Operations Deck aboard the USS Black Swan.. [Voyager class Corcoran fit]
Officer of the Deck signals Ships company of Change of Watch.
MAster -at -arms: ADM on the Bridge!
SenshiBat :As you were people
The Command Staff followed still dressed for Stealth way Team Actions
in Black trimmed with Branch specialties colours and Subdued ranks.
SenshiBat: Gold Watch you stand relieved .Staff take your stations and authenticate Command Code updates; Break COMM silence and report mission updates to Sections. I'll be in my Ready Room updating Captain Kirkland.
Master-at-Arms: Admiral off the Bridge EXEC has the Bridge.
The Trill female pointed to a DOFF to cover Science Station one and took the Left seat.
Nodding to the Andorian TAC taking the First officers Chair.. ONE THREE flip command screens up and give me Codes for all weapons diagnostics. VEry well approved..
EXEC: HELM ready course correction
HELM: Aye Aye Sir.
EXEC: tuck us behind Bajors secondary moon.
SCI: Scans clear station to standby
EXEC: Medical Chief quarantine lifted ready normal sick call.
MED: aye aye Chief. hows the admirals ribs.
EXEC: Well you'll have to join us at the Command table tonight to see.
MED: That I will -.Sick bay out
Senshis Ready Room.. Securing weapons in locker and taking access cards. adjusting Ship Novas on wall.
Placing secure encrypted back up file report of findings in ships system.. and going to replicator.
Sa Chi OoLong! Blue berry Scone buttered. Sandwich Croissant Salmon dill honey lemon glazed.
Salad Water Crest mandarin.
-Hold Audio COMM play Music selection Earth KAnno Yoko Real Folk Blues.
all MEssages transcribe to Text to terminal on desk.
SEcure my ready room. Code Black Swan SEAL Team SB Sigma Gamma Gamma. Shikoku.
Computer: code approved hatch secure force field nd comm filters set.
Monitoring desk top sub service status boards.. and EArth updates on map.. .Senshi edited two reports one for Section 31 the Other for the Vulcan Science Academy. Then the First Officers revision for the office SF ops updates.
Flipping Display to private COMM
DS9 OPS yes sir?
Captain Kurland please.
So Ayesu re the Bjorns safe?
I believe so.
DS9: Good news Quinn's put Black Swan at the top of the Shore Leave list
Senshi: Say again whats that?
DS9-Kirkland: I'll check Siskos files.. I think its time off but don't quote me on that.
Senshi: Well I hope you wont tell Quark enterprises.. But i'm making course for Vulcan ,Teller and Andoria
I have a few gamey Scientist here in need of some home cooking. I promised a certain TRilla View on RISA.
DS9: Nice doing business with the Black Swan. Those Terran portal files opened some keys here. i think we'll get a better treaty now for sure good luck.
Senshi: You have a great Star Base don't forget that when you make Admiral someday. Black Swan out.
SHORE LEAVE.. the ships going to flip if we don't ease this news out after a year deployed.
Have to plot my plot.. Ill order the ship to MArs yards check the old villa.. repair ships systems
then have medical inspections and make a list of who's been naughty or nice.. .and spring the news on my dear little BOFFS at the dinner tonight .
Senshi: MESS this is the ADmiral break out the Good Picard and up the Saurian Brandy allotment tonight's mess <out>
MESS: Sir? Authorization Code?
Senshi: looking at text screen.. while reaching for Music selector.
YES ,MESS.. Play Fur Elise for me.
MESS: Code approved.. locks releasign for Surain Vault.. Security Cheif sendign team.
Senshi: Sounds like a Plan Ensign Prokrind. Hide al lthe sharp objects and serve something friendly.
MESS: Aye aye Skipper. CAke?
Senshi: Good Idea.. Have PAstery Make Crrot Struddel fit for entertaining a Vulcan Ambasador. Im goign to the Diplomatic POD now < Redy Room out>
COmputer hold clls relay Red lerts to EXEC. IM changing.
Waht is it i cant accetp visitors in not properly dressed.
2 days later
Interview and interogation Room SB 117
So you see Admiral Quinn
Frankie? Captain Drake? thats why you cant Punish the Crew for that borrowed Feringi vessel
The Temporal units already given us a sealed file no parade medal and
and as for the Romulans .. you got me there.
I just dont recall the missing Romulan tal Shir Commander that worked for Hakeem was it. Jamek. JAnet spamick I mean Drake there were so many tharon drones doing off .
We were celebrting Pres Oneggs birthdy and after a year even a good captain can fall asleep at the wheel.
Besides the 10 diplomats we had for this extended deplyment made more treaties and trade route deals.. We couldnt let that Klingon Captian rrest them for Tribble smuggling.
I told Drake that wasent the Praetor but some Undine when Taris ended up at the Special Operations Command for Questioning first I just had to verify her papers with my Vulcan Opertive Adm T nae approved of that one.
See if you dont have any more questions i still have two weeks on MArs due me.
It’s a long time between letters again, I know. I’m getting tired of my own apologies for that, so I won’t give one this time. Anyway, a lot has happened.
The Ecliptic has been decommissioned. You may already have heard. One minute we were cataloguing new botanical samples, and the next we were getting blasted half-way to the Antares Maelstrom by the Romulans.
We put into port about three weeks ago and I’m technically on shore leave. I guess we’re supposed to be resting before our next assignments—I’ll be teaching at the Academy, maybe a course on how to get your ship shot out from under you.
Sorry. That was just a pretty feeble attempt at humor and being something other than a moping idiot. Losing the Deborah Sampson wasn’t this hard, I suppose because there was nothing we could have done to avoid it. I’ll never understand Patrick. He’s on, what, his fourth ship now? How many were lost because of decisions he made, or didn’t make? But that doesn’t seem to bother him a bit.
The counselor that met us as soon as we stepped off the ship encouraged me to go home, back to Umea, for a little while. I thought about it. But it’s not like there’s an express shuttle there. By the time I arrived, it’d be time to turn around.
He also suggested visiting Trill, which shows how much he knows about me. I don’t share in my parents’ crusade against joining, but I don’t see anything appealing about Trill society. It’s really more apathy than anything else.
Under ordinary circumstances, I’d jump at the chance to get to Earth and do some hiking, but since I’ll be stationed there for who knows how long, I couldn’t bring myself to head down early.
So I spent a couple of days dragging myself around spacedock. I checked in on the Ecliptic every day, but they didn’t even have her in the main docking area. She was tethered to an old, unused docking cradle a couple hundred kilometers from the station, like a piece of junk they were trying to keep out of the way of all the shiny new ships coming and going.
That doesn’t sound bitter at all, does it?
About three days in, I did find out that my name had come up on the waiting list for a chance to go up Olympus Mons. It’s one of the biggest mountains in the Solar System, on Mars. Climbers come from all over the Federation to try the ascent, but they’re very careful about not letting many people on it at once. I’d signed up way back when I was in the Academy. Funny the way things come full circle sometimes, I guess.
I figured it would be a good idea to get up and get moving, though there wasn’t a lot of moving to start off. I had a ton of paperwork to sign and a meeting with some Martian official who explained all the rules and regulations to me. Pack out what you take in, no shuttle flights or transporters except for emergencies, no walking into preserved areas, no taking souvenirs, rocket books absolutely prohibited, and so on.
I would have preferred to go alone, but that isn’t allowed either. I had a guide. I’m glad, though, that while she was friendly and helpful—even if I really didn’t need the help—she kept her distance. The climb was a hard one, anyway. There wasn’t much time for conversation, even if we’d had the breath for it. When we weren’t on the move, we were getting ready to move or passed out in our tents dreaming about moving. At least I was.
We came up a route that wound up from the southern edge of the mountains, to the northeast and then back west to the southern edge of the caldera. The thing is so big, though, you really don’t know you’re on a mountain when you’re at the top. It’s like a planet all its own, with its own horizon. I could make out the peaks of the Tharsis Mountains off to the left, but otherwise, pretty much all you could see was Olympus Mons.
I was exhausted. I’d pushed myself harder than I ever had. I’d really accomplished something. And I expected it would make a difference, that I’d feel renewed, or something like that.
I’m glad I got the chance at the ascent, but I didn’t feel like a new person or anything. That was probably too much to ask. We made our way down and I caught a shuttle back here, where I’ve gone back to my routine. Except that I haven’t visited the Ecliptic.
I’ve heard a few people talking about you and the Northwest Passage, so I know a little of all the great things you’ve been up to, saving the universe and so on. But I’d love to hear about all those adventures from the Captain herself.
In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to take this bad mood out on the cadets. That’s what they’re for, right?
I would like to begin by offering you a saying among my people. Rho’quay sha’an iyrnan re’sa k’arqui. The universal translator on board the Lovelock—the shuttle I borrowed from the Northwest Passage—translates it this way:
Beings go afar but still are living on.
I do not believe the translator has yet mastered the subtleties of Ea’an syntax.
By coincidence, your message finds me on leave, as well. The Northwest Passage is currently at Deep Space 9, undergoing routine maintenance and equipment upgrades. Hence my use of the Lovelock. I have taken the opportunity to return home.
I was also, again like you, given the chance to do something special.
After the environmental collapse of our planet, after the survivors fled into space, and after two centuries of waiting and working for some stability in the biosphere, every Ea was given a certain span of time—one Ea’an day, or roughly one point four Earth days—to spend on the surface. Moreover, to limit the impact on our recovering world, no more than ten of us (excepting, of course, those who were actively engaged in ecological healing) could set foot there at any given moment.
I chose to spend three hours walking in a broad, wooded valley on one of the smaller continents, slightly above the midway point between equator and south pole. There were three other Ea on the surface at that time.
Up until joining Starfleet, I had never been on the surface of a planet (aside from a few small moons). I am still awed by the experience. I doubt it will ever become familiar, and perhaps not even comfortable. On a starship or station, you are enclosed. There is a limit you can touch. You are a clear point on a map. On a planet, you are unnoticeable, a tiny thing within something so much larger than you can imagine. The sensory experience alone is overwhelming.
It is curious. My people have devoted themselves for centuries to the restoration of our home. It is ever present in our thoughts. And yet, I am not uncommon in feeling an edge of fear on its surface.
Our world has become the focus of our greatest hope. And, it is the symbol of our greatest failure.
I walked beneath a canopy of tall trees, along a light, crooked stream for a short time until I came to a tumble of rocks at the foot of a high ledge. A few had fallen into the water and were covered by a deep green moss. On one of these stones was the body of a small lyrho—an animal roughly equivalent to a Terran fox.
I cannot say whether he died from a fall or had been killed by another animal.
I sat beside him and, together, we watched the sun set.
I did not stay to honor him or, by witnessing him, to give his death meaning. He did not need me for that. If anything, it was the reverse.
I believe I now have a better translation of the saying I began with. It is:
Everything dies, but life goes on.
There is also an addendum sometimes attached: Rhi’va nol’qui t’sal. Which means:
And clichés last forever.
I would like you to consider something. If you have the time, I would like you to join me here. You can travel easily to Deep Space 9. From there, I can arrange for a shuttle from the Northwest Passage to be available to you. I think you may enjoy, as the humans say, “getting away from things.”