Cruising Towards a New Home
Mission 3: Old Enemies Never Die
Location: USS Flying Spirit
Timeline: MD -03 - 1245 Hours
Her grandmother had told her that the Humans called it fidgeting. That thing that her hands did when she knew that certain things could be operating more efficiently. Fidgeting seemed an appropriately chaotic word for it.
At one time, it had been an innate curiosity about how things operated that had led her hands into mischief. The last straw in that string of events had been the day that her mother had found her in their quarters, sitting on the floor, surrounded by the inner workings of the replicator. She had put it back together in perfect working order, so she had been unclear as to what she had done that was so inappropriate. Of course, she had been eight years old at the time.
T’Lyra had been given something to do with her hands when she encountered such moments. Knitting. And that was exactly what the Vulcan engineer was doing. Sitting in the small quarters that she had been temporarily assigned to, keeping her hands occupied, a nearly meditative count to the stitches. All so that she did not find herself in the bowels of the USS Flying Spirit, a Saber Class starship that was hurtling through space towards the ship that would become her new home, trying to figure out exactly what that strange, whining noise was.
As she briefly wondered if she was the only one that was hearing that noise, her PaDD chirped an alarm. The petite, light-eyed Vulcan woman glanced over at the device, a dark, slender brow arching slightly. It was time for dinner.
The Orion’s new Chief of Operations neatly stowed the colorful work-in-progress, a sweater that she had found a unique pattern for during her travels, then saw to her appearance. Another lesson that she had learned from the venerable matron of her family was that, regardless of what some might have believed, appearance was often rather important during social interactions.
As T’Lyra was not on duty, she saw no logical reason to don her uniform, instead opting for a light set of robes that matched the somewhat eerie color of her eyes. There was also no reason to pull her long, thick hair up, so she left the neatly-combed, nearly waist-length, black tresses to fall naturally. With that task accomplished, the Vulcan lieutenant made her way to the light cruiser’s lounge.
[Lounge - Deck 5]
Cordelia sat with her back to the door. She had the entire table to herself and was dropping a single cracker at a time into a bowl of tomato soup. It wasn't real tomato. Nothing that came out of the replicator in her opinion could be considered real, not compared to the farm she'd grown up on where she watched each vegetable as it was fertilized and grew bigger on its particular plant or vine. She sighed heavily and dropped another cracker, scooping it up with the spoon and delivering it smoothly to her mouth.
She was totally unaware that anyone had come through the door behind her despite the sounds. There was something hypnotic about the actions she was repeating and her brain was completely focused on that and her thoughts on a much-missed garden.
Lieutenant Tomm finished his shift in engineering and cheerfully entered the lounge on deck five, gazing around the room at the people currently eating. With the Flying Spirit on shuttling duty rotation the last few weeks, it seemed as if there were fewer people in the lounge actually assigned to the ship than not. He didn't mind in the slightest though, as it gave him an opportunity to chat with many different people from all over the Federation. And being the only Bolian aboard gave him a leg up, or so he told himself.
He went over to the replicator and ordered a large bowl of Bolian soup. His usual favorite was Bolian Soup #2, as the replicator described it. Today, however, he was feeling a little adventurous so he switched it up to Bolian Soup #5. He took the materialized tray and turned around to spot his good friend sitting all alone. He made his way around some people in line for the replicator, smiling and greeting people as he went before sitting down opposite Cordelia.
His blue eyes gazed at her with a wide grin, ignoring her apparent melancholy. "Isn't it wonderful to see so many visitors aboard? It sure breaks up the monotony. Have you met anyone interesting today?" He picked up a spoon and dipped it into the bright green liquid contained in his bowl, stirring it slowly.
"Huh?" she said, finally looking up at him. "Oh, I suppose so. And no, not really. People have come and gone. I wasn't introduced to any of them. Why? Did you?" Generally curious now she straightened up a bit. Her dark eyes studied him carefully as if he were going to reveal a big secret.
Tomm opened his mouth as he raised an index finger and his eyes brightened, giving the look as if he were about to say something spectacular. However, he slowly lowered the finger and shook his head. "Well... not exactly anything revealing. I was hoping to have more time to greet some of the passengers but this trip wasn't as long as the others. We'll be arriving at our rendezvous before too long. Have you met anyone particularly interesting?"
"No, but you know me. I don't venture out. Between the two of us I'm not the one they call sociable," she gave him a small smile. "You could always introduce me to someone. I mean if you wanted to." She half glanced at him to see what he thought of the idea.
The doors to the lounge slid open once again, and T’Lyra stepped through the portal. After giving a brief glance to the busy galley, the petite Vulcan woman made her way to the replicators. She ordered a plate of Vulcan Jumbo Mollusks and a steaming mug of spiced tea, then turned to find a place to sit.
"What about her? She looks new. Shall we introduce ourselves to her?" By this Cordy meant should Tomm introduce them because he was the talker in most situations.
Maddie slipped into the lounge quietly behind T'Lyra, no sound, no pomp, no ceremony, just a slight blonde making a beeline for the replicator and ordering a platter of sauteed vegetables and a glass of sparkling water with a twist of lemon to take to her table, one PaDD safely stowed in her other hand containing yet more archaic tales of romance in times hundreds of years before she was even born. Clearly the only things on her mind were her book and her food. Everything else, at that time, was easily overlooked.
Tomm caught the eye of Maddie and took the instant to smile and say "Hello! Are you um, a new officer for the ship we're going to meet up with?" He looked back at Cordelia and nodded reassuringly. "I'm Tomm and this is my friend Cordelia."
Cordy got up and followed him. "Hi," she said shyly, surprised at being introduced so quickly.
Surprised by the 'welcoming party' Maddie paused, cradling the PaDD carefully, flashing a quick but hesitant smile. "Lieutenant Madeleine De Saint Castine, but call me Maddie." She bit her lip for a moment, casting a glance toward the replicator. "I'm on my way to join the Orion?"
"Us too," Cordy replied. "What department do you work in?"
"Medical," Maddie replied with a smile. "And you?"
"Tomm," Thomas yelled to the other side of the room when he noticed his friend. As he approached Tomm and the small crowd of people he was talking to he said. "what are you doing here?"
Tomm darted his head around quickly as he searched for the person that called on him. He finally found a familiar human face and blurted out, "Thomas? What the heck are you doing here?"
Cordy looked back and forth between the two of them but didn't say anything. Long lost friend connections or even acquaintances were rare to come across in space. She was far too curious to say anything and interrupt them.
"Well, it seems like they're set," Maddie said with a slight shrug. "I'm going to grab a table and eat, did you want to join me?"
Glancing at Tomm, Cordy thought he wouldn't be surfacing anytime soon. She was slightly nervous about wandering away from the only person she knew but she nodded. "Sure."
By the time Thomas reached Tomm the woman had taken a seat at a nearby table. He clapped him on the shoulder. "I'm on my way to the Orion. Got a new posting there."
T’Lyra had overheard the introductions and was about to step up and do so herself, but something made her pause. The strange whining sound that had been driving her to distraction since she boarded the ship suddenly stopped. She didn’t have much time to ponder that oddly alarming occurrence, as the ship shuddered violently and the sounds of creaking metal ripped through the space-faring structure.
The Vulcan Ops officer nearly lost her footing, the contents of her tray lost with the sudden jolt. She set the newly empty tray down on the nearest table as the lighting dimmed drastically. The red-alert klaxon began sounding, as well as the ship’s computer.
“Red alert! All hands to battle stations,” the captain's voice piped through the entire ship, even as another bone-jarring, metal-straining jolt struck the vessel. The crew began picking themselves up, moving quickly towards their stations, trying to brush the food and drink from their uniforms after being unceremoniously dumped out of their seats.
Maddie hit the deck shoulder first, letting out a small shriek of fright at the sudden change in positioning. As the lights dimmed and the klaxons started sounding, she immediately jumped to her feet, clicking seamlessly into medical mode. "Is everyone okay?" she asked, glancing around the room. She may not be crew on the ship, but she could still help.
Thomas got himself up from the floor after losing his balance in the shudders. He got himself up and after checking he was all right himself he looked around to see who needs help.
Cordy groaned, she'd hit her head on the floor when she fell but didn't think she had a concussion. "What's going on?" She asked, as if anyone was likely to know.
Maddie immediately launched into medical response mode. Glancing around, her gaze set on Thomas. "You!" she exclaimed. "Next to the door, second panel to the right, there's a medical emergency kit. Get it!"
Even before she had finished speaking she was back on her feet and at Cordy's side. "Are you okay?" she asked with determination. A preliminary physical assessment said she was fine, but one could never be too sure.
"Yeah, just a bump on the head," Cordy waved her off, everything was pretty clear now. It felt like they hit something but, of course, she couldn't confirm that and she wasn't a senior officer on this ship who would have access to such information.
Tomm was standing next to them when his gaze darted to the viewport windows and blinked several times as if what he saw were impossible. He saw a looming planet getting larger and larger by the second. He started tapping on the others. "I think we have a bigger problem!"
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Madeleine De Saint Castine, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Thomas Wolf, M.D.
Assistant Chief Medical Officer, USS Orion