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Part of Starbase Bravo: The Homefront and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Arriving at Bravo

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In the short amount of time since Dalaa had successfully completed her training at the Academy complex on Mellstoxx III, the young Orion had already been on assignment, only to return once more to the place she had called home for quite some time now. Whilst visiting the planet, and now she had a single silver pip on her uniform, she had been invited to take a tour of the command and control facility beneath the surface and give her input on some of the systems that were being suggested for upgrade.

Her return to the station had been delayed by some routine diagnostics of transporter systems, so instead, she had made her way to the runabout facility and bartered transport aboard the next shuttle out. Whenever that would be.

“Sorry Ensign,” Cadet Mianaai said to the engineering officer beside her as she stood at the rear of the shuttle, its access ramp still open, “but flight control said we’re waiting on one more.” Her attention then turned from Ensign Hale to sweeping her gaze back and forth across the open flight field. It was a flurry of commotion, with shuttles, runabouts and cargo lifters engaged in the activities needed to transport cargo and personnel to space. “But we’ll get you and your cargo directly to Hippocrates.”

Ethan must’ve still been in shock because he didn’t even hear the young Cadet address him. He still couldn’t believe what he read as he looked through the mission briefing this morning. He had set down his raktajino and rubbed his eyes, taking another look at the PADD just to make sure he wasn’t reading it wrong or was dreaming. The Dominion and Breen are attacking… again. He always heard about the Dominion war from fellow officers, and studied it in the academy of course, but it was something entirely different to know that you were going to be reliving that bloodied piece of history for yourself. 

“I think that’s her there,” Katlyn said, waving an arm at the Orion officer approaching. “Ensign Dalaa, over here!” She kept waving until the Orion woman noticed and started on her way over. “Cadet Mianaai, ma’am, I’ll be your pilot up to Bravo,” she introduced herself as Dalaa stepped onto the loading ramp. “Sorry for the cargo,” she didn’t need to indicate to the pallet consuming nearly the entirety of the small shuttle rear compartment, “but no one leaves the surface today without hauling something.”

Ethan didn’t recognize the other ensign that was hitching a ride with them to Starbase Bravo, but the more the merrier, especially given this sector’s situation. He nodded slightly to the ensign to acknowledge her before refocusing his attention on his new assignment to the Hippocrates repair team. Ethan picked up his tools and belongings, throwing the strap over his shoulder, “No complaints here, so long as you get us to the station in one piece.”

Making her way across to the Cadet who had accosted her from a distance, the young Orion wore the red of the command division with great pride, her duffle slung over her shoulder, data PADD in hand. “No apologies necessary,” Dalaa smiled as she came to a stop. “Name’s Dalaa. Strategic Operations,” she introduced herself to the two officers more formally.

“Welcome aboard shuttle 84,” Katlyn said as she waited just long enough for Dalaa to enter the shuttle before tapping at the control to raise the back hatch and seal the shuttle. With a quick shuffle past the two pallets secured in the back, she made her way into the pilot’s seat, finishing off the last few steps of pre-flight and getting permission from traffic control before evening touching the flight controls. All of her actions were textbook, even how she addressed the flight controllers, taking the shuttle to the skies and along her departure vectors with exacting precision. “I know I’m supposed to be delivering you to the main concourse Ensign Dalaa, but we’ll be stopping by the shipyards to unload cargo and Ensign Hale before moving along. You’re welcome to get off at the shipyard if you wish though.”

Ethan nodded as he made himself comfortable inside the shuttle, still thinking about the briefing and news. He usually was a bit more formal than this, but today has him off his game. He listened to the shuttle pilot addressing Ensign Dalaa about her destination, then thought he’d offer his own opinion, “The more the merrier on the Hippocrates, from what I read, looks to be a real mess up there.” He offered Dalaa a smile, mustering up some courage to be friendly even on a day like today.

“I’m told there is some greater plan for me,” the young Orion shrugged, relaxing into the chair behind the piloting area. “As much as I’d like to get out there, I think I’ve got a few things to handle on the station before they tell me whatever that grand plan is. I’ll disembark at the shipyards and make my way to Observation Lounge 3. A Lieutenant Elegy Weld will be waiting for me,” she revealed. As much as she wanted to be out there with her Starfleet brothers and sisters, her strategic mind was needed elsewhere (apparently). If that meant she had to stay behind in order to play her part, that was what she would do.

Ethan shrugged his shoulders and smiled, “Well, if you ever get bored or run out of things to do, you know where to find me.” He wasn’t surprised he hadn’t met her or the lieutenant that she was mentioning, but then again, Bravo was a huge place with people coming and going every day. When he first arrived, he worked overtime trying to learn everyone’s names and positions, but since the duty rosters shifted so often, it ended up being a futile endeavor. He’s since learned to just go with the flow.

“I’ll bear that in mind,” the master strategist nodded respectfully. “So, have either of you been stationed here for long?” she asked, trying to make small talk with her colleagues.

“Mellstoxx Academy since I signed up,” Katlyn said as she eased the shuttle past the boundaries of the planet’s atmosphere, blue fading to black in a steady progression as the shuttle rose in its steep climb. “Don’t know where I’ll be off to once I graduate mind you.” Confirming their vectors towards the starbase in orbit, she handed the lion’s share of the work over to the autopilot, trusting it to get them to the station’s outer boundaries without too much difficulty. “Hoping a posting with a couple of my fellow cadets at least. You know, familiar faces.”

“As for me, I’ve been here for only a couple of months.” Ethan added as Katlyn finished up. “How do you all like being stationed here on Bravo versus a starship posting?” He looked down to his feet before continuing, “I admit, I was pretty jealous at first, I was the only one in my friend circle who got a starbase assignment, everyone else got starships exploring new frontiers.”

Dalaa smirked as she sat back in her chair, arms folded over her chest, using her feet to rock from side to side gently. “It’s a lot easier for me to do my job on a starbase. On a starship, we’re confined to more local, real-time stuff, rather than more galaxy-wide implications of our role,” the strategist advised them, “but sometimes I wonder if it’s wise to put little me on such a large base. I get lost in my own quarters sometimes!”

“Just finishing up training myself,” Katlyn said. “Few lessons on the station and a chance to fly. And we get to pad out of flight hours whenever flight control needs a lot of extra pilots.” She responded to a query from the controls, a series of bleeps designed to get her attention. “We’re entering Bravo airspace now. I’ll have you all onboard in just a moment.”

“Thank you Cadet.” Ethan said, slowly gathering his things. He got up and moved to the front of the shuttle behind Katlyn’s seat to watch her bring the shuttle in. He then looked at both Katlyn and Dalaa and said, “Been a pleasure sharing a shuttle with you two, maybe we’ll run into each other on the station. Always good to make new friends.” He said, offering a smile to them both. 

Dalaa had always been told that life in intelligence and the strategic operations sector left little time for friends, but perhaps it was time to buck the trend. As the shuttle slipped into position, she watched as the two other occupants of the cockpit conversed, a smile forming in the crease of her mouth.

People weren’t so bad after all.

Comments

  • I love an intro post, and this one hits the mark - we get to meet each of them in their way and get some insight into their backgrounds and desires through the small talk that would happen on a flight like this. I love how the story flows with the background world described against the backdrop of a simple ferry mission. I wonder what the future holds?

    May 20, 2023