Posted on Wed Dec 14th, 2022 @ 7:04pm by Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai & Captain Björn Kodak & Lieutenant Charles Bridgeport & Lieutenant Xex Wang & Lieutenant JG Gwenwyn Marwol & Lieutenant Arianna Durand & Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Brand & Petty Officer 3rd Class Mia
A Camping We Will Go
Location: Shuttle Bay
Timeline: Mission Day 5 at 1130
[MD 5: 1130 Hours]
Captain Kodak stood erect in the shuttle bay, watching quietly as the Runabout De La Guardia slid through the atmospheric shield, the open hatch limned by the glowing blue edges of the force field. As the craft slowly hovered across the deck, aiming for a landing berth, the Chameloid turned to regard his Executive Officer with golden eyes.
“Thanks for handling things while I’ve been away,” Kodak warmly rasped. No longer clad in camping accoutrements, the Captain was back in his Starfleet uniform and looked every bit the consummate professional. “It was nice being planetside for a few days. I forgot how much I loved the smell of trees,” he smirked, eyes flicking back to the runabout. The craft had settled to the deck and he could see people moving about the cabin, readying to disembark.
The Romulan stood, shoulders back and chin tipped slightly upward with her hands clasped at the small of her back. "Just about the easiest command gig I could have," she said, smiling back at Kodak. "I mean... more than half the crew was planetside. It was quiet here." Her eyes returned to the runabout as well, slowly dropping her emotional defenses to take in an early impression of the craft's occupants. They were getting several new key team members on this craft and, if she was honest, Emni hoped they didn't need to replenish so much staff for a bit after this.
Charles had been watching the approach of the shuttle to the Sojourner. During which he caught the Orion Yeoman watching him on several occasions. She had been pleasant enough during the trip to Pathfinder. But since then she had not said much. Now that they were safely on the ship, it was time to meet his new boss. He turned toward Mia. “Well we made it. I guess I’ll be seeing you around the ship?” Said Charles
Mia smiled. “Sure, I’ll be glad to look you up on my down time.” And she grabbed her bag and walked out before him.
For the final approach to the Sojourner, Xex had chosen a seat a close to the helm as possible, and even as she slid through the atmospheric shield, his eyes were glued to the viewscreen as they had been for the entire approach. His long fingers were drumming on his knee and the moment the De La Guardia was settled into her docking clamps, he was unbuckled and on his feet. He retrieved his carisak, swinging it over his shoulder as he followed the yeoman out the hatch. Glancing aside at a nervous-looking Trill, he tossed the young man a grin as he passed. “Playtime's over, I guess,” he quipped with a wink. He didn't see the poor ensign swallow and visibly steel himself to disembark in the lieutenant's wake.
Arianna remained seated at the runabout's science console, watching the rest of the transferring personnel disembark before bringing up the rear of the group herself. Some of them were quite young, possibly on their first assignment, but none of them needed shepherding out. Her travelling companions had been cordial and considerate, but so many people in a relatively small vessel had left her feeling confined for much of the trip. Still, she was surprised by the sense of relief she felt when she stepped into the open space of the shuttle bay.
Gwenwyn had taken a back seat, he was still trying to adjust to being back in the saddle. But he tried to mingle, got himself talking to the CMO, Xex, along the way. Now the De La Guardia had landed he followed the him out of the door with his singular bag at his side.
As Charles and Mia approached the Captain, they both stopped just before him and spoke.”Sir, Lt Charles Bridgeport requesting permission to come aboard!”
“Sir, Yeoman Phillips request permission to come aboard as well!” Replied Mia.
Xex's energetic strides brought him swiftly along behind the pair, his limp barely noticeable within that animated gait. Unfortunately, since he was craning his neck around the Sojourner's shuttlebay, he nearly plowed right into the back of the Orion woman as she stopped to report aboard. “Whoops!” he exclaimed, dancing up on his tiptoes to avoid knocking her to the ground. There was a flurry of movement as he attempted to regain his balance without careening into anyone else, and when he finally came to rest, it was considerably closer to the well-composed XO than was probably regulation. Xex did not seem in the least discomfited by the misstep however, and made a motion that was half self-mocking bow, and half regulation salute. “Apologies, sir,” he said to her, although his easy smile undercut some of the seriousness of the remark, “I've read so much about the Rhode Island-class refits-- but it's another thing entirely to be stepping aboard one!”
A wave of enthusiasm followed the man's comment, and with the deluge Emni couldn't help a broad grin, enthusiasm mirrored in her eyes in a lesser sense. She tilted her head at Xex and murmured her agreement, "She's a beauty."
The group new arrivals had continued forming a line in front of the Captain and XO in the order that they had exited the runabout. Arianna took her place at the end of the line and awaited her turn to introduce herself and request permission to come aboard, as protocol dictated.
"Hallo," the Captain spoke up, the slightest hint of his growing-up-German heritage slipping through. Kodak was smiling wide as he regarded the new crew members, nodding to each in turn as eye contact was made. "Welcome to the USS Sojourner. While you've spent some time on Pathfinder and, of course," he nodded to the runabout, "two weeks in transit, your true tour of the Delta Quadrant starts now. And we'll be with you every step of the way," the Chameloid said, his startling, golden-yellow eyes sparkling in the overhead lighting.
"I'm Captain Björn Kodak and this," he gestured to the woman standing next to him, "is Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai. The Commander here will be handling most of the details in getting you settled, including your room assignments and your initial duty shifts. We aren't scheduled to leave orbit until tomorrow afternoon, so you'll have tonight to get situated and ready for the day ahead." His gaze panned the lot, his smile diminishing a bit into something more akin to a smirk. "And while the Commander and your department heads will handle most of your day-to-day, you should know that I'm not an absent Captain. You're likely to see a lot of me in fact, especially on such a small ship."
As Kodak began introducing himself, Xex forced his roving gaze to settle on first the captain-- a nod of greeting-- and then his XO, to whom he flashed another apologetic smile as he nodded to her. His eyes slid back to Kodak for the rest of the welcome speech and as it wrapped up, he again nodded his understanding, though his constant motion back and forth from the ball of one foot to the ball of the other seemed to suggest impatience of some kind.
Emni had, aside from acknowledging nods and smiles, mostly focused on taking each in; beginning to get a sense of each new crew member's emotional fingerprint in turn. The first two to approach, a Human and an Orion, seemed to be better acquainted than the rest of the group. For an officer and an enlisted crew member she picked up a heightened awareness of each other. Not romantic, at least she didn't think, but a curiosity that glowed golden for Mia and gold with a touch of red for Bridgeport. Bridgeport's focus was also evident. A business sort of feel lending edges to his more nebulous emotions.
The silver-skinned humanoid, Xex, was all enthusiasm and curiosity. It burst out of him in a rainbow of anticipation. Without trying Emni immediately liked him and found herself warming to the incoming chief medical officer, though a pang of nostalgia hit her as she thought of Kennedy's recent departure.
"It's a pleasure to meet each of you, Emni nodded, warmth in her tone. "As Captain Kodak mentioned I will be happy to get you settled. Would you prefer to visit your berthings first?"
Although it hardly needed it, Xex readjusted the negligible weight of his carisak and drummed his fingers on the strap where it fell across his shoulder. "Might as well dump some excess baggage, no?" He glanced at his fellow newcomers as he spoke, seemingly genuinely asking for a consensus. His gaze paused an extra beat on the nervous Trill, as though to give him courage.
The young man again swallowed and nodded, summoning a shaky smile.
“I think that’s a great idea.” Replied Bridgeport
Emni nodded at each in turn, shifting to look at the expectant faces to gauge their reactions as well. To Mia she commented, "I've asked Petty Officer Brand to join us as well to help get you acquainted with the yeoman pool. She should be here shortly as well."
Mia was her kindest self. “That’s very considerate of you. Thanks.” She replied with a smile.
The doors whispered open: the aforementioned Brand produced herself as if summoned. She sauntered inside stiffly, her bearing one of cool, yet brittle authority. She was so pale as to be almost unhealthy in appearance. Her hair, matching her severity, was platinum and brought back in a taut bun. Gray eyes settled on the new arrivals.
"Commander," she greeted to t'Nai, "Captain." She turned a PADD over to Kodak and t'Nai both. "By order of the Federation Council, a planet called Coppelius has just been declared a protectorate by the Federation. And the Synthetics Ban has just been rescinded." She looked to the two, almost coyly, "The Romulan Free State has filed a formal protest. New crewmembers?"
Kodak took the offered PADD and briefly scanned its contents before handing it over to t'Nai. "Very curious," he said, his voice tinged with the tone of wanting to talk more on the subject but judging it best to wait until later. "Thank you for this update, Yeoman," he rasped, smiling to the pale woman who'd brought them the news. His thoughts drifted to their rescued LMH, who'd had his constraints removed and was more like a person than any hologram he'd interacted with before. He wondered how the LMH would take the news.
Emni, too, scanned the PADD, brow furrowing slightly before one eyebrow lifted in a distinctly Vulcanesque expression. With a glance at Brand and a nod, she turned back to the gathered group.
Mia spoke up. ”Politics. I dislike Politics. Things never seem to go how you want with politics!”
The pale Lunar Yeoman sent a scathing rebuke with her eyes at the new Orion officer for daring to criticize politics in the presence of the Captain, let alone overhear her report to the senior officers. She was about to correct the Enlisted under her charge when the Captain more diplomatically spoke.
"They do tend to be difficult," Kodak agreed and acknowledged. Again to Brand, the Captain nodded. "New crew members indeed. We were just about to take them to their new quarters. Shall we?" he asked, sweeping everyone up in his gaze and gesturing to the large double doors leading out of the shuttlebay. He fell into line behind t'Nai, who had the room assignments on her own PADD. As the small group began walking behind them, he turned so as to walk backward as he addressed the new crew. "So...two weeks on a runabout. How was that?" he wondered.
As the XO led the way out of the shuttle bay, Xex all but leapt forward like nothing so much as a coiled spring. Finally, his restless energy had somewhere to go. Kodak's small talk however, had the silver-skinned man ducking his head somewhat abashedly. "I fear my fellow passengers did not take too kindly to my sleeping habits," he said, chagrined. It did not last, however, and his grin returned as he glanced aside at his fellow newcomers, "I'm sure now we're aboard, I'll be able to make it up to them."
“Well it was fine with me. As long as you were awake, I took advantage of the extra sleep time.” Chuckled Charles.
The nervous Trill ensign mumbled something so quietly as to be nearly unintelligible that had Xex snorting. "Try me," he said to the young man, but there was a glint of teasing to his eye. The ensign ducked his head and tried unsuccessfully to wipe the hesitant smile from his face.
Yeoman Brand fell into line with the rest of the officers and purposefully put herself parallel and slightly ahead of the Orion. "Never. Eavesdrop. On official reports to senior personnel again. Is that understood?" She said smokily from one side of her mouth toward Mia.
Mia looked surprised. Why would she make an allegation like that and she never even had an opportunity to listen to a senior staff briefing. Though it was good advice. At worst she could be trying to gain brownie points with someone and Mia thought she could just avoid her. Or option two. Out an airlock. Mia smiled a sly kinda scary smile and stated boldly. “That’s good advice for everyone if you asked me. But next time, put that in a sentence rather than an accusation. Because it sounded to me like you were accusing me of something and frankly that’s not possible.” Said Mia.
Ahead of the group, Emni lead them down the corridor and then to the left when it branched, stopping a minute later at the first set of quarters. "Mr. Bridgeport, Mr. Durand" she said with a warm smile, waving the two officers ahead. "You'll be here." She waited for the new security chief to reach the front of the assembled group before advising the computer of the new assignment and offering her code in confirmation. The doors slid open revealing a spartan living room space with a sofa and table.
Charles stepped to the front of the group. “Thank you. I hope to see you all later at dinner. If not, stop by security and say hi.” Then he stepped toward the now open door to his new quarters.
With a deft twist of his hips and a few wiggles of his shoulders through the small crowd of new crewmembers, Xex managed to follow in Bridgeport's wake, fetching up at the front of the group. He positioned himself tight enough on the security man's heels that he was able to peer around the edge of the doorway and into the austere sitting room. "Well now," he said with appreciation, "That's not half bad. Can't wait to see what you do with the place," he said with a grin, stepping back to allow the doors to close behind Bridgeport.
Turning back to the hallway, he found the rest of the group had moved on behind the XO and he hurried to catch up, continuing to rubberneck while he strained to catch t'Nai's continued explanation of some of the vessel's handier attributes. As she approached the next door and repeated the check-in ritual for the next newbie, the remaining unhomed crewmembers fell to chatting. Even once the group again moved on, their chatter continued. Xex trailed the group still, noting the ease with which the captain chatted to even the greenest of hands who came within his conversational bubble, noting the almost palpably frosty air between the pair of yeomen, noting the calm competency with which the XO carried herself at the head of the gaggle, noting the buzz of excitement betwixt those of them newly arrived. It all felt so Starfleet normal, one could almost be forgiven for forgetting they were at the very bleeding edge of the frontier.
The group continued along the gentle curve of the hallway and the buzz of smalltalk, the regular rise and fall of all the normal first-day-on-board jokes and observations, the almost giddy energy of the oncoming crew felt like coming home to Xex. There was never quite any day like your first day aboard.
=/\= A Joint Post By =/\=
Captain Bjorn Kodak
Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai
Lieutenant Charles Bridgeport
Chief of Security
Chief Medical officer
Lieutenant Arianna Durand
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant Junior Grade Gwenwyn Marwol
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Brand
Petty Officer 3rd Class Mia