Star Trek: Defiant

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Straight On Til Morning

Posted on Wed Jan 27th, 2021 @ 3:48am by Lieutenant Dante Bishop & Captain Veronica Reynolds & Commander Niamh O'Donoghue
Edited on on Tue Feb 2nd, 2021 @ 4:08am

Mission: Episode 0: A Storm Is Brewing
Location: Starfleet HQ, New Vulcan
Timeline: MD 01 - Late Afternoon

Dante had grown up in Texas, so he was absolutely no stranger to heat. Muggy, oppressive summers were a thing he knew all too well. But something about the heat on New Vulcan was just wrong. It didn't give you that sticky feeling like back home, instead if made you feel like you were being blasted in some sort of massive furnace. Every bit of your body's moisture being sucked out of you, desiccating you into some sort of living version of beef jerky. Even then, however, it was an absolutely breathtaking world to visit, and he could see why the Vulcan's had chosen it to resettle when Vulcan was destroyed.

As he looked out over the vast desert vista before him he smiled. He'd arrived on New Vulcan almost a month ago, and was on leave until a new assignment materialized. With nothing better to do, and nowhere in particular to go, he had taken up residence in a small bungalow provided for less junior officers on the small Starfleet campus and had been helping out with random stuff since then. He'd gotten up every morning, well before the sun was actually above the horizon, and gone for his daily run, arriving back at the small outcrop he stood on now, just after sunrise, already bathed in sweat from the arid heat, and the exertion of running in high gravity.

With a last look at the stunning view he turned, the sunlight glistening on his skin and headed back towards the campus, grabbing the small flask of cool water he'd stashed before he'd set out and taking a swig as he walked. It was less than an hour to go before he was schedule to fly one of the last supply shuttles up to the Defiant, which had arrived in orbit just the day before. Suddenly he felt his wrist communicator buzz. It was a civilian model he'd picked up for when he was on leave, but he'd given the code to the proper people back at the campus just in case.

'Bishop," he said, a hint of a question in his voice.

"Lieutenant Bishop, your presence is required at the hangar bay." the crisp, authoritative voice of the Vulcan communications officer he'd met a few times said.

"Understood, I will be there shortly," Dante replied, and then realized he was going to be approaching the hangar bay before he made it to the bungalow and wasn't going to be properly dressed in any way for something official. With a sigh, and a shrug he let go of the anxiety, knowing there was nothing he could do about it, and began to walk again.

It took him almost fifteen minutes to make the trek to the hangar bay, and he waited until he was almost in sight of it to pull on the loose fitting tank top he'd carried with him. He was most definitely not in uniform, the running shorts, and the tank top were about as out of uniform as he could get while still dressed, but at least he was covered and wouldn't offend anyone. As he stepped into the blessed shade of the hangar bay he took a deep breath, and wiped the sweat off his brow with his hand, looking around to see what could have been necessary to make him come here so quickly.

He saw two human females, one blonde, one brunette, standing over by the supply shuttles, and otherwise just the regular crew he'd gotten to know over the past few days. He snagged a passing Vulcan engineer. "I'm sorry to bother you, Ensign, but I was asked to come here. Lieutenant Bishop," he said.

"Ah, yes, Lieutenant, I believe it was to meet with her," the young man replied, pointing to the blonde woman.

"Thank you," Dante replied, and then began to walk towards her. As he approached he put on his most winning smile, and spoke, "I'm Lieutenant Dante Bishop, how can I help you?" he asked.

The blonde woman in casual wear turned to face him as he approached. "Lieutenant Bishop, pleasure to meet you. I'm Veronica Reynolds and this is my friend Niamh O'Donoghue." She gestured to the woman standing next to her. "I understand you're something of a pilot?"

Dante nodded to the other woman and then turned his attention back to the blonde, "Yes, ma'am, I am. Two ship's under my belt as helmsman, plus a lot more if you count the simulators. Fully rated from worker bees up to flagship size vessels."

The blonde nodded. "Excellent. Well, we have a bit of a piloting gig we could use some help with. Out of curiosity, what's the largest class you've flown?"

"Kelvin-type, for my training cruise. She was a bit of a handful, but she was a hell of a lot of fun to fly." Dante replied with a large grin. "What kind of piloting gig do you need help with?" he then asked, looking from one woman to the other, his curiosity definitely snagged.

A bit of a smile spread across Veronica's face. Kelvin-type vessels were about the only ones large enough to hold a candle to her ship in size. She tilted her head slightly toward her companion. "Niamh, you think Kelvin experience meets our needs?"

Niamh surveyed her fingernails for a moment before locking eyes with Dante for a moment, her gaze scrutinous. "Could be," she mumbled, "Biggest ship you've flown in atmosphere?" she asked curiously before finally looking away and towards Veronica, offering her the tiniest whisper of a smirk in the corner of her mouth.

"Honestly, a shuttlecraft." Dante replied with a shrug. There was absolutely no reason to try to hype himself up. Either they wanted him, or they didn't. "I've only served on the two classes I mentioned, one for a five year tour, and we never had reason to take her down into atmo. But I've rated all the way up to a Mayflower-type for atmospheric flight in simulations. I've even taken some refreshers while I've been here on New Vulcan waiting for new orders."

"Uh uh", Niamh muttered with a quick glance Dante's way before returning her gaze towards Charlotte. It was taking all she could to not crack up, she'd not expected this kind of fun. "He'll have to do", she took a dramatic pause, "you should show him".

"Yes, I suppose I should," Veronica replied with a slightly over-performed sigh. Her wrist flicked out of her loose jacket, with a Starfleet communicator in hand. "Energize."

In an instant, the whirring spiral of light surrounded the three of them, signifying the initiation of a transporter beam. Reynolds though she heard a slight chuckle from the transporter officer before their corporeal forms dematerialized. A moment later, they reintegrated on the brightly lit transporter pad aboard her vessel in orbit. For her, this was standard fair. However, she cast an amused glance toward their companion, wondering whether he'd briefly assume he was being kidnapped.

Dante had jerked slightly at the abrupt change of pace as the transporter beam swept him up, and when he rematerialized he had a surprised look on his face, and was in a bit of a half-crouch, with his hands out towards the captain. When he realized she was almost laughing he pursed his lips and stood back to his full height. "Why do I get the feeling this is going to be a very interesting job you've got lined up?" he asked, with a blend of amusement and annoyance clearly evident in his voice.

Veronica smirked. "You'll have to forgive me for my antics. I don't get too many opportunities for this kind of fun. I just like to get a feel for my officers without the trappings of command sometimes." Pulling herself into a more formal stance, she decided to start fresh. "So allow me to start over. Mr. Bishop, I'm Captain Veronica Reynolds, Commander of the Constitution-class USS Defiant. My First Officer, Commander O'Donoghue, and I would love to have you as our Chief Helmsman...provided you're still interested."

Dante was about to make a flippant remark about how she'd basically abducted him, but then the enormity of what she'd said dawned on him. "You want me to be your chief helmsman on the most advanced ship in the fleet?" he asked, a bit dumbfounded, his eyes moving from first one woman, then to the other, and back again as he struggled to process the enormity of this.

"Something like that," the Captain replied with an amused smile. "Your record speaks for itself. And where we're going, I want the ship in good hands. If you think you're up to the challenge, we have a conn terminal with your name on it."

A broad smile blossomed across Dante's face. He had had absolutely no idea what to expect when he'd been called to the hangar, but even if he had he wouldn't have come up with anything like this. "When do I start, Captain?" he asked, holding his hand out for a shake to seal the deal.

"We ship out in a week. Your quarters can be ready by evening. I assume you'll need to pack up some belongings?" Reynolds handed him the communicator in her hand. "We can send you back down to gather your stuff. You can call up when you're ready."

She turned to her First Officer. "Anything I'm forgetting?"

"Yes", Niamh said, looking much more relaxed, "welcome to the crew, Lieutenant. I look forward to working with you" she told Dante before her smile morphed into something more playful, "don't scratch our ship" she ordered. She was of course joking but her eyes made it clear she meant it.

Dante chuckled, "I will do my very best, Commander."


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