ASSIGNED TO TASK FORCE 37 OF PEGASUS FLEET
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Calm before the Storm

Posted on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 @ 2:13pm by Lieutenant JG Shaille Levine & Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia & Lieutenant Commander Jason Myers & Lieutenant Keth Soban & Linza (Lin) Esni & Lieutenant Commander William Rogers & Lieutenant Naomi McLaren & Commander Ichiko Gail & Lieutenant Commander William Gunnison & Lieutenant Commander Calvin Morgan & Lieutenant Veznia MD PSyD & Lieutenant Alexis Aenera & Ensign Jaimie Nolan & Senior Chief Petty Officer Maria Vasquez & Chief Petty Officer Lisa Terrix & Ensign Rajeo & Warrant Officer Koh Ottasu & Warrant Officer Callisi Veera & Lieutenant JG Alistair Fletcher

Mission: Double Bind

The sight within the shuttle bay was unlike anything Abigail had ever seen before. There was no silence, the entire space was filled with the constant hum of white clad crew members interacting as they packed and repacked emergency kits, tested portable shield generators and generally ran through their steps to prepare for the trip to the surface.

Without interrupting anyone, Abigail started winding her way through the crowded space toward the craft that were being prepped to transport them to the surface.

Naomi kept replaying in her head what her daughter had said before she'd left her quarters. The little girl was left with a Crewman who was staying behind on the ship. Celeste insisted that her mother come back, but how could she know about her father... Celeste never knew her father and yet the concern of a single parent was quite real.

Naomi set to work quietly getting her gear together because she knew this could be a one way trip and it was no time to be a hero. She had her daughter to think about, and if that wasn't enough reason to make sure that she came back no matter what, then Naomi didn't know what was.

In a tight group surrounded by multiple identical crates, Doctor Morgan and Nurse Nolan worked with multiple crew as they double checked manifests. As each list matched, a crew member disappeared with a box, destined to a shuttle. The piles of medical supplies shrank slowly, staging equipment for worst case scenario for the crew, and hopeful aid for the inhabitants of the planet below them.

These type of trips made Linza nervous. The job itself was mostly self explanatory. No, not that. It was the fact that going there but then coming back was questionable. She was finally getting her life back in order, but as she packed her things, realizations hit that it could all just end down there. But, she wasn't going to not help.

The two shuttles in the lead of the procession had two pilots in a league of their own. The two children of Ts'usu knelt by their respective craft, sharing a moment with their vehicle. With themselves.

"Are you scared?" Callisi asked, and Koh nodded, bringing to attention a thin piece of paper he had written something on. "For her. If." Koh answered. The cyclopean rabbitess shook her head gently, "Starfleet doesn't believe in If. We'll get the job done, not even under fire this time."

They shared a moment, remembering old war stories until it was time. They shared a gesture between them, some form of handshake without contact. "Good luck, sir. Got the whole rabbit this time." and Koh gave a smirk, "Everyone's heard that, ehh. Well then... " he gently put a hand on Callisi's shoulder.

"Koun o, hogo-sha senshi."

The conviction in Koh's tone, the contact, not to mention the words he chose, left her shook for a moment. Every new generation of pilots heard the graduation speech, every pilot heard the words. 'You have been selected by the Imperial Navy to defend our frontiers...' and after all their hard word the Emperor herself greeted them not as cadets, but as Starfighters. Those words. She got on her shuttle almost on autopilot herself.

Once that was settled, one last thing. He spotted the Captain, and ran to her presence.

"Captain Laurens." The formality of the situation demanded formality back. He handed her a piece of actual paper. Thick, cut into a vertical strip, with Ts'usugi letters and script on it.

"For Shaille. If." He mentioned, before turning to head to prep his own shuttle.

"HAS ANYONE SEEN MY TRICORDER!!!"

Some how above the rattle and hum of engines being tested, and the general chaos of dozens of people working to achieve a goal, Keth somehow managed to prove one techie correct: ear protectors saved lives. Keth wriggled out from under one of the shuttles, a tricorder in hand.

"NEVER MIND!" Keth said, before reducing the bass to a more reasonable level. He held up the heavy ruggedised tricorder that must have been the personal calculator to Gul Dukat in a previous life. It had been designed specifically for Keth by engineers who had gotten too close to the cutting edge of indestructible technology. If Keth fell from orbit the tricorder would survive both reentry and the subsequent crater it made. "Now I just need to find the shuttle I'm meant to be on."

He opened his mouth to ask the question, or burst an ear drum.

Will, who had been overseeing the loading of the survival kits onto the shuttles, cringed a bit at Keth's verbal barrage (though having to be a parent to an energetic 12 year old may have prepared Will somewhat for the impact). There was enough of Will's hearing left to catch Keth's comment about which shuttle he was supposed to be on, and a quick check of the padd Will was holding provided the answer to that.

"Lt. Soban, to answer your question, you're on that shuttle," Will said, pointing to the appropriate shuttle. "And inside voice, please."

Shaille grimaced as the heavy bass of Keth's voice resounded across the shuttle bay again, though the grimace was followed up with a smile as Commander Gunnison cautioned him. Her gaze drifted toward Koh again. While they were going to be on the surface, she was acutely aware that his job was just as, if not more dangerous than hers. They would be the ones avoiding the storm in space, standing by in case of emergency. She shuddered as the dark thoughts washed over her again. "Alright, Lieutenant Veznia, you're with me and we're on shuttle two," she said after taking a deep breath.

Veznia felt entirely out of place in such a situation. The Denobulan mumbled as she went through a mental check of her gear. He hands moved along as she went through each item. Hearing the shouting about tricorders made her second guess whether she had hers. “Shuttle two.” Veznia repeated back. She gathered her gear and followed Shaille.


Evelen sighed as she stepped out of the shuttle that she'd 'claimed' for her very own and spotted Abigail, remembering the intentions of the ship's commanding officer. She brushed off her sleeves and turned to the redhead who came off the shuttle after her, "Go get your own shuttle ready, Lisa, I can handle this one from here." She held an arm out to stop the Irish woman from leaving and wrapped her in a brief hug, "Be careful out there, Leese."

"You be safe yourself." Lisa said back to her, "You're at the tip of the spear." The first spot to be hit. Then she half-tortted off to her own craft.

"Are you sure you want to come with me, Captain?" Evelyn had made her way to Abigail, "It's going to be the riskiest spot, but I need to be there to get any updates to the other shield stations to optimize the frequencies. You don't have to be there if you don't want to be, I can get another volunteer to join me there."

Where Abigail went, Ichiko wasn't too far behind. The entirety of the moment, the complexity of the situation, seemed to actually pain the executive rabbitess. It seemed to almost overwhelm her to be here with everything going on. The nonstop activity, the endless barrage of sensations, and Keth's concerns voiced to the gods.

But she stayed. As Evelyn approached, it seemed to help her to focus on just a singular person, a singular object, a singular inquiry. But the inquiry was meant for Abigail, so she simply stayed a silent partner in this.

Abigail nodded slightly. "I'm sure," she said calmly. "Commanders Gail and Rogers will be at the next station. Our commbadges should work so we can remain in contact and our shuttles will be on standby to try and get us back out if we need it." Abigail drew in a slow breath, fingering the paper that Koh had handed her before she slid it into a pocket offering a silent prayer that it would not be needed.

"Alright, everyone, get to your shuttles! Launch is in one hour exactly! From the moment of first transport we've allocated one hour for everyone to get in place and establish their portable shield generators. There's no need to remind you that this is not shore leave. We are on a time crunch. Get down there, get in place get ready and most importantly stay alive!" Abigail ordered. "As soon as the storms start to clear our shuttles will start getting people out. Any final questions?"

Calvin looked up from his PaDD, hearing the Captain's voice. He looked amongst that last few around him, shooing them off with their boxes. "Go, go, get yourselves situated." He nodded to his senior nurse. She nodded back as they grabbed their own bags and reported to their respective shuttles.

Will grabbed his own bag. "Good luck, everyone," he said to those around him. "I do expect to see everyone back when this is all over." He then headed to the shuttle that he'd been assigned to.

Rogers dumped his gear into his shuttle. To not be piloting the lead shuttle, now he was no longer required to fly the Astraea in atmo, was a slap in the face. He was the better pilot. Insult heaped upon the disrespect of not being consulted on who should fly lead at any point. He would remember this.

Naomi had checked her gear a number of times before she was satisfied enough to find her way to a shuttle. She took one last look at the shuttlebay and allowed a soft sigh to escape her lips before she turned and stepped on board. Then she saw Keth standing there and wondered how she ended up being partnered up with him aboard the shuttle in the first place.

Linza had somewhat learned to tune out some of Keth's octaves, however, this time was different and she winced at the sound of him yelling. It was too small of a room to do that. All she could do was glare at him as she finished packing up her bag and counting her items for what felt like the millionth time. But doublechecking the shuttle assignments, she oddly was glad to be on the opposite of Keth.

Did Keth have everything? He had pockets. Lots of pockets. And these pockets had things in them. Were they the right things? Or were they the right things for the time? And then Keth had a thought.

"Wait the Captian said 'when the storms clear'...are we talking like Sand storms, or wind storms or..." his bushel of Adams apples went up and down as he contemplated a fate worse than death. "...Rain> storms? Because...I can't swim."

"Don't worry." Jason replied. "You've got this!"

The resonating sound of Keth's voice rang in her ears. She winced slightly, aware of Ichiko watching her. "Good Luck, God Speed and stay safe!" Abigail called before turning toward Ichiko. "When this is all over and done with, I want a week on a beach, a never ending supply of cocktails and a good massage," she murmured softly. "When we get back, remind me of that will you?"

Ichiko gave a smirk, and a nod, "I'll make a point to remember." she offered with a snicker. "A holiday on one of the Dalacari worlds."

 

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