Star Trek: Apollo


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Post 09 - Peak Performance

Posted on Wed Nov 20th, 2019 @ 7:37pm by Commander Niun & Captain Sean Gaudain

Mission: Episode 0 - War Games
Location: USS Apollo - Deck 01 - Ready Room
Timeline: Mission Day 01 -1700 Hours

[USS Apollo - Deck 01 - Ready Room]
[Mission Day 01 - 1700 Hours]

Niun, with Bayre at his side, approached the Ready Room door. He stood 5'10" tall, with the leanly muscled physique typical of distance runners, and his very straight hair, brown with gold accents, fell to mid-back unbound. He was 42 years old and though nineteen years had passed, the training and culture of his people, the Mri, had proven remarkably difficult to shake. The Azhadi did not wear their hair short. It was said that an enemy who sought to gain advantage by grabbing a warrior's hair, willingly took the last step toward his own death. And while Engineers didn't generally have to worry about such things, it was not something he'd been able to bring himself to do. The Imai betrayed. His world betrayed. He did not.

Niun pressed the chime and waited for his new Captain to respond.

"Yeah, come in," came the response almost immediately.

Niun entered and approached. After all the years away from the home world, he still made very little sound as he walked. Habit born of long training that had born fruit throughout his Starfleet service. Edral had preferred the companionship of the Mri while Bayre seemed more outgoing and curious. The dusei was larger than any dog ever born on Earth with a short tight coat of fur and heavily muscles that promised strength and agility; Bayre accepted the scrutiny and sat quietly at Niun's side, regarding the Captain with all too intelligent eyes. Course, the same could also be said for Niun.

Captain Gaudain was standing facing away from the door looking out of one of the large viewports, watching as a workbee moved past the ship with a train of cargo containers in tow. He was a bit taller than Niun was, though fairly average for a Human. The captain turned and smiled at the lieutenant commander, smile fading slightly when his eyes flitted down to his companion.

"You must be Mr. Niun, and... you've brought a pet?" Gaudain blurted.

"Commander Niun," he responded in accented Federation Standard, "reporting as ordered, Sir, and this is Bayre. Not a pet by any definition I have discovered. He is ... uh ... dusei," Niun said with a slight almost apologetic shrug. His hazel eyes reflected his honest nature and maybe a touch of the frustration that came along with trying to explain the mystery that was the dusei. "The dusei are migratory and best we have been able to discover, choose sometimes to pair with individuals. It does not always happen. There are vast herds that never make that choice. Still, they are intelligent and capable of communication though it is often cryptic at best."

Bayre, who was something of a diplomat, moved forward and lay down in front of the Captain in a gesture meant to be less threatening. He sent a wave of images to the Captain and to Niun, each one showing a meeting with a dusei. Different races, some known, some not, and different dusei, some brown, some black, some white. Entwined in the images were feelings of welcome and peaceful intent.

"Woah," Gaudain replied, simply. "Well, welcome aboard, both of you," he added, clearing his throat a little. He gestured towards the seats in front of his desk as he moved behind it to sit down. "I didn't mean to be rude–that'll teach me not to read the whole dossier next time. I did read, though, that you're well-recommended and I'm sure you'll have our engine room up and running like clockwork in no time, commander," he added, with a slight grin. Plainspoken and genial, it was clear that Gaudain was quite forthcoming with his emotions.

"It is my every intention," Niun said. His own answering smile was warm and relaxed as he settled into one of the two chairs offered. "I spent ten years of my life keeping the Washington at peak performance and you know, I think the whole department took it personally when Starfleet decided it was time to decommission her." He chuckled slightly as he shook his head. "But then, they dangled the Apollo in front of me and well, you know the rest."

Gaudain nodded. "The Apollo's definitely a special ship, and we're gonna be putting her through her paces in the Delta Quadrant. The area where we will be exploring is pretty far from Borg space and the Hirogen, but if I've learned anything from reading Captain Janeway's reports from her first few years is that we're going to have to be ready to high-tail it on a moment's notice," he said.

"We will do everything we can to keep Apollo ready for you," Niun said. He cocked his head slightly to one side, a tendril of brown hair entwined with gold, fell away from his cheek, as he considered the Delta Quadrant. "It has been said that to stand at the edge of what is known and look outward is a great gift. I knew nothing about the Federation when Voyager returned home but when I read about their journey at the Academy, I remember thinking about that quote and how one could be caught between the fear of never finding their way home and the adventure of seeing something completely new practically every day."

"I'm from Mars. Utopia Planitia, actually. I remember watching them build Voyager as a kid. There's an observation platform at the top of one of the domes where you can see really clearly at night. It was a point of pride for a lot of Martians when she came home. One of the things we have to be prepared for is that our way into the Delta Quadrant–this wormhole–isn't completely stable. It might not even be there tomorrow, and we'll have to find our own way home just like they did. We'll have the Arcturus with us, but we still might end up stranded 70,000 light-years from home."

"Anything work doing comes with a degree of risk," Niun said. He sat quietly without the random movements that one generally expected as he considered his answer. Home was a word that had lost meaning for him and his mind skittered past the implications of that. The chance to see what was out there? That was something he shared with every Azhadi and that was the great misconception. They were seen as warriors and living weapons when what they were, at their core, were explorers who traded their skill for the chance to stand at the edge of what was known. And he was no different. His hazel eyes glowed with the excitement he felt. "I understand. I do. It did not stop me from accepting the transfer when I was warned then and it does not now. I am ready to go."

The captain smiled. "Good. This mission isn't going to work if I've got officers who aren't eager to get out there and get their hands dirty," he noted. "The Apollo's five years old. We're her second crew. She's just finished her first refit. Where are you gonna start to make this the smoothest-running frigate in the fleet?" he asked, sitting back in his chair.

"Investigation," Niun said with a slight nod of his head. "I do not assume anything. I will go over the reports from the refit and run my own diagnostics to ..." He struggled for a moment to find the right word, his eye lighting up for a moment when he happened upon it, "... ascertain the ship's current condition. Most likely, it will match and all will be well. Along with that, I will be checking on our parts store, industrial replicators, and interviewing the engineering team. To establish a ... baseline, yes. Baseline."

"Good. I've got all these reports on my desk from what Starfleet says our new ship should be able to do. I want to know what she can actually do. We'll figure out some of that in the field, but I'd rather not find out that our engine specs were exaggerated when we really need to push them," Gaudain replied. "We're going to be engaged in a war game in a few days and I want us at peak performance."

"As long as the warp core is not brand new, we should be fine though we could try pushing the ship a bit while we are traveling to where the war games are held," Niun said. "That is after everything else I will do before that, of course."

"Well, then you have a lot to get done, commander," Gaudain said, standing up. "I'm looking forward to seeing how you work," he said, offering a handshake.

Niun rose and offered his hand at once in the human fashion. "Yes, I do, Captain," Niun said as they shook hands. "I will keep you informed."

"Dismissed," Gaudain said with a nod.

Niun nodded and walked out, Bayre by his side. And though it was subtle, his walk was just that much less cautious than it had been upon entry.

A mission post by

Captain Sean Gaudain
Commanding Officer
USS Apollo

Lieutenant Commander Niun
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Apollo


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