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Part of USS Mariner: M1: Into The Gamma Quadrant and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

3) A Running Rumor

USS Mariner - Deck 8
March 2401
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Junior Crew Area – Deck 8

The hallways were buzzing with junior crew members. Talking among themselves, sharing the latest news from FNN, and getting ready for duty. These areas were meant for the Ensigns and Lieutenant Junior Grades as the Pathfinder class was not big, and thus sleeping quarters were differently arranged compared to bigger ships. It also didn’t matter if you were a chief or a specialist. This is how the Mariner rolled their operations. 

“See, I told you my globes never lie” Asipa rubs her right ear and smirks. The Ferengi showed the latest news article from FNN about the Breen skirmishes at the Deneb system. “They got this well under control over there, I say that is the reason we are not being sent there. Because we are not needed” She stated it for herself to feel reassured not going to a battle frontier.

Shaking his head, “You are looking at this wrong. Why would the big chief of the fourth fleet send all his ships to Deneb then? It doesn’t add up” Drata slapped his leg. “What if this is just one big cover-up, and Starfleet Command just wants to get Admiral Ramar out of the picture for Frontier Day? I heard he was one of the speakers for that day” Drata nodded quickly to that. 

“That doesn’t explain why the Marinerrr is being sent to Deep Space 9. The otherr senior staff doesn’t know anything, and the command staff is not telling us orrr well avoiding the question?” She lets out a small purr of thinking as K’Nala shrugs. A sigh came from another table as they looked at the direction of the sound, seeing a young Betazoid woman sitting at her table trying to read some PADDs “Oh Ensign Cho what is yourrr opinion about the current situation?” 

Placing down her PADD and looking over her shoulder at K’Nala. “That I am seriously questioning why you are a Senior Staff when you share sensitive information with junior staff members” Keeyiro shook her head. “You have to be more professional when it comes to this”

The ears of K’Nala go down as if a kitten was punished for her actions of stealing some snacks. “I am not sharing any information from the seniorrr staff…wait did I?” 

“You didn’t share any sensitive details, and if you would, we would keep it save for you” Drata spoke, trying to boost K’Nala morale. He looked at Keeyiro. “And how you are speaking to a senior staff member is also not good. We might be mixed up down here, but it doesn’t mean you can insult her like that. This girl saved our asses in Delta Quadrant” Drata points his fingers at K’Nala, who blushes a bit.

Keeyiro narrowed her eyes, looking at them. “She is a senior officer that is discussing what her fellow senior officers are saying to junior officers is a break of confidence in work ethics.” Looking at K’Nala, Keeyiro shrugs. “Look, the information that the FNN gave is sketchy as hell. Shoving it off as a mere skirmish while we lost contact with various colonies and ships in the Deneb area raises questions”  

“Wait….waiittt we lost contact with colonies there?” Asipa coughs after drinking her tea and hearing that. “But still if that were the case and there is trouble there, then it is not our trouble to begin with? We are going the other way?” She nervously took another sip of her drink.

Drata smirks at Asipa after hearing that “Are you afraid of some action?” 

A deadly glare was thrown back at Drata from Asipa “I am not afraid, I am merely stating that we are going to another way. Starfleet sent us to Deep Space 9, it must be a shakedown of this ship or something to get used to it. Maybe we are simply going to transport some cargo…yes that sounds more logical” Her eyes were looking away from Drata while drinking her tea.

Did I really sharrre sensitive information?” K’Nala mutters to herself, starting to doubt her abilities in her chief duties. 

“See, that’s where you are wrong” Keeyiro spoke towards Asipa. “These orders didn’t come from Starfleet Command. They came from the Fourth Fleet, specifically the intelligence branch”  She gave the PADD a glare Keeyiro was reading. “Whatever is happening in the Deneb system is making our ship go to DS9”  

The four quieted for a brief moment “So….you think I am not good at holding secrets?” K’Nala looked at Keeyiro with some sad eyes.

Letting out another sigh and standing up, grabbing her PADDs “I wouldn’t trust you with my secrets, that is for sure, Lieutenant” Keeyiro huffs and walks away from the area without looking at the reaction from K’Nala.

“Pieeeuuuw POEF” A sound Drata made as if something was thrown and exploded. “Don’t worry Lieutenant, you are more than able to do your job as a pilot. It saved my ass back on the Damascus for sure” Drata noticed his attempt to create a better mood failed and felt the awkwardness and deathly stare from Asipa.

Senior Staff report to the Conference Room ASAP” A communication came through from Commander Ruslanovna. 

Asipa looked at K’Nala, who was looking down at the table “Mmm K”Nala, I think they are requesting your attention at the Conference Room?” She smiles softly at her.

Looking back at Asipa, K’Nala just realized what Asipa was saying to her. “Shit, yes, I am seniorrr staff” Letting out a growl and standing up quickly to move to the exit and then returns “We still on forrr that pool evening right?” Looking at Asipa, who simply replied with a nod “Awesome, see you then” And she hush away.

“Pool evening…? A wet cat?”  Drata tried to envision it for his own amusement “I would love to see that” 

Letting out a disappointing sigh “No, don’t even think about it. This is a girl’s evening, and we are actually doing something that you are unable to do” Asipa stood up after finishing her drink.

Drata looked confused back at her “What would that be?” 

Asipa stopped in her tracks and smiled at him “Keep up with your sports schedule” With that, she left him stunned behind while looking at his own body, wondering what Asipa was referring to. 

Comments

  • This is great, I always wonder what’s happening with the junior crew during big incidents and you’ve given us a little window into that here. There’s great banter and obvious camaraderie in the crew. I liked the little bit of introspection as K’Nala second guessed herself. And I loved the pool evening comment from Drata! Looking forward to reading more :D

    May 7, 2023
  • The story totally reminds me of “A View from the Gallery”, an episode from Babylon 5 that follows the story of two low level crew members as they try to make sense of what’s going on outside their little world. Such a great twist on storytelling, and it landed great here!

    May 8, 2023
  • I love this, the back and forth is great and the vibe between the junior crew members really feels natural. I agree with the previous comment about always wondering what goes on with Ensign Ricky when he's below deck and out of the main fray. This scratched that itch. I also enjoyed the back and forth between K'Nala and Keeyiro. Something about the way you were writing N'Kala felt so delightfully not human, it was great. Good work! Can't wait to read more!

    May 9, 2023
  • I loved this chapter! Every time things are going on, you always are left to wonder how the rest of the crew is feeling and reacting, and I think you did a great job of telling us that here! Has a real lower decks vibe, love to hear the story from so many different perspectives!

    May 10, 2023
  • Oooh. Lower decks scuttlebutt. Loved this.

    May 18, 2023
  • A nice glimpse into tension the rumour mill generates, especially on a ship so much smaller than the caital ships. I always thought Harry Kim would have a similar struggle. I can hear K'Nala's purrrrrrrrrr. Lovely touch.

    May 18, 2023