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

22) For Dreams

USS Mariner - Bridge
March 2401
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Then tension was not dropping after everything that had happened on the Mariner. Sure, the explanation of Captain Kobahl helped in this instant to maintain structure and dedication to the mission at hand. Everyone knew what was at stake. Everyone knew what they had to do. But it was against everything they were taught, everything they had done in their careers. They had to expand the web of lies to succeed in this mission. 

Tapping her console as she tried to listen to any messages out there. Asipa opened her eyes and felt like her thoughts were somewhere else. Keeyiro, her friend, was in the brig for participating in the mutiny. Keeyiro did try to convince Asipa to join the march for justice. Asipa shrugged, knowing now how that justice had rolled out for her friend. If she had joined this crusade, she would be in her brig. 

“You okay there Asipa?” Hearing a friendly voice from her side and seeing Drata standing there.

Giving a slight nod “Yea, just thinking back on what has happened, somehow the bridge and hallways feel more empty” Asipa tried to explain her feelings in words. But translating these type of words were not her strong suit. Opening up about how she felt or thought was a difficulty in itself. 

“Aye, I hear ya” Drata looking at his console. “One second I am crawling through dusty tubes and fixing plasma leaks, and then another you are the acting Chief of Operations” He looked slightly conflicted by his statement. “Yea, never thought that would happen in my lifetime” He gave a bit of an awkward smile in the direction of Asipa, but his mind was full of things he had to do. 

T'Path looked over her shoulder. “That seems like an improvement in your work environment Lieutenant” She stated in a monotone Vulcan voice and looked curious at Drata.

“Yea, I know….” Replying quickly to the current shift leader “But I joined Starfleet to get my hands dirty. Being in Operations is in my fair experience so far that I am keeping these" He holds both his hands up. “Very clean, and I always dreamed of being a Chief Engineering” 

Looking at her side at Drata who was glorifying engineering, she felt slightly jealous. Asipa felt a bit left out. Did she truly have a dream to fight for? To aim for? Maybe she missed the resolve to do what needed to be done and blindly followed anyone that gave her an order. Asipa looked at her console seeing some old Dominion texts from the war and smiled softly. 

“My dream is to become multilingual in the old texts of the forgotten empires dug in ruins. To help decode messages of unknown aliens or enemies that could benefit Starfleet in reaching their goal in their mission.” A beautiful dream that she had to fight for against her father. Her father wanted to have her partner up with a man she didn't know, and her function in Ferengi society was to carry the next generation and not play with words.

She noticed that it was quiet as Asipa looked up from her console into the bridge seeing some looking at her. “Oh…mmm don't mind me, just rambling” Feeling that burning sensation of a blush burning on her cheeks as she quickly looked back at her console. 

“That is perfectly fine Ensign. Everyone has a goal in their life. A goal that might not always be what others have planned or expected for you” T'Path knew the history of the Ferengi and could guess on the face Asipa was making what was troubling her. “But in the end, you are the one that can make a difference in what you want to achieve and that you feel accomplished in your life. You have the right to be happy” 

“Can't agree more with Lieutenant T'Path” A voice came from the turbolift door as Sazra entered and smiled at Asipa. “Follow your dreams and make them come true. As a Captain, it is my duty….." She thought for a moment when she stopped at Asipa's side. “No it is my obligation to help you achieve those dreams Ensign” Sazra gave Asipa a wink and smile before taking the chair back from T'Path “Thank you”

T'Path nodded to Sazra. “You are most welcome Captain. I was about to hail you that we are arriving at Opaka Outpost.” T'Path announced to Sazra while walking back to her console. 

“You do know that I am getting navigational data at my console in the ready room right?” Sazra grinned a bit at T'Path with a tease. She sat down and wanted to give out the orders, but not before Asipa interrupted her. 

“Captain, Lieutenant…everyone” Asipa looked at them all. She just realized that even though she had dreams to fight for, they joined Starfleet for their reasons. Their dreams to become reality. “Thank you for having fate in me and helping me support my dream” She meant it wholeheartedly.

The crew laughed and smiled giving Asipa the thumbs up, and it felt cozy for a second until K'Nala spoke up. “Captain we arrre arriving at the gate” She announced switching the mood back to tense as everyone looked at the screen with Mariner dropping out of warp. “We have arrived at the gate, making course to it right now” The Mariner didn't hesitate and responded to the commands leaving straight for the gate.

Asipa looked at her screen as a red flashing light went off. “Incoming hail from Opaka Outpost” She announced. Seeing Captain Kobahl nervous and placing her hand at her face sliding it slowly down. Asipa blinked seeing the expression of her Captain disappear as if it was magic when Captain Kobahl's hands slide off her face.

“On screen Ensign” Sazra ordered looking seriously at the screen. It changed with the Bajoran Commander coming on the screen “Commander, we are en route to the gate. We are in a hurry” 

“Captain Kobahl, it has been a few weeks since we have last seen you” The Bajoran crossed his arms and looked troubled. “What hurry would you possibly have? We have not received anything from the 4th fleet about your orders here in Gamma Quadrant or anything to be more precise” 

It was true, 4th fleet had no orders that would make Mariner operate in Gamma Quadrants. Asipa shrugged and looked at the screen of her console as she swiped up a document and started to write something.

“Wait …wait” Sazra raised her hand looking confused at the Commander. "What are you talking about? We just received orders to report back to the 4th fleet. Something about Dominion having invaded Deneb region?' Sazra was doing her best to put up an act as she looked at her bridge crew to find confirmation from some seniors as T'path gave her a nod.

“Invasion?” The Commander narrowed his eyes and looked at his side of the screen. Then back at Sazra “Right, that ridiculous news that the Ramar is blabbering about” He looked annoyed and shook his head.

That did hit a string for Sazra. “Keep in mind that a blabbering person is a Fleet Admiral in control of a Starfleet fleet and my superior. So I would mind if you correct that tone in your voice about him” Noticing some bridge crew looking a bit surprised at that reaction. A reaction that could be dangerous on this thin ice to walk on. 

The Bajoran looked more troubled and shrugged a bit. “My apologies. It has been a long day, and some faulty power grids have been a pain for the last week” He took a deep breath. “Alright, no harm done if the 4th wants you back. Who am I to complain” He smiled at the bridge crew. “So send me the orders that we can confirm, and you are on your way”

The bridge went from relief to very stressed in a blink of an eye. “Orders?” Sazra looked questionably at the Commander. “Why would we send you the orders that are meant for us? Did Starfleet update their protocols again?” Sazra felt a bit annoyed, but in reality, she was getting nervous. 

“Yes, orders. We need to process them in our administration and see that Task Force 17 never sends them to us. I thought it would be smarter to get a copy from you. That way my boss will be happy, and you guys have no problem going through the gate” He explained. “Are there any concerns with doing so? Because if I don't receive those orders I will be unable to let you through the gate without being tagged” 

Sazra poker face was about to break as Asipa spoke up looking at the screen. “Captain, I can send the orders without any issue,” She said. “Commander, do you wish to receive both orders?” 

The Commander's eyes darted at Asipa and smiled. “Please do so…” 

With a slide of a finger, the orders were sent. Asipa nodded to the Commander. “You should receive it any second now” She was trying to keep her cool but wanted to scream for doing something like this.

“Orders received” He replied looking at them both and nodding. “Alright, good to go. Safe travels Mariner” 

“Thank you Commander” Sazra looked at Asipa and then back giving him a nod as the screen went back to space approaching the gate that opened up. “Get us in there Lieutenant” She ordered as she heard sniffing and looked at her left Asipa would drop to the floor starting to cry “Ensign, you okay?”

“My career, my dream…. it's over” Asipa cried louder as she fabricated an order from old communication logs and put them together as best possible. But she knew it would mean the end of her career with Starfleet, a career she admired so much as it gave her the freedom to be who she wanted to be. “I did it for all those people….I did it for you guys. Sorry for crying” 

Sazra smiled softly and walked to her kneeling at her side and placing her hand on Asipa's shoulder. “Thank you, but remember what I said. As a Captain, it is my obligation to ensure your dreams are coming true. You will be fine” Sazra nodded to her and looked over her shoulder “That count for everyone here. I will take responsibility for your acts in this mission.” Helping Asipa back on her feet and wiping her tears away “Stay strong. We are almost done” 

She had never seen a caring person in her life before, well her friends, but never from someone she had worked for before. Asipa nodded as she saw Captain Kobahl walking back to her chair. “Thank you, but I do not know how long the message will hold as it was made in a few minutes” 

“Meaning we will be hailed at the other side” Sazra shrugged as she saw the ship pass through the gate. “Mission has priority….I am out of ideas. So K'Nala, I encourage you to test our warp engines to the max and see what this ship can do” Sazra saw the grin coming from her pilot.

“Captain we have an incoming hail from Deep Space 9" Asipa announced the moment the Mariner dropped out the gate. 

“I am not going to stick around. Make Way!” She points to the screen as the Mariner powers up their warp engines and jumps out of the system without Deep Space 9 able to react to it. 

 

Comments

  • I was wondering how the Mariner would bluff its way past Opaka and DS9, and now we know… not very well! The dialogue from the exchange at Opaka was very believable, both from Sazra in her bluff, and even moreso from the Bajoran. The doubts of what Ramar was up to fit the ambiance well; the happiness that the Mariner would be no more his problem made sense; and yet the suspicion towards the Mariner was also to be expected given that it had been just off doing whatever where it shouldn’t have been for two weeks. And the conclusion, emerging from the wormhole and just blasting away from DS9 at warp, that now sets up an exciting problem for the ship that’s on a very important mission.

    June 6, 2023
  • Unknown Author

    I really enjoy the chemistry between Drata and Asipa. They care for each other in a lovely and friendly way. And Sazra being as supportive as ever is really wholesome. You really put effort into these characters, and the way they express themselves in this dire situation is what Starfleet is all about. Well done!

    June 7, 2023
  • Great to see that sometimes the dice just roll average, it sort of worked but probably not great and it's interesting to see the crew jsut trying to get through to the end of the mission. They're really putting their eggs in the Vorta basket. Great writing for Asipa too, I feel so bad for her, she justs wants to translate old books and here she is forging official documents, Nagus bless her.

    June 8, 2023
  • Another great character development post. But it looks like Mariner is a fugitive now lol. Great conversation between Drata and Aaipa and nice but of humanity from Sazra.

    June 9, 2023
  • I enjoyed this spotlight on Asipa. Her desolate reflections on the impact of the mutiny were much needed, leading her to ponder on the roads not travelled. It was really striking the way she recognised she could have been caught up in all, but also re-focusing on what she wants. There was something relatable in her initial uncertainty of exactly what she wants from her career. It made it all the more tragic that she crystallized her desire to understand ancient languages right when the captain needed her to create a forgery and risk her career. I have to trust Sazra will look out for her in the end!

    June 14, 2023
  • As with the other comments, I liked this focus on Asipa and her internal thoughts about the mutiny and what she wants from life. There were a few revelation moments there for her that were lovely, setting up her goals then the crushing moment when she realised what the consequences of what she’d been asked to do could be. That was brought out really well. And then that little nugget at the end when Sazra reassures her that everything will be fine, and she reflects she’d never had that before. Lovely! Looking forward to reading more!

    June 15, 2023