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Getting My Feet Wet [SFA]

Posted on Tue Aug 20th, 2019 @ 11:03am by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Cadet Freshman Grade Gazo Daw
Edited on on Wed Aug 21st, 2019 @ 9:56am

Mission: Academy Days
Location: Ft. Ord, Department of Initial Officer Training HQ
Timeline: 13 March, 2395 - 1300 Hours


Daw stood at the doorway to his family's home on Bajor. Over his shoulder, he had his personal bag, handmade by his Uncle Garel and delivered just the day before at the huge going away party his family had thrown for him. His mother and father stood side by side just inside the doorway, holding hands and smiling at him. Daw felt something tugging inside his chest and adjusted the bag on his shoulder.

"Make sure that you let us know when you arrive on Earth," his mother said. Daw nodded. His father stepped forward, unexpectedly and pulled him close. He smelled of kerith berries and mint, from working in their garden. He'd been gardening a lot over the past couple of weeks.

"Walk with the prophets, Gazo Daw," his father said in a soft voice. Daw could feel his breath on his neck. "We are going to miss you."

They were simple words but Daw felt his throat close up as he tried to reply. He simply hugged his father tightly and then stepped back. His mother's eyes were shining but she still smiled. His father returned to her side.

"I will see you soon," Daw finally managed to say and then he turned and walked quickly down the path that would take him to his waiting future. His parents never saw the tears on his cheeks.

Even though he'd been accepted in the academy, technically Daw was still a civilian until he passed through the initial officer training program and as such, he didn't warrant space on any active duty Federation ships. Instead, he took the civilian transport from Bajor to DS9, something he'd done a thousand times in his life, and wandered the promenade, making his way to the civilian ship that would take him to Earth.

Daw loved DS9. He loved the bustle of the crowd, the smells from the replimats and restaurants and he loved the sound of the Dabo wheels at Quark's. He also loved the way he could disappear into the crowd. On Bajor, his dark skin was unusual and he'd suffered more than his fair share of abuse and attention because of it. It wasn't a racial thing, as he'd heard of on other planets. It was just that he looked different than most Bajorans. And he was small. His nickname was pyrak sh'yarl, which in Federation Standard translated to shadow mouse. Or just mouse. Daw was happy to be going somewhere that nobody would know that.

The civilian liner turned out to be old but serviceable. The captain and crew were efficient movers of bodies and they did it with little flair. Daw found himself assigned to a small cabin on deck fifteen, whose best feature was that it was at the end of a dead-end passageway, which made it very quiet. He used the ten-day trip to Earth to read up on some new technical manuals that specialized in propulsion fields, his favorite. He ate alone for almost the entire trip, except for the second to last day when an overweight Bolian had sat down and started talking to him. Daw found the entire encounter odd, and spoke as little as possible. The Bolian didn't seem to mind and spoke more than enough for both of them. The next day they arrived at Earth and a shuttle took him down to Ft. Ord.

[Ft. Ord]

Daw noticed the smell before anything. It was familiar and exotic at the same time and the mixture confused him. It also made him pause and the pilot looked back at him from the front of the shuttle.

"It's a little late for second thoughts, cadet," the pilot said and then she smiled at Daw.

He blushed, thankful that she probably couldn't tell. "Oh. No, sorry!" He said and hefting his bag, walked down the shuttle's rear ramp. A sudden breeze blew his hair back as he exited and the smell he'd noticed grew much stronger. He looked around as he followed the yellow line imprinted into the landing pad. To his right, he saw a collection of utilitarian two-story buildings, clustered around a larger, more modern-looking four-story building. Daw had no doubt that the larger building was some kind of administrative hub. He looked to his left and stopped again. A stunning expanse of ocean stretched away to the horizon, a solid swath of dark blue, highlighted by ribbons of green and topped by white where it ran up against a border made of tan beach. The smell of the ocean washed over him.

The sky was a much lighter blue, with white clouds dotting here and there. Daw thought he'd never seen anything like it. Of course, Bajor had beaches and ocean but, this was somehow more elegant.

"Hey! Cadet!" a voice called and Daw's head whipped around. He saw a Starfleet officer dressed in yellow, waving at him from the edge of the landing pad. "Get over here!"

Daw nodded and hurried over to the human man. Behind him he heard his shuttle's engines whine as it took off again. He felt silly for acting like a tourist, especially under the circumstances. "Uh, sorry. It's just really beautiful," Daw said.

"Yeah it is," the man, a lieutenant by his pips, said. He looked down at a PADD. "What's your name?"

"Gazo Daw," he said. The lieutenant looked up.

"Gazo Daw, sir," the lieutenant said. Daw looked at him, not understanding. The lieutenant sighed. "I'm an officer. I outrank you. So you say, sir, at the end of just about everything."

I am an idiot Daw thought. "Yes, sir," he said. "Sorry, sir."

The lieutenant waved a hand. "Don't overdo it, Gazo," he said, which really confused Daw. "You embarked from Bajor?"

"Yes... sir."

"I'm Lieutenant Shnell. Ok, here's what is going to happen. We gotta wait for another two shuttles to land and then I'm going to walk you over to the administrative center so we can get you settled in and you can get your physical done," Lieutnant Shnell said.

"Oh, I already had my physical, sir," Daw said.

The lieutenant looked at him and shook his head. "You didn't have one done by the DIOT though. So you're gonna have another one."

"Yes, sir," Daw said, trying to figure out what DIOT meant.

There was a whining sound and the lieutenant looked up at the sky where another shuttle was coming into land. Daw glanced at the ocean again.

"Don't worry, Daw, you're going to get plenty of opportunities to get your feet wet, trust me. You're going to hate that damn beach before long," Lieutenant Shnell said, watching the bulky looking shuttle land where Daw's had been not long before.

Daw didn't think he'd ever get tired of the beach.


Cadet Freshman Grade Gazo Daw
Starfleet Academy


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Comments (2)

By Lieutenant JG Yikete Oggt on Tue Aug 20th, 2019 @ 2:34pm

Beautiful imagery! I swear I heard a Starfleet theme song in the background when Daw stepped off the shuttle and got a look at the camp. <3 Going to be a great origin story.

I'm so looking forward to this adventure. -Liam

By Lieutenant JG Soto Gantt on Wed Aug 21st, 2019 @ 9:48am

I wanted to keep reading at the end! Shadow mouse is a great nickname and added a nice touch to the Daw, so the last scene pulled me in. I want to see how he reacts to this new life where you just know he's going to end up hating the beach. lol