Korrath placed the welding tool down on the floor with a satisfied smile, taking a step back to admire his work. The room was filled with the faint scent of burnt metal, and his uniform cuffs were rolled up, revealing a hint of grease and smudges. Despite his slightly disheveled appearance, he felt a surge of pride in his accomplishment.
As he gazed at his newly assembled chair, it seemed to blend seamlessly with the surroundings, perfectly fitting in the space. The aesthetics weren’t of utmost importance, but rather the functionality, enabling him to have a place in the center of the bridge.
Just as he was lost in his thoughts, the door to the left of the master systems display (MSD) in front of him slid open, breaking his reverie. He immediately recognized the familiar figure of Lieutenant Sirella, the ship’s Engineer, a Deltan woman whose presence had an undeniable magnetic effect on Korrath. Her graceful movements and intellect captivated him in ways he couldn’t fully explain.
“Lieutenant Sirella,” Korrath greeted her warmly, unable to hide his genuine admiration. His voice carried a hint of excitement as he continued, “How goes the final repairs?”
“I’ve nearly completed the repairs,” Sirella stated, her voice carrying a hint of satisfaction. Each word was filled with the confidence that came from her expertise and dedication. With her proximity, Korrath couldn’t help but feel a subtle energy building between them, an undeniable magnetism that transcended their professional roles.
As they stood in such close proximity, Korrath fought to maintain his professional demeanor, knowing the importance of focusing on their duties. Yet, beneath the surface, a current of attraction pulsed through him, heightening the intensity of their shared connection. The complexities of their working relationship were further deepened by this unspoken tension, adding an element of both excitement and caution.
In that fleeting moment, as their gazes met and lingered, Korrath and Sirella recognized the powerful chemistry between them. It was a silent acknowledgment of desires that lay dormant beneath the surface, waiting for the right time and circumstances to unfold.
Korrath’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted as the full realization of Sirella’s Deltan heritage struck him like a cold shower. The knowledge of their species’ inherent traits rushed to the forefront of his mind. Deltans possessed a compelling sexual presence, created through a potent combination of natural pheromones and the subtle influence of their subconscious telepathy. While he couldn’t deny finding her undeniably attractive, Korrath realised his reaction, or rather over reaction was artificially induced, a result of biology rather than genuine mutual attraction.
Resolute, Korrath mentally steeled himself to maintain a professional stance. He knew that giving in to the allure of the Deltan’s sexual presence would only lead to complications and distractions in their shared responsibilities.
“How long do you think before repairs are completed?” Korrath inquired, his eagerness to move past the momentary distraction evident in his tone. He was acutely aware of the tight deadline they faced to complete the mission assigned to them, and time was of the essence.
Sirella, ever efficient, didn’t waste a moment in responding. “Within the hour, Commander,” she replied promptly, her voice filled with a sense of determination. Her presence exuded a calm confidence, reassuring Korrath that she had the situation well under control. “I just came up to give you an update, as the internal communication system still isn’t working.”
Korrath nodded appreciatively, grateful for Sirella’s proactive approach. The malfunctioning communication system had been a persistent issue, hampering their ability to maintain seamless coordination. Having Sirella’s firsthand update allowed him to stay informed and make necessary adjustments to their operational plans. “Thank you, Lieutenant. Please carry on,” he acknowledged, granting her the freedom to continue her work.
As Sirella turned to make her way back out, she crossed paths with Lieutenant Commander Cassana Brack, the First Officer of the Phaesis. Korrath couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief at the timing of their encounter. “Ah, Commander. Just the person,” Korrath greeted Brack, his voice laced with a touch of anticipation. The success of their mission relied heavily on the preparedness of the Special Weapons and Operations Response Division, Task Unit Alpha, commonly known as SWORD, which had been temporarily stationed in the converted Cargo Bay.
With a quick exchange of glances as he sat down, Korrath and Brack shared an unspoken understanding. Their past experiences working together had fostered a deep level of trust and familiarity. Brack knew Korrath’s meticulous nature and his penchant for thoroughness, anticipating the questions he would ask.
“All the SWORD’s Crew are onboard and their gear has been stowed, and Commander Gardner reports that they are ready to depart as soon as we give the order.” She stated confidently, anticipating the question. She was just as eager as he was to depart, despite not knowing what their mission was.
“And,” she continued, her voice steady and confident, “I have personally verified that everything and everyone is onboard and ready to go. We are fully prepared for the mission ahead.” Her words resonated with a sense of certainty, instilling Korrath with a renewed sense of confidence in their collective readiness.
Korrath’s relief deepened as Cassana had anticipated his next question before he had the chance to voice them. Her proactive approach and attention to detail were invaluable assets to him and the crew.
Korrath leaned back in his command chair, his gaze fixed on the holographic display before him, displaying information on the strategic situation on the frontline near Farpoint Station. He knew the importance of keeping his First Officer informed and prepared for any potential scenarios they might encounter during their mission. The prospect of an unexpected, but likely, contact with the Dominion loomed in the back of his mind, a possibility that couldn’t be ignored. Not to mention that the Raven Class probably wasn’t up to taking much more than a single Jem’Hadr fighter, if that.
“I’ll give a full briefing of our mission once we leave Starbase 72,” Korrath began, his tone measured yet filled with a sense of urgency. “However, I want you to be aware that while I don’t anticipate any direct contact with that damned random Dominion fleet, it’s a possibility we should be prepared for.” His voice carried a tinge of frustration, a reflection of the ongoing situation between Starfleet Command and the Fourth Fleet. If Starfleet Command were to be believed, the Phaeis was practically entering the zone of peace!
Cassana nodded, appreciating the trust Korrath had placed in her by sharing this information beforehand. She understood the significance of being privy to his thoughts and concerns, as it allowed her to proactively plan and anticipate potential challenges. She knew that Korrath’s foresight would enable them to stay one step ahead and maintain a tactical advantage.
“Thank you for that, Commander,” Cassana replied, her voice filled with a mix of gratitude and determination. She recognized the weight of responsibility that came with her role as the Phaesis’s XO and pilot, and she was already mentally mapping out strategies and maneuvers to handle any unexpected encounters. The hours spent practicing set piece maneuvers with Lieutenant Nejem would prove invaluable in such situations.
“I’ll ensure that we have some tricks up our sleeve, Commander,” Cassana added, her tone resolute. “We’ll be ready to deploy evasive maneuvers and employ some strategic tactics Lieutenant Orzal and I have been practicing should we find ourselves face-to-face with the Dominion.” Her commitment to their shared mission and the safety of the crew was unwavering.
Korrath nodded, acknowledging Cassana’s dedication and readiness. He knew that he could rely on her expertise and resourcefulness to navigate any challenges they might encounter. Their synchronicity and ability to adapt quickly would be essential to their success in the face of uncertainty.
As they exchanged these words, a sense of unity and purpose filled the command center. They were a team, bound together by a common goal and an unyielding determination to safeguard their mission and those under their command. The countdown to their departure loomed closer, and their resolve only grew stronger.
In that moment, Korrath and Cassana shared an unspoken understanding. They were prepared to face whatever lay ahead, armed not only with the ship’s advanced technology and weaponry but also with the trust and camaraderie they had forged together. Together, they would confront the challenges of the mission, their minds sharpened, and their spirits unwavering.