Thread: Heresy (story)
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 829
# 6
12-08-2013, 05:02 AM
Personal log: Veronika "Ronnie" Grau, officer commanding USS Falcon, NCC-93057
Datarecord: 2/12, 2ndry adjunct unimatrix 07 (pending reassimilation/reclassification)

"Woo hoo!" I dance across the bridge, pirouetting in front of the centre seat, before plumping myself down in it. "This is something, isn't it?"

A new ship. I've been through any number of ships in my slightly patchy career, but taking control of a new one always gives me a lift. After the battle at Aznetkur and the hunt for Klur, the Virtue needed a fair amount of time in the yards... so, I got myself assigned a shiny new cruiser. The Excelsior design has stood Starfleet in good stead for almost as long as I have, and this is the revised edition, the one with all the bells and whistles and extra trimmings. Including the bulge in the engineering hull that Jim Kirk fell out of... well, I know not to stand there, right.

"It's certainly a fine ship," says Tallasa, with a marked lack of enthusiasm. Well, I know I'm a trial for my serious minded Andorian */*species 4464*/* exec, when I'm in a good mood. But I am in a good mood. I have a brand new toy to play with, and the novelty of the situation has put Two of Twelve into a quiet mood, so I've got the inside of my head to myself, mostly. Until you've been assimilated by the Borg, you don't appreciate how good that feels. Not that the inside of my head was an altogether good place even before the Borg, mind.

I can't keep still; I jump up, skip across the bridge to the tactical console. "Phaser arrays! Pew! Pew pew pew!" I take aim at imaginary Klinks on the main screen and bring them down. Tallasa's antennae droop. Next, helm control. "Just look at these transwarp settings! Instant travel to half the quadrant - that we may travel everywhither and see the ends of this world and judge them." Like all my literary references, that one passes so far over Tallasa's head she doesn't even hear it whistle through the air. Anyway, I suppose a shakedown cruise in Alpha Centauri sector doesn't quite qualify as "travelling everywhither". More as staying out of Admiral Gref's hair.

"I shall require time to familiarize myself with the engineering systems," Ahepkur, my Klingon */*species 5008*/* engineer speaks up from her bridge station. "But the ship will be ready at your orders, sir!" Loyalty. Discommendated Klingons like Ahepkur either make a fetish out of loyalty, or discard the idea entirely. I'm lucky it's the first one.

"No rush," I say, "no rush.... Actually, I'm glad you brought that up. We're taking on a couple more engineering staff, what with this being a lot bigger ship than the old Virtue. Starfleet Personnel -" I wince a little, remembering more than a few discussions with Personnel about my service record "- should be sending them along any time now. You. Face-ache." The comms ensign looks up. "Get on to the transporter room, will you, find out if they've beamed aboard yet?"

"Aye, aye, sir."

Ahepkur's face is forbidding - more forbidding than usual, that is. "I am competent to direct the engineering division," she growls. "Sir."

Oops, I think to myself, you might have touched a nerve there, Ronnie. "You're my chief engineer," I reassure her, "absolutely, no doubt about that. Just, well, a couple of extra hands always come in... umm... handy?"

"Transporter room reports two arrivals, sir," the ensign calls out. "On their way to the bridge now, Commander Ysrip and Commander - errr...." He trails off and looks helplessly at his console.

"Oh, yeah, right," I say. "Well, never mind about that. Tallasa, let's rally round and give the new arrivals a good old USS Virtue welcome."

"USS Falcon, sir," says Tallasa.

"USS Virtue style, then. We had a style, right? You wouldn't mistake the Virtue for any other ship."

Tallasa exchanges looks with the others: Ahepkur, my science officer Saval, Tallasa's sister Jhemyl, the others who know me well, and for some reason put up with me. "No," she says, "no, no one would make a mistake like that."

"And the Falcon will carry on in that same old happy tradition," I say firmly. Saval, being Vulcan */*species 3259*/*, doesn't say "oh God" at this point. But he wants to. I know he wants to.

I pick up the movement of the turbolift door before I hear the hiss - the Borg implant covering my left eye has surprisingly good peripheral vision. Well, maybe vision isn't quite the right word. Peripheral sensing? Whatever. I know they're coming, that's the main thing.

"Welcome aboard!" I yell.

"Thank you, sir," the tall, good looking Andorian male replies, throwing me a salute as he does so. "Commander Areb Ysrip reporting as ordered."

His companion moves into the full light of the bridge, the lights reflecting brightly from her metallic eyes. "Reporting as ordered," she says in an even, musical voice. "My serial number is on record, but for social purposes I am Commander Ada." She salutes, too, with appropriately mechanical precision.

"A machine?" Ahepkur demands. Oh dear.

"I am artificial in origin," Ada replies, unruffled. "I am, to be exact, an experimental HSM series android - my model has performed well in a number of Starfleet roles."

"A machine," Ahepkur repeats, and I really don't like the tone of her voice. "I am chief engineer here, I fix machines - I hope, if this one works with me, it knows its place!"

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. "We can all get along," I say, loudly. Ada and Ahepkur are looking at each other, and they don't look like they're getting along any time soon. I just hope Ahepkur doesn't try a staring contest, because she will certainly lose against those ball-bearing eyes. "Let me introduce my senior staff; my executive officer Commander Tallasa, my science officer Dr. Saval, my -"

"Commander Tallasa?" Ysrip asks.

"That is correct." Tallasa squares her shoulders. "Just Tallasa."

Jhemyl stands up, at the security station. "And I am Jhemyl. Just Jhemyl."

Oh, God. Andorian clans, I was forgetting all about Andorian clans - and whatever Tallasa and Jhemyl's parents did to get kicked out of their family. I've never known the details, to be honest... but it's like the discommendated Klingons; Tallasa and Jhemyl have always been loyal to me, because I'll accept their loyalty. This Ysrip, though, looks traditional Andorian right through to his blue core, and traditional Andorians don't get on so well with the clanless ones... traditionally. Ysrip's face is studiously neutral. Tallasa's makes a plank of wood look like Laurence Olivier, and Jhemyl is, if anything, even blanker. But all three of them have their antennae twitching, writhing almost, in a way that would make a Japanese schoolgirl run for the hills.

And Ahepkur and the android */*species designation irrelevant*/* are still glaring at each other -

*/*---interpersonal relationships interfering with efficiency
---assimilation recommended
---absorb positive qualities of each unit, suppress individual conflicts
---suppression of individual personality is the way to optimum efficiency within the collective

And now Two of Twelve's woken up. And it started off such a good day....