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The Set of the Sails

Posted on Sat Jan 30th, 2021 @ 5:01pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia & Lieutenant Commander William Gunnison & Lieutenant Commander William Rogers & Lieutenant Commander Nathan Octavian & Lieutenant Tavis Styvek & Lieutenant Sylvia Wiseman & Commander Ichiko Gail & Lieutenant Commander Calvin Morgan & Lieutenant Roxa Onaix & Captain Dirk Taggart

Mission: New Beginnings

 

"Captain on the bridge!" As Abigail stepped out from her Ready Room, making her way across the bridge, the chatter died away almost instantly, being replaced with a silence that almost seemed to reverberate with excitement. The crew was on board, the ship had been supplied, all final checks had been made and the engineering team that were not staying aboard had departed.

The only thing left to do was to give the commands that would see the ship and her crew on their way to their next adventures.

Taking a seat in the center chair, Abigail brought up her own display and nodded slightly. "All stations, final reports before launch?"

"Ops is standing by," Will said.

Captain Dirk Taggart took his seat at the auxiliary panel and held his PADD. He jotted notes down as he listened to the various pre-launch conversations. The next bridge he would be on, would be his own.

At the engineering station, Evelyn was already double-checking everything, the repeaters from all of her systems filling the console in front of her, "Systems are at one hundred percent, engines ready at your command."

Rogers shifted slightly in his seat, still trying to find the sweet spot of the new chair. "Flight control is go for launch, captain."

Calvin stepped onto the bridge. His uniform was complete for once, wearing his actual uniform coat instead of his normal lab coat. He stepped quickly off the turbolift, but slowly towards the bridge. His eyes danced around the cavern that was called a bridge. The lights, the smells, the movements, all the people. "Fascinating," He murmured quietly to himself. He moved over to a console marked medical. A dedicated console just for his department. "Fascinating," he repeated quietly to himself, making his own little space.

Lieutenant Commander Nathan Octavian sat at his station just over the left shoulder of the Captain. He was quiet as he carefully stroked his beard and took it all in. The Odyssey-class was an impressive class, and the Astraea had an impressive crew. This was by far one of the largest starship ships he had ever set foot aboard - which was one of the reasons he was eager to accept this temporary assignment as mission advisor. Nathan felt firmly, as did his last commanding officer, Commodore Noth, that you can never have too many sound minds when you trek into the bowels of the unforgiving Delta Quadrant. He was happy to be aboard; yet, constantly distracted by the sheer size of the ship, everything, even the corridors seemed larger. Better. Prior to his arrival, he had heard others say, that when you step aboard an Odyssey-class it is challenging not to be in constant marvel and to be humbled by the significant engineering accomplishment which was this vessel. Nathan felt all of this. Some years ago he had toured a Constitution-class and now as he looked about the bridge of the Astraea he couldn’t help appreciate how far they had come. Finally, his eyes fell upon his captain, an old friend and he couldn’t help but feel incredibly proud for her, and if he was honest with himself maybe even a little envious. For a moment he wondered if she had a captain catchphrase. At the academy he had written a paper about it, some that he recalled off the top of his head included: ‘Engage,’ ‘Hit it’ and ‘Implement’. Even Captain Lockwood, who both Laurens and he had served under had one - ‘Make it happen’ - though he was never really fond of it. He wondered what Lauren’s command would be, as she ordered this mighty ship into what Nathan could only describe as the belly of the beast.

Roxa stepped off the turbo lift with a smile on her face and gave the Captain a quick nod The Lieutenant made h4er way to one of the auxiliary consuls and punched in her access code and brought up a Starfleet Intel configuration. The Astraea was an impressive vessel and Roxa was equally impressed with the people responsible for running the ship.

The doors to the turbolift swished open again, heralding the arrival of the ship's XO, Ichiko Gail. Her hair pulled back sharp, her uniform crisp and probably just freshly replicated. Pips shined, comm badge gleaming, eyes lusterless and flat. All was as it should be.

She gave a nod to those around, and to those that caught her eye, a deeper nod followed. She took a seat next to Abigail, and gave her Captain, her Shipmaster, a nod and a soft smile. "This ship is enormous. It doesn't help that every hallway is almost identical."

Almost.

"Though, while it was a fun experience to actually get lost, it didn't last too long. Apologies if I delayed our launch." she knew she didn't, but it was protocol to cover. Or at least, offer a venue to cover.

"Science is showing green across the board. We stand ready." Sylvia reported.

"Commander Gunnison notify command that we are set to depart." Abigail ordered calmly as she motioned for Captain Taggart to take the empty seat next to her.

"Aye, Captain," Will said. A few moments after sending the message, he reported, "They've given us clearance to depart at our discretion."

"Commander Rogers, lay in a course for the Alpha Pathstone," Abigail ordered.

"Aye, Captain." Rogers replied. The commands were duly processed and he turned to look back at the Abigail. "Course laid in, ready to depart on your 'Go'."

Turning to Ichiko, Abigail drew in a quick breath. "Do we need to notify Pathstone that we're on our way?" she asked.

Ichiko gave a nod. "We will, and I think it's time that the Astraea was formally acquianted with the Buoy network. Commander Gunnison, open a subspace relay channel." Ichiko requested, giving the required frequency. It was far removed from a frequency that Starfleet normally used. A frequency that no one used.

Will tapped in the specified frequency - it was one he hadn't heard of before - and waited for a response.

The comm hail went unanswered for several moments, almost to the point where one would send out another hail. However, that's when the initial hail was answered. The screen displayed a Ts'usugi male, seated at a console. The entirety of the facility behind him had a deep purple coloration, which caused him to have a more sinister air than desired perhaps. He was seated at a communications hub, as were the others in view of his screen. The entire facility seemed to be a communications hub of some sort. Barely visible behind him was what looked like a central computing hub, a massive tower of pure computational power. "This is the Network. Please identify."

"This is Gail Ichiko, Citizen Identity Ka Chi Ho Ichie Nu Nu Nana Cho Wa." a pause from the operator on the screen. "The network greets you, Citizen Gail. How can the network assist you?"

Ichiko gave a nod, "Please contact the Pathstone outreach facility and inform them that the USS Astraea will be inbound. We wish to arrange transport to the home sectors, but as I am not on a Ts'usu craft, I cannot claim passage." and the operator on the screen gave a nod. "Of course. Please remain patient while the network handles your request." and after about twenty seconds of intense waiting, "The Pathstone facility has been notified. Do you wish to wait for a reply, or was a singular communique sufficient, Citizen?"

"We can wait. I'd rather not be surprised by a rejection." Ichiko replied, and the operator gave a nod. It wasn't a long wait, "The Pathstone facility acknowledges your intent to approach, and your desire to negotiate passage. They are eagerly awaiting your arrival Citizen. Can the network assist you further?" and Ichiko shook her head, "No, you've been helpful as always operator. Disconnecting." and she gave a nod to Gunnison. The line was cut from the network's end before Gunnison could cut the comm, but disconnecting on both ends never hurt.

"The Buoy Network. The single most secure communications hub in our possession." she explained to Abigail, who had already seen it in action. Though this explanation was also good for the rest of the crew. "It's a rationed use, except in emergencies. Don't worry, I hardly use my Buoy rations."

A low whistle came from Evelyn at the engineering station, "Commander, please stop me if I'm out of line, but is there anything I can do to um... Learn more about the Buoy Network? And the Pathstone?" She wasn't quite sure what this Pathstone was yet, but well... Curiosity killed the cat and, Meow, "Or is it out of my pay grade?"

Ichiko gave a nod, and a ghost of a smile, "There is. Ask questions." she paused for a moment before she continued. "When we arrive at the Pathstone facility, I'm certain the Dalacari will be more then happy to explain how it works. If it's one thing they enjoy, it's obliging curiosity. Now, I've read the technical journals, I've seen it in operation. I could tell you all the words involved in how it works, but whether or not that means I know how to tell someone exactly how it works... I'll leave that to them."

"As for the Buoy network, leave us some secrets." her smile evolved into a full smirk, "Though I can tell you one thing about it. Us contacting them was the lease secure part of the communication. Within the network itself, the communication is nearly impossible to intercept. We trust the security of the Network so much, that we use it to coordinate security for whenever the Emperor travels off the home moons."

"When we open our borders to the Federation more, eventually we'll trust you with access to the Network. It will help when it comes to communicating back and forth between my home sectors of space, and you home sectors. The location of each node of the Buoy Network is a state secret." she finished up, and then returned to her seat. "Nothing is out of your pay grade if you value knowledge high enough." she cited, a quote perhaps. "Though, it all depends on who's paying your mind."

An ethereal smile crossed Evie's face at the thought, "Thank you, ma'am, I'll... Definitely take advantage of the opportunity if I can manage to make it happen. And I won't push on the Bouy Network, that's why I was asking, so I don't cause a diplomatic incident just because I'm curious about things."

"Be at peace, Lieutenant Commander. I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't recognize the need to know. I take no offense at such, and the Dalacari know not to divulge such." a pause, "Now, getting them NOT to divulge about the Pathstone will be impossible, so bring your intellectual appetite." the rabbitess giggled.

"Captain, I believe it is your moment. Pathstone awaits."

Abigail cast a glance around the bridge, aware of every set of eyes on her, yet it was the sea of familiar faces that filled her with happiness. Finally, turning back to the massive window in front of her, she straightened her back and held her head high before she smiled toward Ichiko and settled her gaze on Rogers. There was no additional pomp or ceremony, just a simple command. "Let's go."

 

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