Star Trek: Cygnus


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Life Begin's Anew

Posted on Tue Dec 21st, 2021 @ 5:29pm by Lieutenant JG Erica Anderson & Captain Maxwell Stafford

Mission: Episode 4: A Failure To Communicate
Location: U.S.S. Cygnus NCC-71954


The Cygnus was three days into her circumnavigation of the Cardassian Union, cruising along at Warp 7. The monotony had allowed Max to give his crew a little more downtime than they usually would and it seemed the crew was making the most of it. For his part, he'd been spending more time with Abrum. It often felt like, since taking command of the Cygnus, they'd barely had time for each other, or rather that Max didn't have time. He was determined not to allow that trend to continue.

An alarm sounding on the helm drew him out of his thoughts. "Problem, Mister Chapman?"

"We're being tailed by a Danube-class runabout. They say they have a Lieutenant Erica Anderson onboard." The young pilot reported.

Yeoman Ellwood had placed Anderson's service record in front of him a few days earlier. "Our new engineer." Max muttered. "Slow us to impulse," he ordered, "let the runabout catch us up. Once it's safely on it's way again, resume course and speed."

"Aye, sir." Chapman replied. From Max's position in the command chair, he could see that the pilot's fingers were already inputting the commands that would slow the Cygnus to sublight speeds.

The Captain stood. "Yeoman, have the Lieutenant report to my ready room when she arrives onboard. Mister Chapman, the bridge is yours." Ellwood and Chapman replied in the affirmative as Maxwell started towards his office.

As the runabout landed in the shuttlebay, Erica finished shutting down the engines, and grabbed her bag. She linked the runabout with the ship's computer, learnt which quarters she had been assigned to, and beamed her belongings there, including her bow and arrows. She then disembarked from the runabout, being greeted by an officer, asking her to report to the ready room.

"I had that on my routine," Erica said. "I've already beamed my belongings to my assigned quarters, so the runabout is now all yours," she added, before heading out.

She had memorised the specs of the Cygnus so she could walk through the ship blindfolded, or crawl if she was using the jeffries tubes. Of course, there was no need to do so, which meant she made her way quickly to the turbolift, taking each measured step, glad that she had correctly measured how many steps she would need to take.

As she entered the bridge, she took a quick look around, making a note to memorise the faces of the crew. She wondered if any of them would want to interact with her, but then, not many people did. She walked over to the entrance to the ready room, and rang the chime, counting the seconds until there was a response.

"Come!" Stafford instructed at the sound of the door chime. He hadn't looked up from the PADD he was reading nor did he went the door opened and closed with it's customary soft hiss to admit the Cygnus' newest addition. It was only when he finished the paragraph he was reading that he looked up and set the device to one side.

The Captain stood and extended a hand. "Lieutenant Anderson. Welcome aboard the Cygnus."

Erica accepted the Captain's hand and shook it. She knew it was part of social custom and convention to shake hands, although she found it odd, especially since it was originally designed to show to an enemy that one was unarmed. There were a lot of things Erica didn't understand, including why people partook of old customs. Still, she accepted it for the greeting it was meant to be.

"Thank you, Captain Stafford," Erica said, already having memorised the man's personnel record. She handed him a PaDD which she had been carrying in her other hand. "Orders from Starfleet Command, Sir, assigning me to your ship as Assistant Chief Engineer, effective immediately," she said formally.

Stafford set the PADD aside, not glancing at it for a moment. "How was your journey? Uneventful I hope?" He asked, his tone and demeanour rather less formal than the Lieutenants. Sitting back down, he motioned for the Lieutenant to take a seat opposite.

Erica took a seat, and nodded. "Yes sir, it was. I simply set the course, and didn't need to adjust it. Mostly, that was because I had set the course to avoid any spatial concerns, but I do understand that sometimes it can be difficult to anticipate any unexpected events, which is why they are considered unexpected," Erica said.

"That's true." Maxwell smiled. "If I had a strip of latinum for every time a course I set got derailed because of some unexpected event, I would be a very rich man." He leaned back in his chair. "I see from your service record that you're joining us after five years on the Ventura. How did you find your time there?"

"It was mostly eventless. I got into a routine, which I do everywhere I go, and when I set my routine, I don't feel comfortable when it's changed. Being here is a disruption of my routine, but I'm sure I'll have my new routine settled in before too long," Erica said. "I don't think I was liked on the Ventura much, but I wasn't there to make friends, just to do the duties assigned to me," Erica said. There wasn't any emotion to what she was saying, just a clear statement of facts, something she was good at.

Stafford frowned. "None of us are here to make friends, Lieutenant." He told her. "But working closely alongside people; bonds form and friendships are made. That's just how it goes." Max added a shrug. "You may not have made many friends on the Ventura but that doesn't mean people didn't like you, or that you won't make friends here on the Cygnus."

Erica nodded. "Yes sir," she said simply. She knew it didn't matter to her, of course. Friendship was something she didn't fully understand. She wasn't ashamed of not having friends before, but she was curious. "I've already studied the specifications of the Cygnus, sir, and I am ready to get to work. I was wondering if there was anything about me you wanted to know."

"No, I think we're done for now." Stafford replied. "You'll be reporting to Lieutenant Cohen, our acting Chief Engineer for now." He stood and rounded his desk, walking the Lieutenant to the door. "And I'm sure my husband will be poking around and making his presence known."

"Of course, Captain," Erica said, nodding. "Thank you, sir."

Stafford gave her a sharp nod combined with a half smile, silently dismissing her.

Erica left the room, taking note of the bridge. The design was exactly as she had pictured, and her impression of the Captain was a good one. He clearly cared for his crew, something that wasn't always the case with Captain's. Her last Captain had been glad to be rid of her, mostly because if there was a problem, she would complain, no matter who she bothered. When the CEO had ignored her, she had gone over his head. For Erica, the only thing that had mattered was keeping the ship and crew alive.

Here, life would begin anew.


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