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A New Normal [PLOT]

Posted on Sat Jun 1st, 2019 @ 11:07pm by Commander Yumi Han & Lieutenant Jackson Smith & Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Cadet Junior Grade Jacob Lenert & Petty Officer 1st Class Kipp Lak
Edited on on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 @ 10:47am

Mission: Mission 5: Arising From the Ashes
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: 10 February, 2395 - 1800 Hours


Malcom sat in his ready room, facing the new, larger, bank of windows, watching the expanse of space flow by in a colorful current. After leaving the Antares Shipyards, they'd docked briefly at Empk Nor and then spent the last few days crisscrossing the Bajor sector, working out the kinks from all the new systems. He'd been impressed with both how few problems had come up and also how the engineering team had performed. Chief Harlan appeared to be settling into his role as the head of engineering, with the occasional minor hiccup. They'd had a short conversation about how the jeffries tubes weren't a top priority. Malcom wasn't sure he'd won that argument.

His door chimed and Malcom looked over to the door. "Come in," he said. Kipp's familiar form appeared, holding a PADD in one hand.

"Kipp, please tell me that isn't a forgotten requisition form. I think I'll go blind if I have to look at another one of those," Malcom said.

Kipp shook his head. "No, sir. I have an emergency communique from Joint Operation Science Station Tevok 2," Kipp said, holding out the PADD. Malcom sat up and took the datapad. He opened it and scrolled through the contents, finally clicking on the audio file attached.

"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This is the Joint Operation Science Station Tevok 2 declaring an emergency. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday."

Malcom looked up. "Is that it?"

"I'm afraid so, sir. Apparently Tevok 2 is a highly volatile star system. We are able to pick up the same signal but as of yet Lieutenant Rees hasn't been able to raise them," Kipp said.

"Please have Commander Han join me," Malcom said. He knew his XO was off shift but this was a priority. He got up and followed his yeoman to the doorway to the bridge. He saw Jackson sitting in the command chair. He'd been letting some of the junior officers handle the ship during their shakedown.

"Lieutenant Smith, please set course for Tevok 2 in Cardassian space. Make all due speed. Shake out the cobwebs, Jackson," Malcom said and let the door close.

Jackson was casually sitting in the command chair. It had been a pretty quiet shift and while there wasn't a lot to do, he did enjoy the command position. He turned at the sound of the door opening and straightened just a bit. As he saw it was his captain, he stood up and straightened up even more as the orders came. "Aye aye, Captain." He turned to face the crew on the bridge. For a brief moment, Jackson almost lept to the pilot's chair, itching to fly the ship. He shook his head slightly, "You heard him, ensign. Set coordinates for Tevok 2, full speed ahead." He turned to Ops, "make sure all systems are good to go and tactical let's run a check on our shields and weapons. It's go time, people, let's be prepared."

Yumi ran her fingers through her hair and flashed Kipp a smile when their eyes met across the bridge. She hopped out of the lift and passed behind Jackson, resisting the urge to pat him proudly on the shoulder, as he guided the crew through an all systems check. A white arc on the main screen showed their warp trajectory through the stars of the Cardassian Sector. The Firebird was a silver arrow gliding to bullseye a distant star. ETA six hours.

"Petty Officer Lak," she greeted Kipp at the Captain's Ready Room door. "There's no shakedown like a real distress call, is there?"

Kipp inclined his head at the XO as she passed. "Indeed not, commander," he said.

Malcom was sitting at his desk when Yumi breezed in. In the short time since he'd sent for her, he'd pulled up the scant details that the computer had on Tevok 2. "XO I hope you got your office sorted out because I don't think we're going to have much time to spare," he said and slid a PADD across his desk. "Have a seat and look at this. I had no idea where Tevok 2 was before Kipp pulled this together. Even with his efforts, there's not much there. No habitable planets, no exotic resource. Not the kind of place that you'd expect there to be a joint science station. But look at what they're studying," he said and waited for her to read the summary of work from Starfleet.

Yumi took that PADD and sat down, her brow knotting at the technobabble. She scowled at it and reread the part about a sailboat caught in a space-time storm several times. "The String Theory strings are out of tune there, or...tuned to a different chord. Most of the galaxy is C-major, but this spot is A-minor." She huffed, feeling dense and wanting to blame the scientists for not explaining their work in a comprehensible way. They had tried. But there were just some things Yumi knew she would never wrap her head around. Quantum physics was at the top of that list. "Has Lieutenant Desai seen this?"

"I forwarded a copy of it to her after I read it. I'm hoping that she and Lieutenant Na can write up something for me that helps me actually understand what is going on rather than read like a grant proposal. But the bottom line is that the star is going to go supernova sometime soon. We've got to get there and evacuate the space station staff. It isn't a huge staff, only about ten people, but they do have important equipment that will need to be evacuated as well. We are going to have to find someplace to put everything," Malcom said. "But at least nobody is going to be shooting at us."

She grinned. "Why bring phasers to an exploding star fight?" People and equipment, the XO could handle. They usually made more sense than quarks. Usually. The Firebird didn't have room for a deck's worth of science equipment, but old Earth space stations had sported inflatable rooms, which gave her an idea. "I'll talk to Chief Harlan about a temporary cargo bay expansion. After he calmly describes what a terrible idea it is, I'm sure his team can use the industrial replicators to build a hard shell that'll hold that equipment through the warp back to Empok Nor.

"Were you thinking, just transport the staff over, shuttle their equipment out, and high tail it out before the dynamite blows?" She blushed at the faint Tennessee drawl that crept into her voice. Too much time in the backwoods of Planet ZP0442 had stirred up the Smokey Mountain child within her.

Malcom tried not to laugh at Yumi' words. It was so great to have his XO back again. He'd missed her humor and intelligence over the long refit time. He'd certainly rather have had her on the Iowa than Commander K'rill. "I think that is the essence of the plan. I think we better give Lieutenant Desai and the science team a little time to understand why a star that was stable enough to warrant a valuable space station is suddenly going supernova. Feels like we are missing part of the story," Malcom said. "But everyone's safety is our top priority. Why don't you head down to engineering and give Harlan the good news and I'll talk with Desai. Both groups can put our transit time to good use."

The Firebird dropped out of warp exactly five hours, twenty-one minutes after receiving the distress signal. Tevok two appeared to be a desolate system, dominated by two large gas giant planets and three smaller ice planets on the outskirts. A tumbled of asteroids gave way to a wide expanse of space near the star. Malcom knew that the space station was in that clear zone. He turned to the tactical station, where Cadet Lenert stood. He was glad that Rhiana was giving the cadet some bridge time already.

"Cadet, scan the system for hostiles if you would," Malcom said. He locked eyes with Yumi. It was unlikely that this was an elaborate scheme to lure them in again but he wasn't about to fall for the same trick twice.

Jacob hesitated for a second. I’m on the bridge! He wasn’t sure how much of his feeling was excitement or panic. His fingers danced across the station almost unbidden. He knew the commands, and his eyes followed the scans.

“No hostile contacts sir. There is a Ferengi vessel in system, but they are docked at the station.”

He breathed a heavy sigh through his nose. And took an equally deep breath to steady himself. The adrenaline would calm in a moment, and he hoped it wouldn’t affect him too much.

For a moment Malcom thought the cadet was joking with him but a second glance at the young man's face showed no signs of humor. Indeed, Malcom thought he looked a little green around the edges.

"Thank you, cadet," Malcom said. "Open a channel to the space station, please."

A second later viewscreen came to life, revealing a tall, broad-shouldered human, sitting in an expansive control room.

"This is Captain Malcom Llwyedd of the USS Firebird. We are responding to your emergency distress signal. Can you tell me the current condition of your station and personnel ?"

The man nodded. The image on the viewscreen wavered for a moment and then snapped back into clarity. "Yes, captain. I am Doctor Carl Maddox, head of station here at Tevok 2. Currently, our situation is... stable but we have a number of critical situations that we could use your help with."

"I wonder if that Ferengi ship is one of them? I don't remember seeing them in your report," Malcom said.

Dr. Maddox frowned. "Sometimes bad luck follows bad luck, captain. The Ferengi showed up about an hour after we sent our signal to Starfleet. They suffered some kind of engineering failure and dropped out of warp. We used our runabout to tow them to the station but since they've arrived, their captain, a Ferengi named Poc, hasn't stopped harassing me. I tried to tell him about the impending supernova but he doesn't seem to care. He just keeps insisting we fix his engines," Dr. Maddox said and then ran a hand through his hair. "And as if that wasn't enough... two hours ago one of our scientists, Sishis Ela, was found dead."

A look of near panic flashed across the scientist's face. "Captain, I'm a scientist. I'm not an engineer or a security officer. We really could use some help."

A thousand questions were roiling through Malcom's head but he knew asking them now would only make things worse. He needed Dr. Maddox to hold things together.

"Dr. Maddox, we'll be arriving in approximately twenty minutes. I'll have teams from my departments prepared to debark immediately. The Firebird will get everyone through this," Malcom said.

"Thank you, Captain Llwyedd. We'll see you soon. Tevok 2 out."

The screen went blank.

Malcom saw that Jackson was already plotting their flight path so he didn't bother giving the order. He turned to his XO. "I guess our mission just got a lot more complicated."


Captain Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Commander Yumi Han
Executive Officer/Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Junior Grade Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer/Covert Operations Specialist
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Cadet Junior Grade Jacob Lenert
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Petty Officer First Class Kipp Lak
USS Firebird NCC-88298


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Comments (3)

By Lieutenant JG Yikete Oggt on Tue Jun 4th, 2019 @ 10:15am

Nice post. It bundles everything together to lay out the mission in easy to grasp terms. Everyone's done a really nice job keeping the story tight and relevant, which makes it such a nice, fun read. It's hero time now! Go team!

By Lieutenant Cynfor Rees on Mon Jul 8th, 2019 @ 11:19pm

I like that this post holds true to something that we saw on the televised Star Trek. The concept of the teaser. This strikes me as something that sets the stage and grabs someone into the story. I love it and I am looking forward to seeing this plot play out.

By Poc on Sat Aug 24th, 2019 @ 3:06pm

I like this post because even if the different plots are already presented, it's written in a way that I really want to know how a Ferengi starship, a dying star and a murder are connected, and how everything will eventually be solved.

"The String Theory strings are out of tune there, or...tuned to a different chord. Most of the galaxy is C-major, but this spot is A-minor."", I like this image :)