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Dropoff & Pick Up

Posted on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 @ 10:53pm by Captain Dirk Taggart & Lieutenant Commander James Trallos MD & Lieutenant JG Camille Lévesque PhD

Mission: Buyer's Beware
Location: Ketram Landing Pad /Shuttle

Captain Dirk Taggart eased back on the controls as the landing pad loomed larger, "Ok Doc, the computer does most of the work here but you still have to bring her in gently," he said as he feathered the engines back, "Deploy the Landing Gear, its the button on the bottom left of your display."

The doctor tapped a few commands and the pressed the button. "Not sure why it always takes me a minute to find the landing gear." He looked at his readout and nodded. "Gear showing down and locked. All green, no red." It had been years since he last flown a shuttle live. He maintained basic emergency certification, mostly done in simulation, so actually maneuvering the beast was different, but fun.

"Good job Doc, the last thing we do now, is finish easing off the main thrusters to stop horizontal movement and use the jets to finalize a vertical landing," Taggart explained as the shuttle touched down gently onto the landing pad. "See easy as pie," he said with a wink. "All Ashore that's going ashore," the Captain called as he opened the hatch. "Hey Doc, we're supposed to be picking up some new crew, so call me Tag and I'll put on my flight jacket, let's see how long we can keep them from realizing who I am."

He nodded as he started idle down procedures. "You got it Tag." He smiled to himself. The Captain will pretend to just be a regular Joe and he will pretend to be a competent pilot. New crew will love this. "Do we need to do a full shut down Tag or the crew on standby somewhere?" He asked looking out the window at the different people's walking to and from the adjoining bays. Some excited, some with packages, others dreading the flight home after losing their shirts gambling. The world was a hive of activity without even leaving the shuttle, trying to invite you in without saying a word.

"We can keep everything in standby," Taggart replied as he lowered the engines to the equivalent of an idle. " Alright Doc, once everyone is off, go ahead and load up our first group of riders."

The doctor nodded and stood up. He glanced at the chairs making sure nothing was left and we the shuttle was clear, he walked down the ramp. He looked around and took a breath. The smell was a mix of engine exhausts and fresh air. Different from the circulation air for sure, but all new sents. It had been a spell since he had "fresh air" but while this was not as fresh, it was still pleasant to breath.

He looked around, taking in what he could from there. Even in the port there were glittering signs and advertisements everywhere. It seemed like everything from the tame to the risqué was for sale and if you wanted beyond that, down below he was sure you could get it. It was probably wise from him to steer away from sparkling lights. He may as well have a similar sign on his back that says 'sucker here!' He was still off ship, and that was always a treat.

"All aboard!" The doctor yelled. "The DQ express is preparing for preliminary boarding for USS Pennsylvania and various points beyond, please have tickets ready. Now boarding first class, families with children, those with disabilities, and rows A through F since that is all we have." He smirked to himself. Apparently all the glitter was getting to him early. Good thing next stop for now was home.

Lieutenant jg Camille Lévesque had spent the last hour or so exploring the immediate vicinity of the designated landing site along with the two others she had travelled with. They found shops and tourist traps.

What appealed to Camille was the variety of life forms. Dozens of sentient species milled about, many of whom she had encountered during the past six months, and others she’d seen during her last DQ assignment. Animals, both alive and dead in the market stalls, taunted her, as she wanted to scan them all. Regrettably, no one would let her without payment, and she still lacked local currency.

She saw the shuttle come in for a landing and met the man at the hatch. She couldn’t help but laugh his use of the old terminology related to air travel.

“Do we check passports here, or at the terminal?” she asked with a giggle. “Lieutenant Lévesque. I was told to report here.”

He gave her a smile. "Normally it is in the terminal, but for you, I'll make an exception." He said taking her order padd. He nodded and smiled again. "James Trallos, ships Chief Medical Officer. Welcome almost aboard Dr. Lèvesque."

Merci,” she said, stepping aboard the shuttle.

The Captain paused after communicating with the landing officer of the pad. He had already received clearance for an immediate take off, turning from the Pilot's chair he called back, "Doc, we are cleared for departure once the passengers and luggage are aboard. Please make sure the seat trays are in the upright position before take off."

Bonjour, pilote!” Camille called to the cockpit as she secured herself in her seat for takeoff. She wondered when she could meet the command staff. Would they meet her at the shuttlebay? Or would it take a while to secure a meeting?

"Secure the doors Doc, and we'll be off," Taggart said to Trallos. He waited for Trallos to sit back in the co pilot's chair. "All right Doc, once we take off you're steering us to the Penn, and I'll land. You can practice take off and landing next run, unless you're ready now."

The doctor pulled the handle and watched the planet become replaced with a bulkhead. He locked down the ramp door and took his seat after making sure all luggage was stowed. "I'll do the next run. I don't want to terrify our new crew this early into their rotation. I'll save that for tomorrow." He joked and started running down preflight checklists.

Taggart lifted the shuttle from the launchpad and pointed it towards the Penn, take off was smooth and the preflight was completed in record time because of the Doctor's help. "All right Doc let's get the stowaways up to the Penn." He looked back over his shoulder and asked the passengers in the back, "Have any of y'all been on a Nebula Class starship before?"

The doctor raised his hand and looked at Taggart. Gave him a grin and added "Oh. Not me, sorry." And put his hand dow then went back to adjusting their flight path.

Non!” called Camille from the aft section. “I’m looking forward to it though. Nothing I’ve served in before has had that level of sensor range and resolution.”

"I think you'll enjoy it," the Captain replied, "We have an Advanced Scanning Arrau that gives us an extremely large scanning area as well as far more details than most scanners do. Having this kind of equipment also calls for a Larger Science lab too. I believe the Nebula Class is perfect for our mission here in the Delta Quadrant, which is mapping and exploration."

"She's a smaller version of the Galaxy class, so full recreational amenities, extensive lab space, and tough as nails." The doctor chimed in. "She's been through a lot out here already, but she is still up and running nicely for our work."

“I look forward to being part of that work,” Camille said. “So what’s the Captain like?”

"He's a former security officer, used to do bodyguard work back in 'Frisco before getting command of a starship. He's firm but fair," Taggart replied with a wink to the doctor.

“And what do you think, Docteur?” Camille asked Trallos.

He glanced at Taggart. He had mischief in his eye and then just smiled and looked back put the viewport, letting silence hang for a moment. "He's alright. He is a good man to have in charge of the Pennsylvania. I think he'll keep her flying for a good long while."

The doctor then leaned over his shoulder. "Ladies and Gentlemen, if you look out your port window you will see a specimen of a ship, the Pennsylvania coming up." He announced as the ship began to grow. Marker lights strobed slowly and the blue glow of the nacelles brightened up the area around them. The sensor suite module overshadowing a portion of the saucer section.

“Wow,” Camille exclaimed, looking over the doctor’s and pilot’s shoulders out of the viewport. Her eyes were alight with excitement as they began docking procedures at her new assignment.

"Yeah she's a beaut," Taggart said as he looked over the ship, not just the ship, it was His ship. "Nearly there Lieutenant, any last words?" he said teasingly.

She smiled and shrugged. “Allons-y?

Taggart smiled and rested his hand on the controls as Doc Trallos steered her into the shuttle bay. "Welcome Aboard the Pennsylvania Lieutenant."


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