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Winds of Opportunity and Change

Posted on Sat Jan 4th, 2020 @ 12:05am by Captain Frank Kamar Jr.

Mission: Delta Operations
Location: USS Pennsylvania - Science Labs
Timeline: S01 EP02 Incidentals

Aboard the USS Rocinante
En Route to USS Pensylvania
1845 hrs

The sound of slapping feet, and steady, but labored breathing echo in the gym, as Gabriel used one of the ship's treadmills to burn off some of his pent up energy. He had been officially off duty for a week and a half now, while en route to the USS Pennsylvania, and the waiting, with nothing to do, had done nothing but increase his nervousness about his new position. Getting his heart rate and breathing rate up has always helped, and it was his hope that this trend would continue. He'd been at it almost twenty minutes, his loose tank top plastered to him with sweat, when the doors to the gym parted, and a young officer in operations gold entered the room. Her rank pips indicated she was an NCO and he wondered why she would be coming to the gym in full uniform.

"Lieutenant Ortega?" she asked, approaching.

Gabriel reached down and pressed the button to stop the machine, and stepped off. "Yes, how can I help you?" he asked, noticing the padd in her hand.

"I've been asked to inform you that we will be arriving at our destination in less than an hour. We won't be staying long so you will need to be ready to beam over to your new posting as soon as we arrive," she replied, holding out the padd. "This should contain all of your transfer orders and any other information you might need. Good luck, sir," she said, and then turned to leave the room.

Gabriel stood rooted to the spot, 'One hour...' he thought, a sudden frisson of excitement and nervous energy wash over him. No matter what it was his job, and he knew he was a good scientist, now he just had to do a good job at showing his new commanding officer that he was.

Returning to his quarters he quickly showered and got changed into his uniform, affixing his new rank pips for the very first time. Looking at himself in the mirror he gave himself a quick touch up on the beard and mustache and made sure his hair was slicked back and presentable before tossing the last of his possessions into the duffel he'd be boarding the ship with.

1930 hrs

"Energize," Gabriel said, facing forward as he stood on the transporter pad of the small vessel that had been diverted to bring him to his next posting. Seconds later he dissolved into a flurry of light and sound, only to reappear in the same way aboard the USS Pennsylvania.

Stepping down from the transporter pad to the deck proper he approached the transporter terminal. "Lieutenant Junior Grade Gabriel Ortega, requesting permission to come aboard," he said.

After checking her console the woman behind it smiled, "Welcome aboard, Lieutenant. Glad we finally have a science officer, that area of the ship's been a bit quiet lately," she replied.

Gabriel chuckled lightly, "Glad to be here," he replied, mind pointing me in the direction of the CO?"

Just before she could reply the doors swished open and a man in command red stepped in. On his collar were the pips of a commander, and Gabriel immediately turned to face him. "Lieutenant Junior Grade Gabriel Ortega reporting for duty, sir," he said snapping to attention.

“At Ease, Lieutenant Ortega,” Frank said as the young Lieutenant stood stiffly at attention. He turned to the engineer and spoke, “Ensign Baker, please make sure the Lieutenants’ private effects are taken to his quarters. Thank You.” Frank turned his attention back to the new Science Chief, “Welcome Aboard, I’m Commander Kamar,” he said as he extended his hand, “I don’t get to break away too often to be on hand to welcome new officers. I trust your journey was uneventful.”

"It was, sir. I actually got a little bored since they had no science suites I could help in. I am glad to be back on a proper starship," Gabriel replied.

"Well you're on a good ship, but I am kinda partial to the Penny," Frank said with a grin. "She's a Nebula class, with a reinforced hull and the advanced scanning array. It helps us scan at longer ranges and get more detailed information. You're actually coming on board at the perfect time." As they stepped into the turbo lift Frank said, "Deck 25. You have an entire deck dedicated to the science facilities. To me, that would be like giving me an old shuttle and telling me to put it back together. I'm an engineer, not a scientist," Frank teased as the turbolift moved through the ship.

'An entire deck...' Gabriel thought to himself. He'd never even been on a ship quite that dedicated to the sciences, well, unless you counted his cadet cruise, but that ship was literally designed, and built solely for scientific missions. It couldn't even really be repurposed, because nearly every square inch had some scientific equipment built in.

"I look forward to getting to know those facilities, and putting them to good use," he said. "But don't sell yourself short, engineering might be a lot more technical, but when you get right down to it there's a lot of science that goes into that as well. I took a lot of secondary electives during holiday breaks, and honestly, quite a few of them were engineering courses, especially those involving computer sciences, and warp field theory."

Frank turned and stepped out as the doors opened, "I enjoyed warp theory, but I enjoyed working with my hands the most." With a wave of his arm and a mock accent he said, "Welcome to your Laboratory, the ship's policy specifically states no Frankenstein monsters from here, everything else is pretty much fair game."

Gabriel had been just about to respond to the man's joke about Frankenstein when his eyes took in the sprawling room before him. He'd said it was an entire deck, and he had been absolutely correct. Along the walls there were a few glassed-in labs that could obviously be sealed off, but for the rest of it, there was just one big, open room. Everything was bright, and shiny, and looked like it was just waiting, and ready to be used.

"Wow..." was all he could come up with to say as he took a few steps into the room.

"Our previous science officer had to return to Iota Station, there were some things found in the Iota system that needed an experienced set of eyes. This is now your workspace. I hope that you utilize it well. We will be needing your expertise rather quickly. Our overall mission is to map more of the Delta Quadrant based on Voyagers exploration years ago and to reach out to some of the races in the area to improve Starfleet relations. Now what I'm about to tell you only the XO and myself know at this point, but we have been asked to locate a system with a Class M planet capable of beginning a colony."

Turning to the other man with a cocked eyebrow Gabriel nodded, "A colony? That's a major undertaking. I'm glad to see the Federation is willing to put themselves out there like that. It could yield a great reward for us in many ways, from resources to scientific discoveries," he said with a grin on his face.

"Do you have any information on what type of colony it might be in the end so I can make sure we are looking for the right things when we begin work on the surveys," he asked.

"I think that depends on what type of resources we find in the system. Starfleet wants to increase its presence here. They started by building the Iota Station and the Graviton Catapult. Then they deployed the Penn and the Lantau here, with the Penn handling the bulk of the scouting and mapping work. The next logical step is to establish a colony to bring an economic presence to the area. That will allow us to establish trade and commerce with other races here."

"Understood, sir. I greatly look forward to helping with that process," Gabriel replied. He truly meant that as well. He had been absolutely thrilled to be assigned to a ship in the Delta quadrant when he was given his new posting because it meant he would be on the front lines of exploring, and gathering information on an area of space they still knew so little about. To be a part of the group that helped establish the first colony in the quadrant would be absolutely amazing.

"I will have security upgrade your clearances. We've only been in the DQ about 30 days, we've had a run-in with Hirogen, they ambushed us while faking a distress call. We've received an intelligence report that the Hirogen are preparing to hunt Starfleet vessels. We lost our Security Chief in that incident so if you hear any crew speaking of Lieutenant Oscar Vladinichi that will be why. Also, I need to give you a heads up. Our Chief of Operations is a bit cranky even for a Tellurite."

It was a lot of information, all at once, but Gabriel took it all in stride. In the Academy you learned to absorb information at a fast pace. "Thanks for the heads up, I'll tread lightly," he replied with a light chuckle. "Anything you'd like me to get started on right away?"

"At the moment I do not. With everything going I'm not sure if the scanner has been put through it's paces recently. I'd recommend giving your department and your equipment a once over. We will be having our weekly Department Head brief in two days. If you run into any problems between now and then please feel free to contact me or the XO."

Eyeing the large room full of equipment like a kid in a candy store Gabrial smiled, "Will do, sir, will do," he said, "And thanks for showing me around," he added.

“You’re Welcome Lieutenant, congratulations on the promotion too” Frank said as he patted the man on his back, “Don’t look so surprised, I read your service record. Now then I have more paperwork to finalize before dinner tonight. If I’m late again my wife may come hunting me.” Frank turned and headed to the turbolift, as the doors began to close a female voice said “Captain your presence is requested....

As he watched the other man leave Gabriel strode over to the nearest console and activated it, hearing the familiar bells, and whistles as it began showing its various outputs. Entering his command codes he waited until it had fully loaded up and then began perusing the inventory logs, the various scientific stations, and most importantly his department roster. He only had a few days to get himself fully caught up, and he definitely didn't want to fail at so simple a task as getting familiarized with his own department.

Commander Frank Kamar
Commanding Officer
USS Pennsylvania

Lieutenant J.G. Gabriel Ortega
Chief Science Officer
USS Pennsylvania


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