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Posted on Fri May 21st, 2021 @ 7:13pm by Captain Osegan Trenna & Lieutenant Commander Arthur Talbot

Mission: Beacon
Location: Captain's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 0625

"Want to go another round?"

A smile flashed onto Trenna's sweat-covered face. After a night of struggling to sleep, she'd given up trying around 0430. She tried to get some work done, but her mind wasn't willing to focus on it so she decided to head to the gym. The facility was empty, which she always appreciated. She started with a three mile run before hitting the weights. In the middle of her last superset, the doors opened and someone interrupted her solitude. When she looked up, Petty Officer Albertini gave her a nod before pointing to the sparring mat.

Now, twenty minutes later, they were both sweaty, tired, and sore.

"I'd love to Al," Trenna said to the Legal Specialist. "But I have an appointment at 0630."

Albertini laughed and pointed one of his gloved hands at the chrono on the wall. "You should get moving then."

Her eyes followed her sparring partner's hand. "Shit! Sorry Al. We need to do this again. You're tougher than you look."

"In deference of your rank, I'll refrain from responding," the burly man said with a smile. He then headed to the locker room.

"Osegan to Talbot. Change of plans. We'll meet in my quarters."


Artie had just stepped out onto the bridge, a tall mug of coffee in his hand. He'd been up late reviewing several reports and writing a few of his own, not to mention performing some of his own research on the Quimalia system to ensure he was familiar with it.

He paused though, the moment he heard the Captain's voice. The overnight bridge crew turned to look at him, many of them giving perplexed expressions. "As you were!" he fired right back at them. Obviously, there was nothing going on between the Captain and First Officer, and Artie wasn't about to give any rumor a chance to start.

Not that he could stop this one should it start.

He tapped his badge. "On my way, Captain." As soon as the channel closed, he backed into the turbolift and disappeared.


A minute later, the turbolift doors opened, and Artie began the short trek to the Captain's cabin. Upon arrival, he tapped the door chime and waited permission to enter.

"Sorry," Trenna called out, sprinting around the corner. She slowed as she approached Talbot. "Lost track of time. In the gym," she added, trying to explain why she was wearing a sports top and capri length leggings.

She stepped close enough for he door that it recognized her and slid open. "Come in. Don't mind the mess."

If there was ever a person aboard the ship that didn't need to explain their attire, it was the Captain. Artie wasn't bothered by the Captain's appearance, though he was momentarily taken aback. In fact, he struggled to remember whether or not he ever saw the Captain out of uniform before.

"No need to apologize," Artie said, following her into her quarters and tried not to look at the lack of cleanliness. "Do you usually hit the gym this early in the morning?"

"I get to the gym as much as I can," she answered, crossing to the replicator. "Not always this early. Couldn't sleep. Want anything?"

"I'm good," Artie said, indicating the mug of coffee he still sported in his hand. "Though I suppose a blueberry scone would pair well with this blend."

She nodded before turning to the replicator. "Blueberry scone, warm ham and cheese croissant, and unsweetened passion fruit iced tea." The items shimmered into existence, complete with a serving tray. Trenna took the tray and placed it on the coffee table.

"Have a seat," she said. "You've got some plans to discuss."

She took a bite of the croissant and washed it down with a gulp of the iced tea.

Artie sat down on the couch and set his mug of coffee on the table. He cleared his throat and tapped a control stud on his padd to activate it. "Our information about the Quimalia system is limited. There are at least six planets, and more than a half dozen satellites among them. Quimalia VI, an oceanic planet, has six moons of its own. I can't imagine the rough tides that planet would face on a daily basis..."

While Artie began talking about the readiness plans, Trenna took off her headband and peeled off her crop top. She started towards the bedroom as she began removing her sports bra. "I'm listening," she said, interrupting Talbot.

Artie had glanced upward, sensing movement in his eyeline. He stammered the moment he saw the Captain's bare backside. Artie had known the Captain well enough to know she was bold when she wanted to be, but what he didn't know if her deciding undress in his presence was a matter of comfort and familiarity with Artie, or if she was really that much under a time constraint.

Still, he cleared his throat and tried to continue. "The different, uh, planets and satellites have, um, well, there's a lot of gravitational eddies and oddities in the system. The probes we launch will certainly give us a lot of advanced data about the system before we arrive, but I definitely suggest we penetrate... I mean... approach... from an unexpected angle, and that's from, well, below."

"Did you need a minute to gather your thoughts, Artie?" she asked, returning to the main living space, bare above the waist save for a small, rolled up towel slung over her shoulder.

Clearly, Trenna -- Captain Osegan -- was unaffected or unbothered with Artie's presence in the room. Artie could tell she was certainly more than Mistress and Commander of the Altai, she was in full control of her domain. "I, uh, no, Captain. This is, uh..." Artie cleared his throat.

Pull yourself together, man! This was not the first time Artie had seen the female form, but it was definitely different when the bare form had the power to send you to the other side of the galaxy without reason.

"I'll be right back," she said with a laugh.

She disappeared back into her bedroom and pulled on a tank top.

"Where were we?" Trenna asked, re-entering the main room. She picked up her croissant and took another bite. "At least six planets. An ocean planet with multiple satellites. Probes penetrating. Go on."

Artie silently chided himself for not being more mature in front of his Captain. They were adults, after all. Why did he allow himself to behave that way? Still, he took a sip of his coffee and continued. "I think we need to approach the system from below," he stated, calling up a map of the system and flipping his padd so the Captain could see.

"Not only will it give our sensors the most accurate look of the system, it should also reveal anything that might be hiding behind a moon's gravitational field." He nibbled on his scone before adding, "The only disadvantage would be that there wouldn't be much for us to hide behind as we enter, but we can also quickly adjust our course to intercept anything that might be lurking."

Trenna, now sitting in a chair across the coffee table from Talbot, nodded. "Sounds good. We'll have to see what our new science officer, Hessen, and Martinsen have worked out," she said before enjoying another swallow of her iced tea. "What about other ship preparations? We're going into a situation with very little information. We need to be able to handle whatever we find. And to respond quickly. The dust up with the Glurone is a reminder that we need to be ready for anything."

"It'd be nice if we had a stronger tactical team," Artie admitted, "Thankfully Petty Officer M'Kae is well trained. Our torpedo bays will be able to have full spreads loaded within four seconds, and all phaser banks are prepared to receive one-oh-five percent full charge immediately. I'd almost recommend going in with the phasers hot just in case, but if we're being watched, then that might be a flag to the watchers. In any case, our shields should be up the whole time, with the ship on yellow alert."

"Have you had tactical training that you've been hiding from me?" she teased. "We don't want to set anyone, or thing, off by showing up with weapons blazing. I can check in with M'Kae and offer some assistance. I spent part of my time in the Militia as a tactics officer. Might as well put some of that to work again. Use it or lose it, right?"

"Something like that," Artie said, finding himself a little more comfortable in the room. He lifted his coffee and took another sip of it. "If there is something hiding in the system, I bet it'll be near the sixth planet. The six different moons would cause several different gravitational distortions, and I'm betting they'll tax our sensors extensively."

She nodded slowly while picking up her iced tea. "Let Hessen know to keep an eye on that when we arrive. Arrange for an extra tech assigned to the sensor room when we arrive and throughout the mission."

"Anything else?" she asked before popping the last of the croissant into her mouth.

"Consider it all done," Artie stated. "As for anything else, considering we won't know what we're jumping into, we should make sure that all critical areas of the ship are secure, and everyone armed. If the worst happens, and we find ourselves in a conflict, or stricken with some strange phenomena, we should be prepared for all possibilities."

"I'm confident Chief Nuñez will have things well in hand. She's very good." Trenna finished off her iced tea. "Have you had a chance to sit down with Lieutenant Chromis? I'm going to stop by his lab later today; a little 'welcome to the ship', you know?"

Artie continued to work away at his scone. By now, there was very little left. "I haven't had a chance to drop by the science lab yet," he admitted. "Not that I'm trying to avoid him. I know the team was hard at work yesterday on preparing their probes and such. I planned to drop in on him later today though."

"Sounds like you've got things ironed out," she replied. "You're a good Exec, Artie. I mean it. I can depend on you. And it's been very helpful, especially since I'm new to being in command."

"You mean especially since we're both new in command together," Artie said with a smile. "I haven't had many captains in my own career, especially since I've worked for R&D for a while. But you're definitely the best I've served under."

She returned his smile. "Anything else?"

Artie shook his head as he finished his scone. "I can't think of anything, Captain."

"Thanks for being willing to meet early. Not everyone would be."

He picked up his mug to finish the last of his coffee. "It's no trouble at all, Captain. You know I'm here for you, and it's not because the job encourages it."

Her glass was empty. "Refill?" she asked as she stood up. She started to reach for his mug, but quickly pulled back. Her top was loose enough that Talbot would likely get another eyeful and, based on his reaction previously, that would likely make him uncomfortable. Or embarrassed, maybe...she wasn't sure.

"Artie," she said, sitting back down, "I'm sorry about earlier. I didn't mean to....make things awkward. I'm not bashful, obviously. I sometimes forget that isn't the case for everyone."

Artie considered for a second how best to respond. "Captain, I... uh... I wasn't embarrassed. I was just... surprised. For a long time, I've obsessed about my work, especially when I was just an engineer. Most of my interactions have been of a professional nature, with a rare tryst here and there. I'm glad you feel comfortable enough around me to be yourself. These quarters are your domain. You shouldn't let what happened today stop you in the future."

Assisted by her concern that she'd embarrassed him, Trenna was able to resist the impulse to point out that Talbot's statement could be seen as him expressing interest in seeing more. "I appreciate your understanding. I'd say that this was an unusual situation because I was just coming from the gym, but the gym is part of my daily routine."

She bent over and reached for his mug. "So, refill?"

"Yes, please," he said, picking up the mug and handing it to her. "I imagine our routines will all be challenged further over the next couple of days as we near the system. We've got a good crew, but I'd bet tensions will be on the rise."

"That may be," she said, returning with full drinks. "But it'll take a lot to keep me from the gym." Setting Talbot's mug down in front of him, she dropped down into her chair. "What's on your agenda today? After I shower, I'm going to head to the Bridge to check in on things."

"Aside from officially meeting our new Science Officer?" Artie asked, picking up the coffee mug and savoring its aroma. "A quick warp core and power systems inspection and a nice pile of paddwork."

"Maybe we'll actually get a new Chief Engineer at some point," she mused. "Would free you up a little. Did that case of T89s actually make its way onboard? Or did the Admiral's yeoman 'forget?'"

"Getting a new Chief Engineer would be helpful." He leaned back on the couch and sipped his coffee. "But I don't mind snooping around the engine room. And, yes, we actually did get a case of T89s. One already made it to my personal toolkit, and the other two dozen are already being put to use around the ship. It's a good thing the Admiral found us a Chief Science Officer. Given what we're walking into, that was probably our biggest need."

She nodded in agreement. "Hopefully we don't find ourselves wishing for a Chief Tactical Officer." There was always a concern about encountering hostiles, especially on the fringes of Federation space. And that meant much of the Gamma Quadrant still. The Altai had run into the Glurone, a species unknown to the Federation at that time, but one that had no problem being belligerent.

Artie would be the first to admit that their missions had been challenging in all areas, especially when it came to matters of security and tactical. But he had hope that the quadrant wasn't out to kill them. At least not all the time. "I'll drink to that." And drink his coffee he did.


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