Part of USS Polaris: The Voices of Deneb (The Lost Fleet – Part 2) and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Early Morning Beginnings

Elyssia Rel's Quarters and Bridge, USS Serenity
Mission Day 6 - 0610 Hours
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The chirp of a combadge snapped him from his slumber. He felt an unfamiliar feeling, a warm body against his. He opened his eyes and saw her brunette hair, her slender frame, her Trill spots and delicate skin. She looked up, greeting him with bright blue eyes and a warm smile. “Good morning,” she said, the serenity of her presence deeply contrasting with the unfettered shock in his.

What had he done? His stomach dropped. “Did we?” he blurted out. His usual calm and collected demeanor was gone, just like his uniform, and hers.

“Mhmmm,” she replied whimsically.

His mind raced. She was a member of his team. There were rules against this sort of stuff. He rarely cared about rules. He hadn’t cared about torturing their Vorta prisoner, nor about executing their captive in cold retribution. But this? This was too much.

“Relax Jake. I wanted to,” Elyssia assured him sweetly as she reached up and touched his face. Her hands were soft against his weathered skin. “It was wonderful.” When sparks flew between them, it had been clear to her their intimacy was foreign to him, but in those moments, his walls came down, and it just made her appreciate him that much more.

The combadge chirped again.

Duty was calling. He looked around frantically for it. Where were his clothes? How much did he drink last night? The memories came flooding back. He realized it wasn’t the alcohol. So what was it then? A desire for companionship? No, that couldn’t be it. He wasn’t like that. For the aged spook, encounters like this usually came only as part of maintaining his cover and accomplishing the mission, but there was no cover to maintain and no mission to accomplish. Maybe this was something he actually wanted? That thought confused him.

The Commander sat up, trying to keep the sheets over his waist as he searched for his combadge. Elyssia just lay there, watching him, amused at his attempted modesty. It seemed so silly given last night. As he leaned over to rummage through his clothes on the floor, she admired his back, the firm musculature and the scars, wounds long healed from lashings and blades and disruptors. So many scars, each telling a part of his complex story. They added to his character, a character that had drawn her to him.

The combadge chirped a third time. 

He finally found it.

“Lewis. Go.”

“Commander, sorry to rouse you at this early hour,” came the voice of Fleet Admiral Reyes, punctual and put together, a sharp contrast to his own disheveled disorientation. “We’ve got something on long range sensors. Need you on the bridge.”

“Understood.”

Commander Lewis closed the link and turned back to Ensign Rel. She was just sitting there in the bed, making no attempts to cover herself. She was comfortable in her skin, and that just made him more uncomfortable. But he had to admit she was gorgeous too with an enigmatic sort of beauty. No, he reminded himself, she was an officer on his team. And beyond that, it wasn’t fair to her. Anyone who grew close to him was bound to be disappointed when he didn’t make it home. In his line of work, he had no doubt that day would someday come.

“I’m sorry Elyssia,” he apologized. “I want to talk about this, I really do, but the Admiral… I… I’ve got to go.” He scrambled out of bed and hastily put his uniform back on.

“Relax Jake, you don’t have to apologize,” she replied understandingly. “I knew who you were when I invited you in last night, and I like you just the way you are. Duty, honor, loyalty…”

But she was cut off. Now it was her combadge that chirped. She reached over to her nightstand and tapped it to answer the call.

“Ensign Rel, please report to the bridge,” came the voice of Lieutenant Commander Eidran. “It’s time to show us what you can do at the helm.” Reyes had called Lewis, and Eidran had called Rel. They knew what that meant. It was game time. 

“I’ll be right up,” she replied and closed the link.

Elyssia slid out of the bed, graceful as a willow in the early morning breeze. As if trying to respect her privacy, Commander Lewis looked away at the sight of her lithe, naked body. 

“Now you’re going to get all modest on me?” she chuckled.

“I’m sorry. It’s just going to take some getting used to,” he replied, still looking away.

But then he felt her fingers as she came up behind him. “You’ll get used to it eventually,” she whispered in his ear. “Now get going.” She gave him a playful pat a little too low on the back for his comfort. “I’ll be a few minutes behind you so no one gets any ideas.”

Commander Lewis straightened his posture, adjusted his collar and stepped out into the corridor. The hallway was empty, but even if it hadn’t been, he was starting to regain his face. Inwardly, his mind was still chaotic, but outwardly, he appeared the paramount professional. Any passerby would have assumed he was just doing some early morning work with a teammate.

Watching him leave, Elyssia Rel felt the flutter of butterflies. What a nice night it had been. What if this was the start of something special? But then she set those thoughts to the side as she looked over at her uniform. It was time to get to work.

A couple minutes later, Commander Lewis stepped onto the bridge. His earlier fluster was gone. Now his eyes were full of focus, his stride was swift, and his demeanor was determined. “OOD, report. What’ve we got?” he asked briskly as he approached the center island.

“Four Jem’Hadar battlecruisers, bearing zero four five at 1.2 light years, heading two four zero at warp 9.6,” Lieutenant Commander Eidran reported, handing his counterpart a PADD with the readings. “Time to intercept, two hours forty minutes.”

“Have they seen us?”

“Negative. We are running dark, passive only, and no active hits from them.”

To the Jem’Hadar ships, a ship running dark would appear black against the backdrop of space unless they lit up their active scanners, and since the Jem’Hadar would make the same assumption about themselves, they wouldn’t go active as long as they wanted to remain hidden. It was a conundrum naval officers had grappled with since the days of the high seas as enemy ships passed in the night. What surprised Commander Lewis was that the Serenity’s scanners had still somehow picked the enemy out of the darkness. 

“Over a light year at passive, and we’ve got this degree of resolution?” Lewis asked, impressed with the level of detail on the PADD. The passive suite aboard the Polaris might have registered a faint echo of something, but nothing close to the degree of what he saw on the PADD. They had exact vessel configurations, bearings and speeds.

“Didn’t you read the spec sheet Commander?” asked Admiral Reyes as she stepped out of the ready room onto the bridge. “The Serenity may not have the cannons of an Alita, but she’s got the best sensor tech in the fleet, and a team of pros that knows how to use it.” The officer at the operations console beamed at such an acknowledgement from an admiral.

“Do we know their destination?”

“Negative,” Eidran replied. “There are no inhabited systems on their current heading for forty light years.”

“At that speed, they’re in a rush to get somewhere,” Lewis mused. Could they be trying to avoid Starfleet sensors? Possible, but unlikely. They’d already knocked out the Federation sensor networks in this region of space, and so deep into territory they controlled, they would not anticipate running into Starfleet vessels. That meant they should have felt comfortable with a direct course. That meant their destination was the middle of nowhere. A rendezvous with other ships? Or a visit to a stationary asset unknown to Starfleet? Either answer was interesting.

The turbolift slid open, and Ensign Rel stepped onto the bridge.

“Ensign, Jem’Hadar battle group incoming, two hours forty out,” Commander Lewis reported, giving no indication of their earlier soiree. The master of disguise appeared all business now. “We need a place to hide.”

Ensign Rel made her way to the conn and relieved the officer who’d been working the night shift. Her eyes darted across the starcharts, looking for a suitable location.

“What’re you thinking?” Eidran asked Lewis while Rel worked. “We could just turn and burn. We are faster than they are.” Indeed, the Duderstadt class could do more than double the superluminal velocity of the seventies era Dominion battlecruisers.

“We’re not looking to avoid them,” Lewis clarified.

“Come again?” Eidran clarified. This was not a warship. Four Type-XIV phaser arrays and six torpedo launchers would do nothing against four battlecruisers. No amount of speed and agility could score them the win.

Admiral Reyes knew exactly what Lewis was thinking. “We’re going to let them pass, and then we’re going to follow them,” she explained. “Stalk them and figure out what they’re up to.” 

“I’ve got it,” Ensign Rel interrupted from the conn. “Large asteroid field, bearing three four zero, one hour thirty at present speed.”

Commander Lewis came alongside the conn to review, lightly brushing against her shoulder as he leaned in. For just a moment, Ensign Rel flashed back to their night together. 

“That’ll do just fine,” Commander Lewis agreed. “Helm, adjust heading, three four zero, increase to warp 9.99.” It was time to see how fast this little ship could fly. The sooner they got themselves situated, the less likely it was that the Jem’Hadar would light them up. 

“Three four zero, nine point nine nine, aye,” Ensign Rel replied, pulling herself back into the moment. She was really going to need to get a handle on herself. 

The Serenity banked to the left and accelerated to nearly eight thousand times the speed of light. Twenty seven tense minutes later, they emerged from warp. Ensign Rel weaved the nimble ship through the dense asteroid field, searching for a good candidate. After a few minutes, she slotted them behind a craterous asteroid nearly four hundred kilometers in diameter. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Even if the Jem’Hadar lit them up now, they’d see nothing more than a giant space rock.

Now all they had to do was wait for them to pass, and then quietly they would follow.

Comments

  • Lewis has some weak points! I like how he struggled with the not-so-good, but also...the feeling of having someone to be with and the comfort and rest that can allow? I'm cheering for them partially cause cute but also because this could be the softening Lewis needs in the arms of an angel like Rel. Now as long as he doesn't punch out another JAG officer, we might...just maybe...be ok. I love the setup here and the secret following what the ship will do. Curious to see the stealth operations at work!

    June 8, 2023
  • And we see the soft side of Lewis, how cute pair they both make and of course Rel has to poke him being so modest and awkward haha. Love the interaction between them, Lewis not knowing how to react to this situation and Rel totally feeling the one that had won this battle. But I am curious about these Dominion Cruisers that are heading to somewhere, what are they up to? As always, hooked to your story <3

    June 8, 2023
  • This is so cute! I love how you take us from Lewis’s initial disorientation then his panic over what happened. There was a lovely little insight into his thought processes and that some rules matter to him, like this, and others, like torturing vorta, don’t. I like that at the beginning of the post Elyssia is reassuring him, but then we see him put himself back together. Was that shoulder brush intentional? Looking forward to seeing how this unfolds!!

    June 10, 2023