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An Early Morning

Posted on Sun Aug 5th, 2018 @ 1:57am by Captain Osegan Trenna & Ensign Geoff Martinsen & Lieutenant Commander Arthur Talbot & Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Batchelder & Lieutenant Margaret Knight MD & Lieutenant JG Kyle Roberts & Lieutenant JG Kemm Talu & Senior Chief Petty Officer Ryland Dedeker

Mission: Light is Dark
Location: Various
Timeline: MD 04 | 0515

===Captain's Quarters===

Sitting on the edge of her bed, Captain Osegan Trenna stared out the window at the stars streaking by. As was typical for her recently, she hadn't been able to sleep. Certainly she'd tried; for hours she had laid in bed, the room darkened, hoping for the embrace of slumber. But it never came.

Instead, she'd had a couple of drinks, hoping the alcohol would help her doze off. That hadn't worked either. Instead, here she sat, naked and alone.

"Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Trenna," she said, her voice piercing the silence. Hauling herself out of bed, she shuffled to the bathroom and started the shower. Her reflection in the mirror caught her eye. "You look like shit," she announced. It was a lie; in actuality, the Bajoran woman knew she was in great shape, her body muscular while still retaining pleasant feminine curves. Her hair was a bit of a mess, a result of tossing and turning in bed for the last several hours.

She shook her head and got into the shower.


Now dressed, Trenna stepped out onto the Bridge. If she wasn't going to sleep, she thought, she might as well work.

When the captain entered the Bridge, Ryland was leaned back in his chair with his boots up on the Tactical console. At the sight of her, he dropped them down to the floor and then gave her a wink. He went back to humming the lazy tune that he'd occupied himself with. The mischievous schoolboy look never left his face.

Opting to overlook Dedeker's current behavior, Trenna looked around. She couldn't recall who the watch officer for this particular day and shift was. No one was in her chair, so she took a seat.

Artie had drawn the short straw for the graveyard shift. He did try to balance the responsibility throughout the senior staff, even though he was really just a couple days into the commonality of creating the duty roster. He'd had tremendous difficulty coming up with a positive arrangement for the graveyard watch until he wrote names on isolinear chips and drew them out of a cloth bag to create the schedule.

His only regret was drawing his name both too early, and not using his own authority to switch to a different day before publishing the schedule. Coffee had been an excellent source of energy for the late night, but one's bladder could only hold so much. Because of that, Artie was not on the bridge when the Captain arrived. Seeing her after returning from the head simply increased his regret. "Captain," he greeted, crossing the bridge to his own station. "Early bird gets the worm."

"Busted," Ryland whispered under his breath.

Kyle looked up at the Executive Officer and then towards the Captain as she entered. He yawned a little and stretched before turning back to his console. He'd taken on a lot recently. Again. And that included Bridge duty for Alpha Shift. It was different, coming back to this shift, and it took some getting used to. "Early bird," muttered Kyle. "How about let's fry that chicken instead."

"Put yourself on overnights for a reason?" Trenna asked her Exec. "Unusual choice."

"Just one overnight a week," Artie replied. "Mister Kemm has tonight's shift, and Doctor Knight the night after."

"Excellent. Spread the work around," she said as she crossed to the replicator. "Coffee, dark roast, black, unsweetened." A mug of steaming dark liquid appeared. Trenna reached out, picked up the mug, and cradled it in her hand as she moved to the center of the bridge. "I don't intend to step on your toes, Commander, but I was awake."

"You're not stepping on anything," countered Artie. "At least now I can start checking on departments without having to keep an eye on the viewscreen."

"I'll stay out of your way," she replied, starting a slow circle around the bridge. "Staying out of trouble, Senior Chief?" she asked as she approached Tactical.

"It's only my middle name, Captain," Ryland quipped with a twinkle in his eye.

She fought against the grin that she could feel coming on. "Does it come before or after Augustus?"

"Before and after," Ryland said with a teasing wink. "Double trouble, ya might could say."

"Obviously," she said flatly.

===Doctor Knight's Quarters===

Most people used the ship's alarm system to get themselves out of bed in the morning. This was normal. But, Maggie wasn't normal. She had a biological alarm clock. It woke her up every morning at 0533 sharp.

And it was currently mrowing and nuzzling her chin.

“All right, all right,” she groaned. “I'm awake. I'm getting up. Tilda, cut it out.” She pushed the cat away and threw back the blankets.

“Mrow!” insisted Tilda.

“I'm getting it, I'm getting it,” replied Maggie, and she hurried to the replicator to get Tilda her breakfast.

===Crew Mess===

Geoff walked up to the replicator, unsure of what he wanted to eat for breakfast. He'd had eggs, bacon, and rye toast the day before. It had been good, but he wanted to try something different. Maybe grits, he thought. He stood there, scrolling through the directory of foods, for several minutes.

"Excuse me," a voice said from behind him, "are you almost done?"

He waved off the question, keeping his attention on the display.

The voice grew more insistent the longer Geoff took to make a decision.

"Hurry up! I'm running late already!"

Not wanting to further delay, or deal with, the man behind him, Geoff punched in an order. A moment later, eggs, bacon, and rye toast materialized on a plate. He picked it up and pushed past the impatient Lieutenant, settling at a table in the corner. He quickly ate his food and then headed for the bridge. He'd been assigned to man the helm for alpha shift, which surprised him. He wanted to get there early to make a good impression on the senior staff, most of whom would likely be on duty.


The turbolift doors open, depositing Geoff onto the bridge. He started towards the front of the room, but then froze when he realized that both Commander Talbot and Captain Osegan were present. No pressure, he thought before continuing to the helm.

"Good mornin', sunshine!" Ryland called out to Geoff in a taunting sing-song. "Glad you could join us."

"Indeed," remarked Artie, looking up from his station. "Just in time too. Our last sensor report put us just twenty minutes out. But that was a few minutes ago."

Sliding into the helm seat right after the night shift Ensign vacated it, Geoff quickly reviewed the navigational log and sensors. It looked like the ship was on the optimal course and, as Talbot had said, was about to pass the Rakhar system. "Ten minutes, Commander," he confirmed.

"Excellent," Artie said, looking over to the Captain, wondering if she'd like to take over since they were so close.

Trenna noticed that Talbot looked her direction. For a moment, she considered stepping in, as the XO seemed to invite. Instead, she shook her head, giving him the go ahead. In her mind, a good first officer should meshes well with the captain, the two complimenting each other's strengths and weaknesses. The XO should also be gaining enough command experience to, one day, become a CO. So, the Bajoran woman wanted to give Talbot as many opportunities to run the show as possible.

The unspoken hesitancy to assume command on both parts could be viewed as polite courtesy between officers. It could also be taken as a general reluctance to be there. Ryland's snicker indicated which side of that coin toss he was on.

Seeing her nod, Artie mentally heaved a sigh of frustration. It wasn't that the burden of command was heavy; it was that he wasn't totally ready for leading the mundane. All right then. "Bridge to Lieutenant Kemm," he called out checking his badge. "We're nearing our destination. Are we ready to study a pulsar?"

===Science Lab===

"Affirmative, Commander," Kemm said. "Petty Officer Gregg's team is in position and has already begun monitoring the approach. Full measurement begins once we're on site, including probe deployment."


"Excellent," Commander Talbot replied over the comm system. "I'll give you the all clear as soon as we arrive."

"Make sure to let us know how we can assist, Mister Kemm," Trenna chimed in. "We're all in this together."

===Science Lab===

"Of course, Captain, I'm coming to the bridge to coordinate now," Kemm said through the comm.

"But I'm going to bribe the helm officer to arrive at a decent hour next time," Kemm muttered.


"You would be a terrible scientist if you didn't," remarked Artie over the comm. "Tactical, how are the sensors looking? Anything unusual on the horizon?"

"No, sir," said Ryland with barely a glance at the sensor readout. There was no way in hell that two ships would be within spitting distance of this boring ass pulsar, so he allowed his mind to wander. Fortunately, due to a few fine looking bridge officers, it didn't have to wander far.

"I would be surprised if we see hostile activity," Trenna said quietly to Talbot. "But then, there hasn't been a lot of Federation ships out here, so anything is possible."

"If you're up for a lil' action, then I'd be more than happy to ..." Ryland bit his tongue in reconsideration of his next words. "... to keep my eyes peeled for enemies."

Fighting the urge to roll her eyes at Dedeker's implied innuendo, Trenna instead turned her attention to the viewscreen. On display was the pulsar in all it's glory; swirls of blue and purple surrounded the celestial body. "Impressive, isn't it?" she asked, to no one in particular.

“Breathtaking,” Jon deadpanned, stepping out of the turbolift, onto the Bridge. He rarely found a need to come up here from Engineering, but the promise of seeing a pulsar up close was too good to pass up. Besides, he was already awake, and his crew seemed to have things well in hand. Taking a sip from his mug, he stationed himself against a console, facing the view screen, and said, “If the rest of the day is this impressive, this is definitely a good morning.”

Kemm followed the new engineer off the turbolift and took up the science station on the bridge.

Kyle smirked. Dedeker... He had yet to meet the man off duty and could only imagine what that would be like. Science minded people, he thought to himself.

"Indeed," Artie agreed. He did have to say, being on the bridge certainly granted far better vantage points than a small screen in engineering, assuming an engineer had a time to look out the forward camera. "Let's get this party started, shall we?" he asked. "Helm, slow us down and keep us at a moderately safe distance for now. Mister Dedecker and Mister Kemm, let's get those probes out there."

Ryland activated the probe launch protocols and forwarded control to the Science console. "All you, Nosebone," Ryland said to Talu with a wink.

The Bajoran ignored the man's slur and looked down to his station, confirming the telemetry was properly transferred and within control of his science team. He then sent a notification to the bridge alternate to standby to return to the console.

Looking over, Kemm saw Ryland had returned to ogling the operations officer. He walked up in the man's blind spot, stepped to the front, and sucker punched him in the face.

"Go to hell with that for a nosebone," Kemm said, shaking out his hand.

Ryland's world got knocked sideways. He reoriented himself on the ground, propped up on one elbow, and wiped a trace of blood from his nostril. "Oh yeah," he seethed. "You're mine now." Without further warning, he lunged from his semi-prone position to shoot out Kemm's knees. "Here's how you punch a nose, you fucking pus hog!" His fists flew one after another in a vicious ground-and-pound.

As the smaller man punched him, Kemm began to laugh between gasps as the taste of blood filled his mouth and nose. He didn't even bother to protect his face, but eventually wrapped Ryland into a bear hug, taking a headbutt in the process, but pressing his bloodied face to the tactical chief's uniform and waiting for security to drag them both away.

"What the hell!" Trenna exclaimed. That Dedeker had used a racial slur against the Science Chief was bad enough, but now there was a full on fist fight happening on the Bridge. "Roberts!" she called, not sure why the acting Security Chief hadn't intervened yet. "Security to the bridge!"

"What in the sphincter of hell!" exclaimed Kyle. It happened so fast. And unexpected. They were all three roughly the same height, but Kemm had more mass. Kemm also had Dedeker in a bear hug, which meant his back was exposed. Kyle drew back and put the full force of his one hundred eighty seven pound, six foot, two inch frame into the lower parts of the back of his ribs at an upward angle. "Break it up before I phaser both of you!"

Ryland felt Kemm slacken at Kyle's command, allowing him to extricate himself. Rolling away, he cleared the deck and got back to his feet. His eyes were all daggers for Kemm. "He started it," Ryland said. As he brushed off his uniform, his hands came away bloody.

Kemm pulled himself up and stood at attention as Ryland cast the accusation. "Just like the Bardeezi security force," Kemm said, satisfied that his point had been proven. The confrontation had lacked emotion for the Bajoran. Despite using the slur as a jumping off point, Kemm's concerns were operational rather than personal, and he had declared his distrust of Ryland and the ability of his CO and XO to manage the situation. Consequences would follow, but Kemm figured the precedent for dismissing dangerous insubordination as a minor offense would protect him.

"Suck my pagh, Kemm!" Ryland sneered.

The turbolift doors opened and a two man security team rushed onto the bridge, phasers drawn.

"Get them out of here, Lieutenant," Osegan ordered, looking at Roberts. "Now."

"Aye, Captain. I'll be back as soon as they're both secured," replied Kyle. He drew his phaser, intent on making good on his promise if need be. "You heard her, off the Bridge. And then to the Brig for some time to cool off."

"Whatever." Ryland walked between the two security officers, shouldering one who stood too close in passing.

Kemm continued to ignore further insults from Ryland and to stand at attention, following the security team obediently.

As the security team escorted the belligerents out, Trenna looked at Talbot. "Two senior officers. Really?" she said quietly. "Give me a reason I shouldn't have Dedeker tossed out an airlock?"

Artie blinked, the captain's question snapping him out of his stunned stupor. Here he thought they'd had some sort of breakthrough with Dedeker following that staff meeting a few days ago, but apparently that was not the case at all. And, while he would have expected such rash behavior from the NCO, seeing the Bajoran Chief of Science throw the first punch was the real shock.

The freshly-minted executive officer blinked again, regaining the last bits of his composure. "Because keelhauling was thrown out in the eighteenth century or so," he replied.

Unfortunately, she thought. For better or worse, she had decided to go easy on the tactical chief after the incident with the Bardeezi. Dedeker had acted in defense of the away team, Osegan included, even if he'd misread the situation. But this....this was different.

"Continue with the probes. I'll be in my office," she said after a moment. She needed to be alone to gather her wits before dealing with the newest problem Dedeker had caused.

Jon watched the proceedings with a face mixed with surprise and irritation. "Children," he said under his breath. Deciding it would be more interesting up here than down in Engineering, he stationed himself at the Engineering console, and started bringing up the readouts he would need.

"Aye, Captain," Artie said, turning his attention back to the viewscreen. "Commander Batchelder, since Mister Kemm is occupied, assume launching duty. Let's get those probes out there."

"Aye, sir," Jon responded, sliding his seat over to the science console. It had been awhile, but he found the right commands to send out the probes toward the pulsar. "I'm not sure how close they'll be able to get, but we should get some decent readings."

Dancing his fingers across the keypad, he turned, and said "Alright, five away."

The door to the Ready Room slid closed behind the Bajoran woman at this point, cutting her off the bustle of the bridge.


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