment together, Gin felt this camaraderie could be an asset to the ship but would withhold her judgement until she got so see every one in action.

Turning her attention back to the padd in her hand she continued to read over the information and updates. The silence comfortable. It must have been less than ten minutes before Emma spoke up again. “Course corrections and modifications have been completed to compensate for the additional speed and power, Commander. Re-engaging warp drive.”

“Acknowledged, Ensign.” Gin replied setting her padd down and sitting up. The captain would no doubt be joining them shortly now that they were underway. “Lets see what’s waiting for us on the other side.” she said mostly to herself.