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Posted on Mon Jan 17th, 2022 @ 8:38pm by Lieutenant JG Dabo Trast & Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Beacon
Location: USS Shaolin
Timeline: Mission Day 4 at 1300

His slender hand gripped his mug of tea tightly. He was anxious. Spending this much time with a senior officer was both a great opportunity and nerve racking. Especially for a Benzite.

For the last six hours, Lieutenant JG Dabo Trast had been sharing the runabout Shaolin with the former Executive Officer of the famed Black Hawk.

"So Commander," the young tactical officer started, "what have you been doing with your time since leaving the Black Hawk?"

"A few things, actually," said Terry. "I had some debriefings to attend immediately and last minute things to pack during the time in between them. It's amazing how much a person can accumulate when they're on one ship for a long while. When I finally out-processed the Black Hawk, I took some leave and visited home. Between then and now, I'd been doing some desk work for Gamma Command and their fighter wing. Sort of in limbo until Starfleet decided what to do with me."

The Benzite nodded. "I wanted to join the starfighter corps, but it turns out I'm not as good a pilot as I thought," he joked. "But security has been good to me, all things considered. My first posting was at the Palais de la Concorde on assignment with Federation Security's Executive Protection division. I mostly worked night shift in the security office, keeping an eye on the cameras and checking in on the patrols. I did get to meet a couple of Federation Councilmembers, which was something that most newly-minted Ensigns can't say. Been with Gamma Command for three years now. Bit of a security jack-of-all-trades, you know? Doing phaser quals and recerts, patrols, protection duties for visiting dignitaries....all that stuff."

"I'd love to buy you a drink sometime and hear about some of your adventures." Dabo set down his mug, realizing that he might have been coming off a bit strong. "What I mean to say, Commander, is that I've followed the Black Hawk for awhile and would love to hear some first hand tales. If you're willing, of course."

"It sounds like security has kept you pretty busy," said Terry. "Especially with the Federation higher-ups." Terry chuckled a little. "It's okay, Lieutenant. We've been six hours in this runabout. A little casual conversation and relaxing is fine by me. And I'd be willing to have that drink and exchange some adventures. The Black Hawk has most certainly had it's fair share of adventures."

"I've read a lot of the mission files. Well, the ones I have clearance for, that is," Trast said. "Sounds like you were always up against some intense stuff. The kind of stuff that we all join Starfleet for."

A quick trio of beeps sounded from the Benzite's console. He turned towards it, and touched a few controls. "Starfleet comm buoy," he informed the senior officer. "Receiving a data packet. Looks like logs from from a ship. The USS Altai."

Terry was about to say something about joining Starfleet when the computer sounded. He thought for a second, "The USS Altai...Altai...seems I've heard that name somewhere before. Bring up the last log entry and let's see what's happening. I hope this isn't one of those 'last words' type of log entries."

Blue fingers worked the controls, accessing the logs. "The last update is written," Trast said, before reading it aloud. "'At least one intruder onboard. Two security officers incapacitated. Commander Talbot in Sickbay with severe injuries as a result of near-miss with intruder. Withdrawing from system until intruder can be found. Mission on hold.'"

He looked at his travel companion. "Doesn't sound good, does it?"

Terry shook his head. "No, not good at all."

"What do you think we should do?"

"An intruder onboard is one thing. But one or a few intruders that can cause that much damage or commotion to have a starship withdraw...they'll need some help." He turned towards his traveling companion, thinking back to his time on the Black Hawk's bridge. "See if there's any residual warp signature left. Hopefully we'll be able to at least get a general direction in which they headed. They most likely would have headed in the quickest straight line out of the system. We follow that. Maximum speed possible."

Trast nodded and looked back to his console, manipulating the controls to run some basic scans. A short chirp from the computer confirmed a warp signature had been found. "Got it," he said, "and here's the trajectory." He pointed a blue finger at the main screen, where the Altai's theoretical flight path was displayed. "Are you going after them?"

"Yep," replied Terry. "We sure are. Quick as possible."

Turning back to his console, Dabo smiled. It was an awkward smile, even for him. A mix of anxiety and excitement. He'd longed for some real action in his career, but charging into it without the support of structure of a crew of ship.....that was a bit concerning. At least I'm with a seasoned vet, he thought, glancing over at Walsh.

"Ready when you are, Commander."


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