Part of USS Constellation: Nothing Comes From Being Right and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Nothing Comes – 1

USS Constellation, Transporter Room & Astrometrics
March 2401
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The twenty-third century lieutenant beamed aboard the twenty-fifth century starship.  Her difference was camouflaged by her yellow-shouldered uniform that matched the five officers who had materialised alongside her.  Once she was certain her boots were solid, once again, Nova planted her heels on the platform.  Her eyes searched the transporter room for someone– for her— but there was no one awaiting her arrival in gleeful anticipation.  There was no bouquet of flowers being thrust in her hands.  Not even a bag of grapes.

Instead, there was a yeoman handing out quarters assignments to each of the other officers as they filed into the corridor.  And there was a bearded man with intense brown eyes, staring at her from behind the transporter console.  He stared right at her, a flicker of concern deepening the crease between his raised Haliian brow bones.

“Don’t panic,” he said, raising a hand in a vaguely.  The direction of his gaze dropped to the holographic console extension he was manipulating through taps and swipes.  “Your luggage has been waylaid on Farpoint Station and I am confident I can find it again.  Your luggage is not lost.  I repeat: it’s not lost.”

Nova dropped her chin to her chest and she bit the tip of her index fingernail.  Soon after, she resisted the self-soothing behaviour and lowered her hands to her sides.  When she looked up, her heavy curtain of bangs obscured her vision, so she adjusted them with a shake of her head.

“Don’t bother,” Nova said consolingly.  “I have no personal belongings.  They all went down with the USS Brigadoon.

The Haliian looked up at her and his eyes widened.  He nodded at Nova twice and then he snapped his forefinger and thumb.

He said, “Ah, that would make you Lieutenant Junior Grade Indira DeVoglaer.”

Standing to attention, Nova clicked the heels of her boots together and assumed a rigid posture.  She offered a lop-sided grin to hang a lantern on the gesture being performative on her part.

“Operations Officer DeVoglaer reporting for duty aboard USS Constellation,” she said.  Speaking in an informal lower register, she added, “But you should call me Nova, sir.  We’re going to be fast friends.”

Through the grin that expanded on his face, he replied, “I don’t doubt that.  I’m Lieutenant Rieko Pagaloa and you can invent your very own nickname for me.  I’ve served aboard Constellation through her shakedown cruise and they mostly call me chief engineer.”  –He cleared his throat–  “Captain Taes sends her regrets for not welcoming you aboard in person, but she is otherwise engaged.”

“That’s understandable on the eve of a captain’s maiden voyage,” Nova said, perhaps too brashly.  Her bravado was a counter-response to the faintest signs of pity in Rieko’s timbre.  She wouldn’t stand for being pitied.  “I’ve already spoken with Captain Taes over subspace before Contellation’s arrival at Farpoint.  She interviewed me personally for this step in my…”

Rieko finished her sentence with, “Rehabilitation,” evidently making an assumption about the terms of her fitness for duty.

Nova’s voice went reedy when she said, “I was going to say orientation.  I may have been missing in action for over a century, but I escaped that temporal inversion fold and STC has completed my re-training.  My Starfleet commission may be provisional at present, but I am fit to continue my orientation while on assignment.”

Nodding at Nova, Rieko said, “I hear you, Nova.”  –His gaze darted to the report on his holo-console– “In fact, provisional or not, the chief science officer has requested you report to duty immediately.  You have orders.”

As Rieko padded around the freestanding console, Nova heard a subtle mechanical whirr in time with each step he took.  She stepped down from the transporter platform to follow his lead.

Optimistically, Nova asked, “Would that be Chief Science Officer… Yuulik?

Rieko chuckled the type of guffaw Nova would have expected if she had said Chief Science Officer Kol.

 


 

The Constellation’s astrometrics laboratory appeared to be far smaller than the stellar cartography departments Nova had read about in her rapid education on the explorers of the 24th century.  Instead of a multi-level marvel of holographic immersion, the astrometrics lab aboard this cutting-edge Constitution III-class starship was only the height of a single deck.  Aside from holographic interfaces, there was one central LCARS console, making the small compartment look bigger than it was, if half-empty.  The brutalist architecture and raw duranium she was familiar with, from the starships of her youth, appeared to have come back in fashion.  She had awoken into this Starfleet of the 25th century that appeared to be letting go of the luxury hotel veneer she had experienced aboard Deep Space 17 and Farpoint Station.

From the moment the doors parted for Nova and Rieko, Nova was struck by a cacophony of sound.  She walked into crosstalk and LCARS telltales from nearly a dozen individuals situated around the lab.  She wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Many of them were clad in uniform jackets shouldered in science teal, but almost half of them were Vulcanoids in jumpsuits that weren’t of Starfleet design.

Behind the single freestanding console in the compartment, a Vulcan junior lieutenant spoke in an inflexible tenor that matched her inflexible posture.  Judging by her uniform, she was one of the Constellation’s science officers.

“–tell you with confidence, Flavia,” T’Kaal said, stabbing an index finger at a blurry sensor composite on the viewscreen, “that is a Dominion energy signature.”

Flavia, a Vulcanoid clad in a burnt umber jumpsuits, openly scoffed at T’Kaal and rolled her eyes.

“If the computer can’t be certain that’s a Dominion power signature, T’Kaal,” Flavia tauntingly asked, “how can you be certain?”

Rieko nudged Nova’s arm with his elbow, nodding in Flavia’s direction with no small emphasis.

“Now Flavia, there, is our chief science officer,” Rieko said to Nova in a sotto voice, just for her.  “She’s a citizen of the Romulan Free State, assigned to Constellation with a whole team of Romulan scientists, through an arrangement like an officer exchange program.  I’ve… heard… she’s a member of her government’s science ministry?  But she’ll deny it if you ask her.  Also, don’t ask her.”

Although Nova was emphatically nodding at everything Rieko said, she didn’t quite wait by his side for that last part.  She was already crossing the compartment, putting her hands on the LCARS console, and shifting the angle of the Deneb Sector map covering half of the viewscreen.

“That’s impossible,” Nova interjected into T’Kaal and Flavia’s debate about muddy Dominion sensor readings.  “The Breen have been testing the borders where their space butts up against our space.  I thought our mission was to fortify Task Group 514’s defences?”  –She shook her head at Flavia derisively, probably too harshly– “So why are you chasing sensor ghosts out past the Federation’s coreward border?

Unaffected by the heat behind Nova’s words, T’Kaal remarked, “A Dominion fleet has invaded the Deneb Sector from beyond our coreward border.  Task Group 514 has retreated, forfeiting entire Federation star systems to Dominion occupation.”

“That’s patently impossible,” Nova reiterated, waving a hand for emphasis.  “Shouldn’t I know about it if Federation territory had been invaded?  Fleet reports have been required reading on my re-training plan for weeks.  There is no Dominion in the Alpha Quadrant.  Starfleet is fighting back a Breen border skirmish.”

Flavia tapped commands into the LCARS panel, causing the Deneb Sector star chart to reorientate its position on the viewscreen.  A pale purple crescent shaded the edges of the sector, from the borders with Breen territory to the borders with the unexplored expanse of space beyond the Federation.  Dominion icons began filling the purple crescent, representing Dominion fleet sightings.

Although Flavia’s affect wasn’t as emotionless as her Vulcan colleague, she remained composed when she responded to Nova.  Despite the tensions between the Federation and Romulans that Nova had read about, she observed no visible pleasure being taken by Flavia at the Federation’s misfortunes.

“Federation assets and outposts have been destroyed by the Jem’Hadar,” Flavia explained.  “The Dominion and the Breen, in partnership, have formed defence and supply lines right through your territory.  Izar has fallen; the number of Federation worlds under Dominion occupation keeps growing.”

Nova took a step back.

“I feel like I’ve fallen out of time,” Nova said sardonically.  “I saw it on the Federation News Network this morning.  They wouldn’t lie.  Your sensor readings of Dominion ships are nothing more than old junkers.  They’re wrecks, dating back to your Dominion War.  They’ve been fused together to inspire fear and paranoia, and clearly it’s working on all of you.  There are no Jem’Hadar in the Deneb Sector.”

“You are mistaken,” someone else said.  Never in Nova’s life had she derived such pleasure from being told she was wrong.  No one was allowed to tell her she was wrong, and yet, here she was.  Unbidden, Nova’s eyes were drawn over Flavia’s shoulders, drawn in the direction of the open doorway.

It was Yuulik.

Scurrying into astrometrics from the corridor, Science Officer Sootrah Yuulik looked exactly as Nova remembered her.  Through Nova’s human eyes, Yuulik’s Arcadian features appeared impossibly delicate, despite the constant sneer on her thin lips.  Yuulik’s scalp was only adorned with two fins of dark brown hair and Yuulik had grown them out even longer and bolder than Nova’s last encounter with Yuulik, months ago.

“You are mistaken, Nova,” Yuulik said again.  “The Constellation’s orders come direct from Fleet Admiral Ramar of Fourth Fleet Command.  The Jem’Hadar are back and they’re aided by the Breen.  The Dominion have flown out of the dark, like ghosts.  We don’t know how or why or where.  That’s why we’ve been ordered to find out where they came from.”

Comments

  • The main star of this introduction post was Nova and I feel like the spotlight was on her throughout this post. But it also gave a new perspective as a new member of this new ship. What was going? What will the face? Is FNS lying? It was really great to see Nova struggling with the concept of the Dominion being really back and making the slammer "You are mistaken, Nova" giving the confirmation was perfect. Looking forward to your stories as always ;)

    May 5, 2023
  • In the words of our dear George, 'Oh my!'. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I think I love the way Nova just straight-up calls them out on their idea regarding the Breen, gets slapped with truth bombs, but stays resolute and steadfast to what she knows. She knows what she has been told, she knows what she has read, and for someone from a different time period, that's probably the only stuff she fully trusts in a far different era. A Vulcan and a Romulan, neither of which she believes. And then dear Yuulik makes herself known, and you just know she is going to listen to the mad scientist. Man, you know how I love me some Yuulik. A great start to your critical mission, I can't wait for more.

    May 5, 2023
  • Ohhhh I think I am going to like Nova's fire, It's going to be interesting to see how well Nova fits in to the 25th century. I enjoyed the little bickering back and forth with Flavia. She think's she is right while the other thinks shes right, though we all know that it is the Dominion but everyone will believe what they see fit. I can't wait to see what else happens with the crew of the Constellation as this mission gets on!

    May 6, 2023
  • Nova's a pistol. I throughly enjoyed this post

    May 6, 2023
  • Yuulik! Yuulik! Yuulik! I’m so happy to see her return right at the end and be like “nah gal you got it wrong!” Nova is certainly going to provide some interest to the mix here. There’s a certain naïveté to her as she adjusts to the 25th century and what a way to throw her in the deep end but dealing with the Dominion. I’m curious to see her point of view develop further as she’s from a time where no one knew who the Dominion were.

    May 7, 2023
  • Your twenty-third century on the twenty-fifty century ship had me at the opening, and I love the way you weave her into the fabric of this story, even the little nods to Starfleet's retro design of the Constitution III-class returning towards those familiar to her own experience. I also love the chaos in the astrometrics lab, whether it's on account of the "Vulcanoids" as you call them, or that dissonance between what they know they are seeing and what they are told are the facts. That latter bit really helps accentuate the confusion every officer of the Fourth Fleet must feel when they hear alternative facts from HQ and the FNN, while at the same time realizing there's a very different reality they need to face.

    May 7, 2023
  • Really enjoyed this intro, especially as we’re seeing it through Nova’s eyes rather than an established member of the crew so that sense of confusion and ‘what the hell’ is right there, loud and proud, and we’re along for the ride. The ‘no way’ beats came through really well, then Yuulik’s entrance… perfect!

    May 7, 2023
  • Oh no, here we go again! Poor Nova, still pining for the girl that 'solved love'. And now I fear what Flavia might do with that once she puts two and two together. I'm loving the banter as all the scientists are absolutely certain of what they know or are seeing and all of them seeing something different. It will take a stubborn, bullheaded, no-nonsense sort to get them sorted. Oh look, a Yuulik that was prepared earlier! I'm looking forward to seeing Nova's point of view, seeing how a new war will change the crew and seeing just what Disney Evil Villain plan that Flavia will brew to torment folks.

    May 8, 2023
  • Stonking reintroduction for Nova, covering the gamut of her feelings - apprehension and excitement all in one, and a fervent, understandable desire to not be pitied. But what excellent luck for bringing your 23rd century character aboard a retro ship like the Connie 3! Flavia remains incredible, We Stan. I thoroughly enjoyed the argument of the scientists, but the pivot for Nova being completely flummoxed is excellent. A truly splendid use of this character to demonstrate just how OFF everything is - imagine receiving a reorientation that encourages you to accept the cover-up story, then having it all stripped away for something as bonkers as a fleet displaced through time and space? Really grand start that situates the mystery as a very personal and emotional exploration of the characters' feelings as much as the scientific intrigue itself.

    May 8, 2023
  • As Cath said above, the use of the officer lost in time to put a new spin on Fourth Fleet’s confusion about the Dominion is an excellent choice. And clearly, I’ve got to go back and catch up on Yuulik’s not-love story if she’s the other part of it!? If Yuulik is someone who can correct her without raising her hackles then it must be love (which is to say: what a relatable sentiment). I’m also pleased to see that the Romulans are [still] tagging along here, as I look forward to seeing the outside reaction to Federation misfortune. Finally, gotta give a shout-out to Pagaloa. Loved his quips about the luggage and ‘also, don’t ask her’ and his reaction to the idea of Chief Science Officer Yuulik.

    May 13, 2023
  • An interesting twist, seeing the Federation and the 4th Fleets current conflict through the eyes of someone from the past. Nova appears to have found her feet and her different perspective on things could be of value.

    June 2, 2023