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.
Captain's Log, Stardate 85482.36. Due to continued crew attrition as a result of enemy action, the Lord English is taking on a new complement of personnel. Among them will be Starfleet Academy cadets on the Academy Abroad program. These cadets will get a little exposure to life on board a starship for class credit; with any luck, they won't be exposed to the more violent aspects of life on board a starship too soon.
"I'm finally finished!"
Cadet Juno Poplar Inselart finished moving her belongings to her side of her quarters on Deck 8. She had never been out of the Sol System before; even studying at the Academy, she always took a shuttle back to her home in New Berlin. She began missing her parents and her dog, Barklay, more than ever, now that she only had a small terminal connecting her and her family. Before the full force of her malaise brought her to tears, however, the door to the cadets quarters and a blonde-haired Bajoran walked in with a pot of brine.
"You're just in time to make hasparat!" she said.
"So you're a sophomore at the Academy too?" the Bajoran asked while stirring the brine.
"Yes. My name is Juno Inselart, and I'm in the Sciences School," she replied while folding hasperat. "Are you my roommate?"
"Sure am. I'm Garaze Rela, and I'm a sophomore on the tactical track. I've only been on this ship a month. Can you pass me that hasperat when you're done?"
Juno passed her a wrapped hasperat before starting on another one. Rela stuck several skewers through the hasperat before placing it in the brine. She then added a cup of live gagh before bringing the brine to a boil, driving the gagh to burrow into the hasperat. Juno stared wide-eyed at the Bajoran's avant-garde cuisine.
"I like fusion cuisine, you see," Rela explained with a grin. Juno decided to ask a different question rather than focus on the squirming of the gagh.
"So why did you come onto the ship so early?" she asked. "It took me a long time to decide on Academy Abroad becayse it would have been harder to go home if I was travelling all the time."
"Well, I was thinking about how often I'd be able to go back home if I was Academy Abroad," Rela answered. "so I signed up to Abroad on the Lord English because one of its ports of call is Deep Space 9. From there it's a shuttlehop back to Dahkur Province."
Juno marveled at her roommate's canniness. Soon, the hasperat was finished and the two cadets partook of the meal. To Juno's delighted surprise, the gagh-hasperat was spicy and crunchy. Rela put two more hasperats in bowls and gave one to Juno to carry.
"Hey," she said to Juno. "Can you help me carry this to the room down the hall? The two juniors there helped me a lot when I moved in, so I want to return the favor with food."
The two sophomores moved down the hall, taking care not to spill brine on the ship's carpeted floor. Along the way, they encountered a young Klingon female working on a wall console.
"Well! If it isn't the new cadets!" she said.
"Hello there!" Rela said. "I'm Garaze Rela and this is Juno Inselart. She just moved in today as part of Academy Abroad's science program."
Juno waved with her free hand.
"Science, eh? Well then, I'm in the science department too, so we'll be working together often. My name's Kira. I'd like to chat, but I have many things to do, so I'll see you later."
With that, Kira and the two cadets parted ways.
"She doesn't seem that much older than us," Rela said. "I wonder if she's a cadet like us."
"I hope I get along with her, since she seems so friendly," Juno replied.
Eventually they reached their destination, where they found a sign on the door reading:
Nobody is home to receive gifts.
Juno glanced at Rela, who had a big grin on her face.
"That must be Idouna's work. She must have picked up that she was coming."
Giving a bowl of hasperat to Juno, she fished in her pockets for emergency door activators. Inside the room, a voice could be heard.
"Rela! You don't really need to come in with worms in food!"
With a burst of strength, Rela pulled open the doors to the cadet quarters and was instantly smashed in the face with a pillow. Juno stared wide-eyed at the crimson-haired Betazoid as she turned her gaze from Rela to Juno.
"Oh! You must be Rela's new roommate!"
"My name is Idouna Stadi. I'm a junior in the science program of Academy Abroad."
"Wow, I'm in the science program too! I'm Juno Inselart, a sophomore."
"Nice to meet you, Juno, I hope we'll find ourselves working together more often."
Juno and Idouna sat around a floor table of intricate Betazoid design while Rela consumed one of the bowls of hasperat. Idouna could feel Juno's anxieties and set about reassuring her.
"Don't worry about spending time away from home, Juno. The community aboard the Lord English is very helpful and you can ask any of us to help you get settled in."
Rela looked up from her hasperat.
"Some of the cadets in my class were a bit put off when I said I was going to the Lord English, though. Apparently there's a reputation that Lord English attracts the Academy's misfits because the ship captain's so lax. That's so rude of them, don't you think?"
"I... did not know that," Juno replied with a shocked face. Idouna could sense Juno's confidence slipping and changed the subject.
"Juno, did you meet up with the head of the science department?" Idouna asked. "I think you have to check in with her so that your course credits are fulfilled while on board the vessel."
"Oh! I didn't know that," Juno replied. "Who is the head of the science department and where should I find her?"
"She should be in the science lab, I think," Idouna replied. "I think her name is Commander Kira. She's a Klingon not much older than I am and... wait, did you already meet her?"
Idouna didn't need to be a telepath to sense Juno's sudden realization or her embarrasment. Juno covered her head with her hands with the knowledge that she missed the chance to make a good first impression.
"Well, well, first impressions aren't everything," Idouna replied reassuringly. "If you ever need anything you can always come to me for help."
"And if I ever need anything, you can come to me to help!" Rela shouted triumphantly, getting another pillow upside the head for her troubles. Juno giggled. Life aboard Lord English might be cozier than she thought.
"Look at the time," Idouna said while glancing at her watch. "I should be preparing some food for my roommate, she should be coming back right now."
As if on cue, the door to the cadet quarters opened and a blue-skinned Saurian covered in blood with two swords walked in. Juno yelped.
"B-b-bl-blood!" she cried.
"Wait, Juno, it's fake blood!" Idouna said. "Salin is part of the Lord English's drama club."
However, it was too late. Juno had already fainted.
When Juno came to, she found herself in her room surrounded by Rela, Idouna, and Idouna's Saurian roommate, Salin. Salin was extremely apologetic.
"I'm truly sorry about that," she said. "The drama club was finishing up practice of an old Earth drama. It's about soldiers trying to defend their city from giant creatures trying to eat them."
"It's OK," Juno replied. "I was just shocked when you came in, but I'm better now."
Juno looked around her room. Rela, Idouna, and Salin were tidying up Juno's half of the room.
"You-you don't have to do this, everybody," she cried. "I can handle cleaning up my room."
"Don't worry about it, Juno," Rela responded. "We're all in this together, us misfits of the Lord English."
The grins from Idouna and Salin reassured Juno of her new friends' honest intent.
I thought that I wouldn't be able to take living away from home well when I first came here, she thought to herself, but now I think I'll enjoy the chance to start living independently.
Juno left her bed and joined the other cadets in cleaning the room.
Captain's log, supplemental. The Lord English has finished the transfer of cadets and is ready to break orbit and go off into space. All stations have reported nominal conditions; everyone we expected on the ship is aboard the ship. As the first order of business, I have ordered the Lord English into the Delta Volanis Cluster for an easy exploration mission to ease the new cadets in. I hope we'll see more of them in the future.