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

Sweet as Saurian Brandy

Starbase Bravo, Deck 16 Communication Centre
March 2401
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Over the respectful chatter and hubbub droning through one of Starbase Bravo’s secondary communication centres, the high-pitched tones of Cadet Parze’s voice cut through all other noise.

“Are you kidding me, sir?” Parze could be heard asking.  Standing approximately 5’3″, the Saurian cadet wasn’t immediately visible from across the rings of workstations, but her voice was plainly emerging from one of the entrances.  “You just scanned me and took my blood ninety minutes ago!  I only went for a visit to the head, y’know.”

If someone responded to Parze, they were speaking far more softly and succinctly.  They couldn’t be heard from across the compartment.  But they apparently said something, because Parze’s voice went up an octave when she defensively added, “Okay, I don’t mean you you.  But another you.  Another security officer.  Obviously, that’s what I meant, sir.”

“Oh, there you are Cadet!” Arcturus approaches the security checkpoint, his eyes glancing from her to the security office.  Holding his hand out for the PADD.  “Oh, I see you must have had the same blood transfusion as I did…” he grins as he looks over the record, looking at the security officer.  “She is cleared for entrance.”

“No Sir!  I cannot admit her, Starfleet Policy demands that all individuals prove they are who they say they are by blood test,” said the security officer.

“You also forget that there is a secondary and more preferred way of conducting tests that validate a person’s ID that can’t be faked.  Since I have personally studied Cadet Parze service record, I would know information you do not.  You should give her more credit and respect.  Her parents served on DS12 during the Dominion War providing food to our service people.  Isn’t that right Cadet?  How would you think her 8 siblings would react to such treatment you are giving her?   And lastly officer, do you think the Changelings would take an Cadet with a Major in psychology?   I think not…” He gave a moment of pause to confirm his suspicions about the validity of the Cadet’s personal information.

Parze’s dark reptilian eyes bulged at the depth of Arcturus’ knowledge of her, how thoroughly he had clearly read her service jacket.  That sign of respect from an officer more senior than her –someone she was only assigned to job-shadow for a day— took the fire out of her belly.  She shook her head in defeat.

“All right, all right,” she said to the security officer.  She perked up enough to offer a toothy smile.  “Take my blood.  Just promise you won’t drink it.  Saurian blood is a delicacy on some colony moons.”

As soon as Parze’s identity was confirmed through security directive Sierra-Bravo-Zero, she was allowed full entry into the communication centre.  She took hold of the lower hem of her grey uniform tunic and tugged it smoothly before striding in to join Arcturus.

“Thank you for the assist, sir,” Parze said with a nod.  “My Cadet Squadron Bravo assignments aren’t usually this exciting.  I can’t say I’ve spent much time in the communication section this year.”

He watches her, her response not what he expected but rather impressed that she still went through the blood withdrawal.  “Very good cadet, very good.  Security is just doing their duty and it’s their behind if things wrong.  So why didn’t you correct me with the incorrect information?”

Parze narrowed her eyes thoughtfully at that question and eventually nodded her snout at Brujah.  She trailed half a step behind Brujah as they navigated through the busy communication centre.

“Didn’t I?  When I’m deep in my feelings,” Parze answered, “I can’t always notice the details.  My instinct kicks in and I search the widest areas for threats, even if I intellectually know I’m in the relative safety of a starbase.”

“No you didn’t, which is ok cause you are willing to give your blood.  You only have 6 siblings; it is important to always test someone’s mental focus and knowledge.  But this is another story for another time.  You here to learn about communications and I have the privilege of having you for a day.”

“Wait, sorry, what?” Parze interrupted.  She rose her pink scaly hands and waved her palms at Brujah.  “Who’s a Changeling?”

He walked beside her, his lips slightly smiling.  “So you’re a fourth year, I remember that time was so stressful yet exciting because it sent me on a unique journey.  My professor recommended that I should go into communications or social services, what has this year been like for you?”

“As I’m nearing my graduation,” Parze remarked, “I haven’t chosen my scientific specialty.  Based on my studies so far, an instructor suggested I might enjoy communications more than I know.  I told her she was probably wrong, but I figure it’s worth a day, right?  Thank you terribly much, lieutenant, for agreeing to explore with me whatever it is you do all day!”

“Your welcome Lyra, so comm…” At first, it was subtle, nothing that truly grab anyone’s attention.  His monitor glows a slight pink and then red as the signal of an alert courses through the wires and then with a concussive flash of noise and light his station comes alive.  Arcturus’s eyes widen, and quickly and without thought, turns to find a new experienced, a Red Alert.  Stunned at the relative uniqueness of the situation, started at the disturbance, that soul-penetrating sense of the slowness of time.   He watched as the message begins unfolding before him to reveal a unique set of numbers, that are suddenly processed as well into a unique form of alphanumeric word structure.  

March 2401 – 7:00 p.m. – USS Thermodon, Raven Class, enemy discovered, engaged, requires immediate assistance.  Dominion ships in Deneb Sector.  4 Strike Class Dominion ships, 1 Disabled.  In addition, 1 Battlecruiser.  

“Cadet, I need you to turn away right now and not look at my station.” He tapped a few buttons and slid his finger along the console, side-glancing at the supervisor on duty.  Then he turned his attention back to her.

“Alright cadet sorry about that, one of the adventures that need to stay hidden, if you get my drift.  So if you saw anything, you are under orders not to discuss, reveal or otherwise release anything you hear or see today.  Understood?  Now, where were we?  Oh yes…communication…” remarks Arcturus as he begins to cover the operation and responsibilities of a communication officer.

Parze nodded intently at the extensive and detailed responsibilities of a communications officer that Brujah shared with her, even if her bulbous black eyes glassed over slightly.

“Reports every day, huh?” Parze asked to check her understanding.  “Sounds like every day as a Starfleet officer really is just like a day at the academy.”