Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454917.4.
This is typical. I finally get a chance to get out into the field and away from the academy, and where do I end up? The Nightingale, under Vice Admiral Jinx. By the stars, she is one tough taskmaster. I've been aboard the ship for 3 days now, and so far have been involved in:
Weapons maintenance drills,
Battle maneuvre drills,
Simulated attack drills,
Piloting lessons (although I'm rather impressed. The Vice Admiral has one of those Delta Flyers, and a Captain's Yacht. Not that she would ever let me fly that),
and, oddly, cooking lessons. Why cooking lessons? Isn't that what the replicators are for?
The next few weeks are going to be hell. I can tell.
Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454920.4.
Well, today was interesting. Apparently the Nightingale has a slightly modified holodeck to allow for live fire exercises, and the Vice Admiral took me there personally to see how my weapons training was coming on. I thought we had seen a lot of types of weapons at the academy, but a phaser minigun is new to me. I only got to use that one a litte, which is a shame, because it was great fun. Still, 9 out of 10 shots hitting the bullseye, the MOVING bullseye, and I have POTENTIAL???
I am very impressed with the range of weapons on board the Nightingale, and most of the crew have accepted me now, even if they do still treat me like a kid. I suppose in some ways I am, compared to them. Still, I'm not too sure what to make of the Vice Admiral. She says very little to me, just watches me, appraisingly, I guess. Oh, she'll talk if she is teaching me or testing me, but outside of that, almost not a word.
Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454921.7.
We've received a distress signal in the Badlands. We will need to take shuttles in to find the source though. There is too much interference for sensors to work properly. The Vice Admiral has ordered me to go along too.
When I was ordered to go along, I wasn't expecting this. I am in the Captain's Yacht, and learning a lot about piloting from the Vice Admiral. I've also had my standard issue phaser taken away from me, and replaced with some kind of phaser shotgun affair. I was tested with this a few days ago, and it's not my best weapon, which i suppose is why I have it.
The signal came from a runabout from DS9, I'm told. It was in the Badlands to do some trading. I'm betting it was the Ferengi running Quarks trying to smuggle something past Federation customs. It was attacked by True Way ships. True Way cruisers, and we are going flying in there in a tiny shuttle. Oh, God, we're going to die...
Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454922.1.
Well, I was wrong about dying. So far at least. We've landed on a tiny moon around a huge gas giant. The Vice Admiral's officers that came with us are out scouting now, leaving just me and her in the Yacht, the Symbiont, it is called. I wonder if she has one. A symbiont I mean. She is Trill after all. She is pacing. I think she would prefer to be out there, doing the scouting herself, instead of stuck in here waiting for the comms to go off and her officers to report.
Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454922.4.
Ok, we're off. Commander Mat (a Breen of all things!!!) found the Runabout, so we are going over there to help find the passengers.
Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454926.8
4 days! 4 days we were stuck there. Next to no rations, and the only tools and equipment we had were the items we took with us. Hang on, I'm getting ahead of myself here.
We found the Runabout, and by the time the Vice Admiral and I got there, Commander Mat had tracked the runabout's crew into some caves not far from where it crashed. It had taken some very heavy damage. The pilot must have been good to get it down intact. The Vice Admiral put me on point with Commander Mat as we started into the caves. There didn't seem to be much life around other than us, although we did see the occasional critter. They looked like they were part lizard, part rock, and for all we could tell, fed off the walls of the caves themselves.
A couple of hours into the cave system, following the Vice Admiral's tricorder readings, we ended up in a cavern which had a lake in the middle, and a waterfall streaming down one side. I wasn't expecting to find water here. Even more surprising, I wasn't expecting to find a Ferengi and a Cardassian here either. the Vice Admiral spread us out to keep an eye on the various exits from the cavern while she went and talked to the two we had found here. It seems they were the occupants of the Runabout. The Cardassian was some kind of spy, what a surprise, and had been feeding information about the True Way to the Ferengi so they could both make some credits war profiteering. But, their last deal went bad, the True Way discovered the spy, and they had to escape. Fortunately, they were able to get into the Runabout the Ferengi was flying, and get off the True Way cruiser they were being held on. I didn't ask how. That's for Starfleet Intelligence to know.
Once the Vice Admiral had finished talking to them, she gave the order to pack up and get ready to move, but at precisely that moment, the caves around us started shaking and rocks fell from the ceiling. No-one was seriously hurt though, just a few scratches and bruises. Unfortunately, when we started back out, we quickly discovered that we were trapped in here. There had been a cave in.
Over the next few days, I learned why the Vice Admiral had insisted I take cooking lessons. I guess she had been in similar situations before and wanted to make sure I was prepared. Still, there is only so much you can do with rock lizard, so by the end of the 3rd day we were sick of the sight, smell and taste of them. We eventually found our way back out of the caves, and from there back to the Symbiont. We got back to the Nightingale as quickly as possible, and just in time too. It seemed that the True Way cruiser was out searching for the spies too. But, the Nightingale has a cloak, and a LOT of firepower, so it really wasn't as much of a threat as I thought it would be.
Now, we are on our way back to DS9, to deliver a Ferengi and a Cardassian back home, then we are off back to Earth to return me to the academy.
Shame really, I have come to like this ship, this crew, even the Vice Admiral.