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Skulduggery, Pizza and Bare Midriffs - Part I

Posted on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 @ 5:46pm by Commander Irene Vincent "Rally" & Lieutenant Freya Michaud
Edited on on Sun Mar 3rd, 2024 @ 5:51pm

1,315 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Season 1, Episode 2: War, Peace, And All That Jazz
Location: Deep Space Station K-9
Timeline: Stardate 1547.66

Stepping off the scheduled transport from the Algonquin system. The Starfleet Hiawatha-class vessel had sidled up to one of the three arms a larger vessel could use to dock with a K-class facility. Freya Michaud eyed the arrivals area.

As with most facilities of this type, space was limited in comparison with the larger and more modern bases the Federation was churning out these days, so the space seemed crowded to the scientist. Also cosmopolitan she noted, making a quick headcount of around ten species making their way through the customs facilities. Michaud reckoned at least three were species unknown to her.

Stepping down from the airlock, she saw the line reserved for Starfleet personnel and hitched her bag over her shoulder, tugging down at her uniform skirt when the rucksack began pulling up her uniform at the back.

Putting a hand to her left ear, she adjusted how the earphone placed there sat in her ear. With its dampening properties, she couldn't hear the hubbub of the customs area over her jazz music, for which she was grateful. Making mental notes as she joined the back of the small queue, she observed the goings on around her.

The line moved smoothly, the non-coms doing their work with brisk efficiency, even if the Andorian wrinkled their nose slightly as Michaud swung her battered and frayed backpack on to the counter in front of them and opened it to retrieve her papers. Handing over the PADD she smiled a thin-lipped smile and pushed the rucksack over for inspection.

'I'm sure you'll find that my papers are in order.'

Pulling the PADD close to their eyes, the Andorian scrutinised them for a moment before begrudgingly nodded. 'Lieutenant Freya Michaud, Chief Science Officer,' they grunted, 'welcome aboard. Please follow the instructions on your PADD to find your quarters.' It was the Andorian's turn to smile a sour smile. 'Let's hope you last longer than the last one.'

Michaud's expression turned slightly quizzical as she zipped up the rucksack and stepped through, following the instructions on the PADD and the directional signs posted every so often on the corridor walls.

Quickly finding her quarters on Deck Fourteen, she noted they were quite comfortably appointed, in comparison to a Capella-class ship, in any case. Taking the chance to freshen up, she pinged a request over to the Commanding Officer of the facility asking to see them at their earliest convenience. While she waited for a response, she booted up her PADD and began reading about the history and specifications of the facility.

=Hello?= her Wall Comm chirped, evidently a lot sooner than she had been anticipating. =I have a notification here saying that the occupant of these quarters wishes to schedule an appointment with Commander Vincent?=

Raising an eyebrow, Michaud looked over to the comm unit and speared it with a look. Getting to her feet, she crossed the space in a few confident strides and keyed the response. 'That was the notification. Was there difficulty in understanding the request?' she drawled.

The feeling of contentment that had filled her since coming aboard dissipated slightly. I hope the crew is more competent than this suggests, she thought. Michaud had been hoping dearly for a stable assignment where she could concentrate on her research more fully.

=Oh, no, not at all!= the voice on the other end replied. =She was just a little surprised, was all. Anyhow, you can come right up; she's in her office up on Deck 9, first door on the right.=

'Understood,' Michaud replied in a clipped tone as she retrieved her PADD. 'I'll be there momentarily. Michaud out.'

Following the directions on her PADD she returned to the turbolifts that had brought her to her quarters on Deck Fourteen, and grabbed the handle and spoke her destination to the station's Main Computer.

Stepping out on to Deck Nine Michaud noticed that the areas further from public traffic had either not been brought up to spec or had had reduced maintenance cycles. Looks like the station really was brough online in a hurry..

As she passed the Conference Room on her way to the Station Manager's Office, she noticed that some of the paint had faded and worn through to bare bulkhead. This wouldn't be a cushy assignment.

Rounding the corner, she came to the Office's door, and hit the chime.

"Come in!" a voice on the other end responded. "And, uh... please don't mind the pizza on the desk; I needed some comfort food..."

Composing herself, and stepping through the door, Michaud caught the pizza box on the desk. I'm not surprised they need to eat at the desk. Station's a mess ... She didn't quite disapprove, but still. There are standards.

Lou Malnatti was emblazoned across the side of hte box nearest to her. Michaud pointed at it, 'local pizza shop?' she asked the black-haired woman across from the pizza.

"Nothing but Chicagoland's finest," the black-haired woman smiled as she stood up and offered Freya her outstretched hand. "Commander Irene Vincent, CO, but most everyone I know calls me Rally. And you must be Lieutenant Michaud...?"

'Chief Science Officer, yeah, Freya Michaud. A pleasure to make you're acquaintance Commander,' Michaud replied as she closed the space to take her hand. 'Rally's an interesting nickname - you drive?'

"Sort of," Rally chuckled, rubbing the back of her neck. "I've got a 1967 Shelby Cobra GT500 replica that I received as a 30th birthday present, but I only really take it out when I get the occasional shore leave."

She shrugged. "But, then again, you know how Starfleet is; times like those are few and far between, at least so far as I've happened to observe..."

'That's true. I think in the years I've left the Academy I've spent a total of about two years back home. And one of those was as a lecturer at the Academy,' Michaud smiled, 'I got plenty of time to use my Ural motorbike then. Otherwise, just like your Shelby, she's sat in storage collecting dust.' Her regard for the woman went up a notch. Not quite a biker chick, but she knows engines. 'Duty first, though. I wouldn't have it any other way. Starfleet has given me a lot.'

"You and me both," Rally sighed as she sat back down. "Anyways, I should probably ask, seeing as Starfleet Command has had a bad habit as of late of under-informing my charges before they send them out here: what exactly have they told you so far regarding the situation with the Eifie Republic and the Rheuysian Reich?"

'Not much,' Michaud admitted in her drawl. 'Command seems to have their hands full these days. They gave me some basics, and I read a few briefing papers on the way over.'

She looked to the floor for a moment as she recalled those notes, then snapped her eyes back to her new CO. 'As I understand it, both civilisations are relatively recent First and Second Contact candidates - within the last two decades.'

Michaud took a breath, 'the Rheyusians are autarkists and seem to have suffered from resource scarcity. It seems their driving mission until now has been to secure resources for their polity whatever the cost.' She shrugged, 'seems to be a standard drive for warp speed technology - outrun the resource-death of your civilisation.'

'The Eifie, a republic I recall, with a fascinating male-to-female birth ratio,' Michaud smiled and relaxed a little, 'I'm sure you can appreciate I find their notes the more interesting of the two.'

To Be Continued...


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