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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
10-18-2011, 07:24 AM
Kyle hated his dress uniform, the jacket had never fitted right and collar seemed determined to strangle him. Unfortunately this discomfort was the nothing compared to the appraising gaze of the Admiral T’Nae.

Kyle had been expecting this; ever since the incident with Drozana Station, Fleet Command had been following the activities of the Scimitar with an uncomfortable level of scrutiny. The emergence of the computer A.I. had been the icing on the cake for the more conservative elements of command to recall the Scimitar and grill its captain.

Admiral T’nae clasped her hands together and studied her subordinate over her knuckles. “Captain, for a ship and crew that has barely been out of Space Dock for a year, the Scimitar has become quite the point of contention. There are departments of Fleet that have been lobbying for access to the Scimitar in order to conduct lengthy studies of this new artificial intelligence inhabiting your ship. Your arguments regarding the precedents set for artificial life form rights are sound enough for the Admiralty Board to allow Scimitar to continue operations without interference with the A.I.; however there are two conditions set down by Starfleet Command.”

“Firstly, you are to make regular reports on the A.I., restrict the content to performance figures and facts and do not include opinions. Secondly...”

“Here it comes,” thought Kyle, “I’m going to get a pen pusher Commander camping on the bridge and second guessing me.”

“Starfleet has ordered me to assign an officer to the Scimitar for the purpose of studying the A.I. in operation.”

Dabo! Kyle started mentally running through the regulations for a technicality to object.

T’Nae continued, “As Starfleet has not specified an officer, I have assigned one of Starbase 39’s computer analysts to the task. Lieutenant Takeda will report to you at nineteen hundred hours. His orders are to study the A.I. without direct interference. He will report directly to me regarding the assignment and will act as a member of your crew in all other capacities.”

Kyle’s mental recital ground to a halt. “Mam?”

T’Nae raised a pointed eyebrow, “You have a problem with your orders Captain?”

Kyle tried to suppress a grin and failed, “No Mam!”

“Good, dismissed.”

*

Dr Kestra Zarat deactivated the tricorder and placed it carefully back in her lab coat pocket.

“This is the fourth time I’ve had to send a medic to scrape you off of the holodeck floor since we got assigned to this ship. You need to find a slightly less harmful way of blowing off steam, before I run out of analgesics.”

“Hmmp.” responded the Klingon woman that sat gingerly on the surgery bed. To Kestra’s empathic senses, the sullen mix of wounded pride, frustration and guilt that seemed to radiate from her patient was almost overwhelming.

Resisting the urge to gag from the emotional overload Kestra sat next to her patient, “What’s troubling you B’toria? I’ve never seen you this wound up before.”

B’toria locked eyes with her and scowled, “Huh, you’re scanning me aren’t you?”

“I don’t need to my friend; any Empath within six decks of here could pick out your emotional maelstrom.”

“I’m trapped and lost. I can’t go home, what’s left of my house is a few refugees scattered on a handful of colonies. I failed my people. Now even the ship’s computer can walk all over me. Tharg was right, I’m no wa...”

“Stop right there!” The sternness in her own voice startled even Kestra and for an instant she wondered just how much her empathic abilities were affecting her. “You listen and listen well. There was nothing you could do to save the House of Shenara when the war started, a lone Cadet fresh out of the academy wouldn’t have change the course of events. Even Starfleet couldn’t stop House Torg’s assault, so don’t go trying to take the blame for that. If you want to help your people then go and find that defiant young cadet I met at the academy, the one that used to walk proudly into class like a conquering general, regularly beat me at springball and won three awards for her subspace theory paper.”

B’toria looked up at Kestra and nodded, “Those were good times.”

Kestra smiled, the claustrophobic emotional pressure seemed to be lifting, “Who says they ended? She just needs to hear the call to battle.”

B’toria stood and looked down at her friend, “Thank you.”

“Remember, the computer is like a child, sometimes you have to concede ground to win the battle.”

“Spoken like a dahar master.”

“Heh, I never could stomach gagh.”

B’toria’s laugh growled through sickbay.

*

Minoru Takeda crammed the last of his spare uniforms into the battered academy-issue holdall. He could sense Mirri fidgeting anxiously by the door, the crisp scent of her perfume summoning images of their time on Andor the last time they were on leave.

“I still can’t believe you finally got assigned to a ship. I was starting to think they would keep you here forever.”

“It’s not a permanent posting Mirri-chan. The admiral wants me to study the Scimitar’s computer; it’s supposed to be quite special. I’ll probably be back here the next time the Amazon stops by for supplies.”

A pair of blue arms wrapped themselves around Minoru’s waist from behind as Mirri pressed herself against his back. “I’ll miss you my Minoru. Promise you’ll stay safe and write to me.”

Minoru turned in the Andorian’s embrace and cradled her face in his hands, her antenna stretched out toward him and those azure eyes so easy to get lost in. “What’s wrong with you today? You never get like this before leaving on the Amazon. I’ll be ok, the Scimitar is one of the most advanced ships in the fleet.” The eyes begged, “I promise Mirri-chan, I promise.”

Minoru walked along the umbilical walkway that stretched from the drydock facility to the sleek hull of the ship that was to be his home for the next few months. A mixture of technicians and dock workers bustled around him forcing the young Lieutenant to concentrate on not stumbling into anyone and preventing his mind from wandering back to the woman he had left standing at the boarding gate.

“Here goes nothing” Minoru thought as he stepped through the airlock. The burley security officer on guard looked him up and down before returning to his console.

“Welcome aboard Lieutenant Minoru Takeda!” Minoru half jumped out of his skin, the voice came from all around him. It was cheery and almost feverishly energetic.

“I do hope you had a pleasant experience of boarding control some of the security monitoring computers on Starbase thirty nine can be so stuffy! Your quarters are situated on Deck Four Section C. You have an immediate appointment with Chief Engineer Jaro in Main Engineering and you are to report to Captain K... Captain Tremayne in two hours eleven minutes. Hurry along now!”

Minoru looked wide eyed at the security officer who was smirking now. “Was that the ship’s computer?”

The officer nodded and pointed down the corridor with his thumb, “Down that way and third on your left Sir.”