Five minutes to launch
Authors: Lt. Cmdr. Alenis Meru, Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Rouse, Lt. Tyrlai Zade, Lt.(JG) R'vahis and Lt.(JG) Jason Beauvoir
This was it. All of Alenis’ training, all of her hard work, every career move she had made to date all culminated in this moment. If it weren’t for her medication, she wouldn’t have gotten a wink of sleep all night.
Lt. Cmdr. Alenis Meru sat down in the command chair on the USS Portland.
“Status,” she called out.
Tim answered the question he'd been waiting and preparing for. "All divisions report ready for launch" he said, as he rechecked the data on his chair console.
Tyrlai stepped through the turbolift doors as they whooshed open, she was not going to miss the sight for anything, even though technically she didn't have a station to monitor. She pulled at the collar of her purple diplomats tunic and walked over to a station on the outside port side and sat. She programmed the console for library data and external sensors giving her a good eight views of the last minute scramble of the drones to clear all of the equipment and external leads.
"Excellent." Alenis nodded at Tyrlai, acknowledging her presence on the bridge. "Operations, request clearance for launch."
"Aye, ma'am." As the Benzite operations officer chatted with the controllers at Starbase 302, the turbolift doors opened to reveal an irate Andorian.
"This is unacceptable! We are thirty-seven seconds late for launch!" Commander Shras th'Zarath, a project director at Starfleet R&D, had a reputation as a bit of a mad scientist, however this was the first time that Alenis had the misfortune of having to work with him. "I demand an explanation as to why the testing of my prototype has been delayed!"
"Commander, we are preparing for--"
"Oh, you're preparing? We should have been en route," he glanced at his chronometer, "Forty-four seconds ago! I will not stand idly by and watch as the testing of my life's work is delayed by the incompetence--"
"And I will not stand idly by and let you interfere with the operation of my ship!" Alenis was fuming as she stood up from her seat to look him in the eye. It was bad enough that Shras was annoying the bridge crew, but when he started questioning her competence, it was the final straw. "Now, unless you want to see further delays, I'd recommend you sit down and be quiet!"
Taken aback by the power of Alenis' voice and the fury in her eyes, Shras relented. "This is going in my report," he muttered, just loud enough for most of the bridge crew to hear, as he turned to find a seat. Fortunately for him, there was an empty console next to a Trill officer in purple.
Tyrlai watched him take his seat with as much lightly invasive bluster as possible. He meant it to be known and understood how much he was being put out by taking a seat to one side of the bridge. He fussed and muttered just loudly enough to not be heard clearly. She was almost completely distracted by the calculated display of arrogant petulance, he wasn't quite as good at it as she had gotten but he was very practiced, clearly. "You have a report, Commodore?"
He looked at her quizzically, his overly large head swiveling in her direction twice. "I am not a Commodore and yes, a report the Federation Sciences Comission will find most disheartening."
"You tried to boss the Captain of a ship around, I just assumed you must be a Commodore." Tyrlai smoothly adopted a puzzled look. "And all of the impressive stuffy blustering. Can I call you Commodore Stuffypants?"
The man glared at her with a menacing stare. "You just made the report, missy."
"Zade," she said pleasantly. "Z, A, D, E."
Jason watched from the Science station as the man who had made the job of getting his department ready for launch a damn sight more difficult, entered the Bridge with all the arrogance of king sweeping into his throne room. Commander Shras th'Zarath, 'The great and powerful' had gallivanted into the Science Department commandeering Jason's staff without a word and over his protestations. Then had the gall to complain that the Department was inefficient and that it was Chief Science Officer's fault and would become part of his report.
Jason had held his tongue, which had taken him all the skills in emotional control, that he'd learned in his 4 year sabbatical on Vulcan. Still, he couldn't stop a smile from briefly crossing his lips as the Captain dressed the pompous Scientist down, who, clearly defeated, took a seat to one side.
It was Ensign Belyok at the Operations station who broke the silence. "Ma'am, we're cleared for departure, following departure lane three to nav point echo, then proceeding at heading 210 mark 15."
It was at that moment that the turbolift's door swished open and a lean, golden-furred Caitian officer stepped onto the bridge. He paused, possibly for effect, "Captain, my sincere apologies. As I'm sure Ensign Belyok informed you, my shuttle only just arrived. Permission to come aboard and take my station?"
"Welcome aboard." With a wave of her hand, Alenis dismissed the Benzite, clearing a seat for her chief of ops. She was thankful to have an experienced operations officer on board -- Belyok was fresh out of the academy, and she hadn't expected R'vahis to arrive in time to catch the departing vessel. "Mr. R'vahis, release the docking clamps," she added, wasting no time in issuing orders to her new crewman. "Helm..." Alenis paused for a brief moment, mentally preparing herself for leaving port as commanding officer of a starship for the first time. "Make it so."
Capt. Alenis Meru