ASSIGNED TO TASK FORCE 56 OF PEGASUS FLEET
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Memory Lane

Posted on Fri Mar 20th, 2020 @ 4:31pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Ghant Xerix

Mission: Dead Moon
Location: Starbase Vega
Timeline: 7 years prior

 

The transport shuttle had been docked at the Starbase for almost an hour already and they were still stuck inside. Already reports seemed to indicate that they could expect to be stuck for at least another seven hours.

It had been three days of pure hell, trapped in a tin can that seemed to be suffering from perpetual environmental issues. The recycled air wasn't being filtered properly and the smell of sweat and body odor hung in the air around them. The replicators weren't working properly, so the crew of the transporter had taken to handing out ration packs, though judging by the smell of them they had likely gone rancid. All in all, Abigail was glad the stench of body odor had turned her appetite.

Now, all she wanted was a long soak in a hot tub and then a solid twenty four hours of sleep before she had to start her first duty shift, and she was close, so close... except it had been four hours since they had docked at the Starbase and they were still no closer to being allowed off the transporter.

Why?

Because one of the scientists that had been travelling on the transporter had dropped a small vial and shattered it. Unfortunately for all of the passengers on the transporter, he had failed to adequately label the vials and his manifest showed that he was carrying sealed spores retrieved from an Iocraskess plant, which, when inhaled, reacted with lung alveoli and ended up developing bacterial plague like symptoms which ended up being highly contagious.

Running the back of her hand across her forehead, Abigail wiped away beads of sweat and sighed heavily, unzipping her jacket and leaning forward so she could shrug out of it. Surely they couldn't be held over much longer, could they? Every moment they were stuck here made her more irritated and annoyed.

“Ma’am, I apologize about the temperature. In order to clear quarantine, we have to cycle the shuttle’s atmosphere at 38 degrees to destroy any live spores.” said the Betazoid. Despite the fact that he hadn’t dropped the sample, he still acutely felt everyone’s frustrations. Much like the immune system giving one a fever to burn up a virus, the heat cycle would help them, but it wouldn’t be pleasant.

Taking his cue from the Lieutenant Commander, he slipped off his jacket. Being Betazoid, he was no stranger to heat. But normally it came with a strong breeze and the scent of the ocean. Not cramped shuttle and the aroma of unwashed body.

Abigail offered a vague smile in his direction. "Thank you Ensign," she replied politely, not bothering to point out that she was already aware of the reasons for the excessive heat, beyond what they had already endured through the trip on the transport. "Headed on a new assignment?" she finally asked, opting for small talk. Who knew, maybe it'd make this awful situation a little more palatable.

“Yes ma’am. The USS Excelsior-A. I’m the new Operations Officer for Beta shift.” answered the Betazoid, nervously. “And yourself?” He asked. His eyes remained on the comings and going of the station. Partly because he was a natural people-watcher. Partly because he had found some people uncomfortable about his telepathic abilities.

"On my way to the Bastion," Abigail said with a small smile. "Chief of Security." She sighed and leaned back in her seat. "At least I will be if we ever get off this damnable transporter!" She closed her eyes, pulling her long hair up and twisting it up on top of her head, trying to keep it away from her back. "Surely we can get some water or something?"

Ghant stood up and went to the rear of the craft, replicating the woman a large glass of ice water. Returning to his seat, he handed her the drink. During the Dominion invasion, we often went without even the most basic of needs. My baby brother died from Piri influenza, which was highly treatable normally. My father blames the Dominion for my brother’s death.” Said the young man.

"Thank you," she replied, taking the water he had offered her. "I'm sorry to hear about your brother. The consequences of the Dominion War were..." she paused, taking a sip of the water. "Extensive, to say the least. I was still at the Academy when the initial invasion started."

“I appreciate that. My mother was part of the group of volunteers who used their abilities to incapacitate the Jem Hadar. They managed to oust the dominion without yielding their beliefs. But it cost many lives, including hers” said the Betazoid.

"A lot of good people were lost," Abigail replied quietly. Their sacrifices are never forgotten..."


=/= SIX HOURS LATER =\=


"Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your patience. We have finally received confirmation that we are cleared to disembark. Due to the lockdown, all personal luggage and items that were stowed in the cargo hold for the duration of your journey will need to be collected from Cargo Bay Two in approximately fourteen hours after they have been subjected to clearance. Please find the Operations Officers through the airlock for further details. Again, we thank you for your patience during this time."

Abigail laughed softly at the announcement. "Of course, it stands to reason that they can't just transport our stuff, doesn't it?" She shook her head slightly as she stood up, reaching for her jacket and shrugging back into it. At least the last number of hours had proved to be a lot less painful than she had expected, in large part thanks to the companionship of Ensign Xerix and his witty conversation and sense of humor.

“It was a pleasure to meet you, Commander. I sincerely hope we cross paths again” the man said earnestly. He had no idea why, but he had a feeling Laurens would be someone important to him in the future.

 

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