Several hours had passed since the conclusion of the briefing. The bridge had been requested to notify Aris as they began their approach to the Yadev system. There were still too many unknowns at play for Aris’ comfort. Once the alpha shift had been completed, a good meditation session was in order. He had been running too hot for too long and no doubt the stress would affect both Aris and Suin and by then the consequences could be dire.
Leaning back in his seat as he reviewed the latest intelligence briefings, he was bought out of his musings by the unmistakable tones of the door chime. He wasn’t expecting anyone, but he did maintain an open-door policy.
“Come in,” he called as he sat further upright in his chair. Who could this be he wondered as the door opened to reveal Damien. Aris’ breath hitched a bit but he quickly recovered. Before Aris could greet him, Damien spoke up.
“Stay there, Captain.” Damien smiled. “You look dead on your feet. Can I get you anything? Food, a Drink? A timeslot in the holodeck?”
Pushing his chair back from the desk, Aris smiled in return. “I would love a juice or a fruit tea, but only if you are indulging yourself.”
Damien quickly made his requests at the replicator before returning with two glasses of fruit juice. “Now, drink,” Damien said as he sat. “I will get you a refill once that is empty.”
“Whose the Captain here?” Aris joked as he took long draughts of the offered drink. In a matter of moments the glass was empty and true to his word, Damien quickly replaced it with a refill. “So what brings you to my ready room?”
“Well, that depends,” Damien replied as he took a sip.
“On?” Aris prodded
“Whether this conversation is between a Captain and his officer, or if it will be treated as a chat between friends,” Damien answered.
“Off the record it is.” Aris sat back in his chair. “What can I do for you?”
“Forgive me if this comes across out of line.” Damien began. “But, are you alright?”
“That obvious is it?” Aris asked
“Well, your glittering personality is still intact.” Damien laughed. “But in all seriousness, have you had much sleep? or any?”
Aris closed his eyes and let out a breath before opening them again. “Some.” he admitted. “But it hasn’t been great.”
“What’s been keeping you up? if you don’t mind my asking.” Damien asked.
“Before getting our orders, there had been rumors of some lost Dominion fleet from the Dominion War, and with intelligence advising of a renewed threat, it is hard to ignore.” Aris replied. “I may not have experienced the horrors of the Dominion War myself, but Suin’s previous host did and some of the memories aren’t easy to watch.”
“Leave the bridge to Commander Fenway and go and have a power nap and try to reconcile some of these memories.” Damien suggested. “I can’t say doctors orders but if you’re not looking after yourself, the wee one will be experiencing the same fatigue so give both of yourselves a break.”
“You’re probably right.” Aris sighed. “Suin to Commander Fenway.”
“Go ahead, Captain.” Gin replied.
“The bridge is yours Commander.” Aris said as he got to his feet. “Alert me on our approach to the Yadev System.”
“Yes sir, go get some sleep. The ship is in safe hands” Gin replied as she closed the channel.
Elsewhere in Engineering, T’Keterk sat in his office drafting up plans, deleting and rewriting scenarios before changing it back. He needed to focus on the smaller aspects that made up the whole. It was time to take advantage of the resources available to them.
“T’Keterk to Ensign Malra.”
“Go ahead, Lieutenant.” Joci replied.
“Could I trouble you for a moment of your time in my office please?” T’Keterk asked.
“On my way, Lieutenant.” Joci acknowledged before closing the channel.
A short while later she appeared in the doorway. “You wanted to see me, Lieutenant.”
“Thank you, Ensign. Please sit.” T’Keterk motioned to the chair opposite his desk. “I’ve been giving our current assignment some thought and if you are agreeable to it, I have a request.”
Joci smiled as she leaned back in her seat. “And what can we in the Operations department do for you Lieutenant?”
“I was hoping to utilize some of the operations staff to work with my engineers, I am arranging some diagnostic teams to conduct maintenance checks on the shuttle and maintenance craft before we arrive at the Yadev System.”
“I can agree to that,” Joci replied with a smile. “But in exchange, I would like your input on the maintenance and repair crews we will be sending to assist with the reactivation and refit of these mothballed ships.”
“We have an accord, Ensign,” T’Keterk replied. “Let me know a suitable time.”
“Of course, Lieutenant.” Joci stood and headed back toward main engineering. “I’ll instruct a few of my officers to report to Main Engineering to assist your teams.”
T’Keterk got to his feet and followed Joci out resuming his post and awaiting the arrival of the operations team.
“Could I have everyone’s attention please?” T’Keterk called over the general noise that was main engineering. Waiting a moment for the noise to die down before continuing.
“Starfleet has recently become aware of a renewed Dominion threat. As part ot the fleet’s response we have been ordered to the Yadev II supply depot to assist their engineers with reactivating and refitting a handful of older mothball vessels should Starfleet require additional vessels to fight back.”
Motioning to keep questions to a minimum he continued.
“The Treaty of Bajor is still valid and this threat appears to be an anomaly. As we know Yadev II was occupied by The Dominion during the later days of the war. The proximity of Yadev II to Breen Space is a concern for Starfleet should the Breen side with The Dominion again.”
“What are your orders, Lieutenant?” A senior technician spoke above the murmurs between the crew.
“I will be assigning a number of crews with an operations officer attached to run full diagnostics and maintenance checks on the shuttle fleet and the complement of maintenance craft, we will need to be ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice.”
“Orders have been transmitted to your padds along with the attached operations staff, once they arrive it’s all hands on deck to have the checks completed before we arrive at the Yadev System. Bring any concerns with your checks or results to me immediately no matter how small or negligible they may be.”
There were various responses in the affirmative as the Engineering team returned to their duties pending the arrivals from ops. Following his team’s example, T’Keterk returned to his office and made some adjustments to his scheduling. It was a big job but they weren’t an engineering vessel for nothing.
In what felt like no time at all the door chime broke the relative silence of T’Keterks office. “Enter.”One of the operations crewmen entered. “Ops team reporting as requested from Ensign Malra, where would you like us?”
T’Keterk explained what he had informed his engineers of and the resulting time pressure. He was pleasantly surprised at the lack of protest from the team, but it was apparent they knew what was at stake.
“We will get to work right away, Lieutenant.” The Ops officer replied as he transmitted the work orders to the officers surrounding him and directed them to their crew leads. T’Keterk once again turned to face his terminal intent on fine-tuning the timeframes and sequence of events involved in the reactivation of the mothballed vessels.