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Part of USS Vostok: Of Butterflies and Hurricanes

Something Old, Something New, Something That’s Cadet Blue

SB86
MD1 - 0930 hrs
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The PADD was addressed to Captain Lily Rae Sawyer, but no one called her that except for people who didn’t know her or superiors wanting to sound officious. She was called Bee, and she had been for all of her life. Sawyer was a newer addition, but that, too, felt like a title draped across her shoulders signaling that a better part of her life had just began. She set the PaDD down flat on her lap and leaned her head back against the seat rest. She’d tried to sleep, but the snoring officer with his face buried under a cowboy hat across the aisle had kept her up. No: that wasn’t quite right. It was annoying, but it was the post that was busying her thoughts.

A ship. Her ship on loan from Starfleet. That was a daunting idea all by itself. Bee wanted to be excited, but she’d talked herself down with cautious words spoken only in her head reminding her to look the part. Act the part. Be the part. This was no longer a trial run of defiance or a steadying hand and quick study under more experienced people, this was her: in charge. It was only mildly terrifying.

The pilot called out that they were nearing the outpost before it became a shape different from the shining stars around it. Bee focused on that, not on everyone waking up and checking on their carry-ons. Somewhere around that base her ship was waiting for her. Bee bided her time fidgeting with the PaDD until they had landed and disembarked, but then she was off: grateful to stretch her long legs again.

Vostok, Vostok, Vostok: Bee found the information for its current docking slip and hurried there, looking out the viewing ports at the various ships along the ring until the Vostok’s slip was the next one. Her first glimpse of the slightly uneven hull and blocky designation made her grin. The Vostok was an older Aquarius model with lines like scars mapped across its hull from damage and refits over the years. It gave her personality, Bee thought as she took a moment to admire the ship. Then her steps picked up again, carrying her into the chaos at the docking slip.

“-supposed to be assigned to a good ship,” a young voice was carrying over a crowd of people surrounding him. “This is barely functional. It’s a joke-“ he carried on as she walked past, not paying any attention to the commentary. Instead, Bee checked in at the slip with a nod for the guard scanning orders at the door. After a brief conversation and a slight smile, Bee walked past the checkpoint and seal into the Vostok. It was like stepping into another world.

The insides had just as much personality as the outside. Instead of the gleaming black, whites and silver of the last two ships that Bee had served on, this was dinged and dented and smelled ever so slightly of ozone. The walls were a dull brushed chrome color pocked with scratches and dents. There was carpet on the flooring from some bygone era in a carefully neutral cadet blue. The layout was smart and full of corners. Compact, defendable, safe. Bee patted a wall in appreciation of that before a voice from behind her had turning her head.

“Fancy seeing you again,” the cowboy from the shuttle uttered, holding out a hand to shake. “I take it you’re Captain Sawyer. Max Tracey, ma’am. I’ll be your XO.” He smiled a perfect white smile as he waited for her to take the handshake. Once she did, he pumped her arm enthusiastically. “I’m really proud to be here. Super pleased. I won’t be giving you any of the trouble that the guy outside is.”

“I’m sure that you won’t,” Bee answered quickly, pulling her hand back before he shook it some more. He was taller than her by more than half a foot, and his hands had sort of engulfed hers. “No hats on the bridge.”

“No hats, got it.” Tracey took off the hat and tucked it under his arm. “Should we explore together?”

“Yeah, let’s. I really like what I’m seeing so far except for the carpet.” She gave him a curious look when that tugged a chuckle out of her XO. “Don’t tell me you like it?”

“No ma’am. See, I had my share of renovating history working with my uncles in my youth. You see carpet and you want to find out what’s under it. I’m thinking the Vostok’s not hiding any hard wood floors, though.” Tracey slowed his walk a little to keep up with the captain’s smaller steps.

“She’s old, but she’s not that old… I hope.” Seeing that he’d slowed down, Bee quickened her pace instinctively. She didn’t mean to be competitive; she simply was on a very base level. Being one step ahead meant that you were always ready. Unfortunately, it also made you a good target.

Deck Four was pretty standard. Sterile little labs, yawning cargo holds and shuttle bays. All of them were crisp and clean, newly refitted and fairly modern compared to the guts of the ship where the cosmetic touches failed to reach. Deck Three was the delineation line where Engineering and the upper shuttle bays had pieces of uprades here and there, but that dulled the minute you reached the mess hall, the holosuites and the… library?

“Don’t ask,” Bee told him as she shrugged her shoulders. “I can’t tell you. I was on a ship once with a bowling alley.” She eyed the three actual paper books encased in glass in the corner for a moment before waving for Tracey to continue along with her.

A bit of nervousness crept into Tracey’s posture as they boarded the lift. “Is there a reason why we need PaDDs of everything when we should be able to pull up the same information on the computer at any time?”

“That’s a question that I’m afraid to ask. Wait until we get to OPs and we can ask them,” offered Bee. Only there wasn’t an OPs office on Deck Two. That was combined with Engineering, so they continued on for the moment. The sickbay with tiny and dated. Padded panels lined the walls as if it doubled as an asylum if need be. Security was right next to it, huddled in like a little piece of the Alamo that had been modernized, but not quite enough. It was uniformly gray and lacking any kind of comfort whatsoever.

“I have more questions…” Tracey began haltingly.

They shared an unsure chuckle before continuing on. A host of small meeting rooms separated Security from the first string of crew quarters and the crew lounge, which didn’t have a wooden floor, but had wood paneling making boxy shelves along the far wall in an almost cellular looking cluster. “Well, there’s your wood,” the captain mused briefly. “You wanna make a bet on what we’ll find on Deck One?”

“I’m thinking plaster frescos,” sighed the XO. “There is no clear design choice through this ship.”

“Function over form unless you count the library,” she agreed. “I wonder how long we’ll have to get things set up before we ship out.”

Tracey shrugged as they headed back to the turbolift again and took it to Deck One. It bore the same cadet blue carpeting through the crew quarters, the executive briefing room, a gutted out unfinished officer’s lounge/mess and the outer doors that led to the bridge. The bridge itself was like a trip back in time, with a step down to the center well and a higher outer ring for all of the stations except the helm and tactical, which sat in front of the command team. Both command offices sat in opposite directions off of the upper ring.

It was worn and a little tired looking, but authentic. If there was a texture that ascribed to going through hell and coming out kicking, that would be the weave of the bridge, thought Bee silently.

She was frowning as usual, which Tracey saw and patted her shoulder to comfort her. “Hey, it’s not that bad. I bet both of those seats over there are really comfortable-““I love it,” Bee uttered more to herself that the XO. It was damaged and tired, but so was she. A little old, a little new, a little still trying to figure it out…“This feels like home.” A smile crept into place as she approached the man sitting in the command chair and offered a hand to shake as a nod to Tracey’s style. “Captain Sawyer,” she introduced herself as he stood to meet her. “I’m here to take command.”