Star Trek: Excalibur


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Posted on Sat Dec 14th, 2019 @ 6:29am by Elizabeth Wolf & Jessica Matthews & Nissa Otri Ph.D. & Isabel Ross

Mission: E1: A Ship of Steel
Location: Astrometrics Lab, USS Excalibur
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 0730

Jessica stood silently next to Admiral Wolf in a turbolift on the Excalibur, looking at the woman out of the corner of her eye. Despite everything Jessica heard about the Admiral, she couldn't help but stuff her in a box with the rest of the gold-collared pencil pushers. She didn't feel fear or intimidation from the Admiral; in fact, she felt sorry for the woman. Jessica had no aspirations to join the admiralty. She didn't understand why anyone would choose a life behind a desk over the bridge of a starship.

The turbolift came to a halt and the two women stepped out. Jessica couldn't take it any longer, the silence was too awkward for her. "So, Admiral, I hear you're teaching at the Academy now?" The two moved in unison along the bright halls of the new vessel. Jessica peered her head over to the other woman, awaiting her response.

"Not exactly," Elizabeth replied with a chuckle. "I'm a guest lecturer for two courses: senior-year Starship Operations and the final Command Training class for new COs. It's not so much that I'm overwhelmed with work, but it's enough to remind me who I was years ago."

Jessica smiled. I knew it, she thought. "Do you ever miss the days when you were serving on a starship? Out in open space, chasing the next nebula or first contact?" she asked.

Elizabeth turned to Jessica and smirked. "Again, not exactly," she replied. "I do miss sitting in the command chair or at an operations console, but now I feel like I'm serving a higher purpose. This gold bar isn't for everyone. Hell, I didn't think it was for me at first. But then I was offered my first flag posting: leading a Task Force in the Gamma Quadrant. I still had command of my ship, but I was also responsible for so much more." She paused for a moment, thinking back on her decisions and the path she chose. "For me, it was really about 'what else can I do for Starfleet?' and the Admiralty kept giving me answers in the form of new assignments."

It isn't that Elizabeth never thought about these things. In fact, it was quite the contrary. She didn't have to oversee the new ships and Commanding Officers before sending them out on assignments, but this was her way of giving back. She made it a point to ensure each new ship had everything they need before they left the safety of Sector 001. Some might call that micromanagement, especially from a Fleet Executive Officer, but Elizabeth felt it was her duty as an Admiral, as an operations officer, and, most importantly, as the person in charge of these Commanding Officers.

"Here we are," the Admiral told Jessica. "Astrometrics. Fitted with the latest and greatest processing power Starfleet has to offer. Are you ready?" she asked, stopping before the entrance of what seemed like any other door on the Excalibur. The door's silver trim had a laser etched label that read: Astrometrics Lab. But it was so much more. "In the days of NX starships, the very first Enterprise had a command room dedicated to data analysis and mission operations. In the Delta Quadrant, the USS Voyager used their astrometrics lab in a similar light. Starfleet saw that need years ago, and continued designing and improving labs like these all over the fleet."

The Admiral pressed a button on the panel next to the entrance and the doors hissed open. "Please, after you," she said, gesturing the Captain into the room.

Jessica stepped into the lab and immediately saw the large, curved display sitting spaciously in front of a center control console. The screen wrapped around the entire length of the room, using up as much space as possible. To her surprise, there were already two officers in teal manning the controls. "Sorry to interrupt," Jessica told the two women as she moved towards the center of the room.

At the controls were Commander Nissa Otri and Ensign Isabel Ross. The two officers turned their heads over their shoulders to see who entered and immediately stood from their station. "Captain Matthews," Nissa said as she smiled and extender her arm to greet the woman. "I'm Commander Otri, and this is Ensign Ross. We didn't expect to see you here this early."

"The Admiral's giving me a tour of the ship, but it seems like everyone's beating me here," Jessica told the Commander shaking both her hand and the Ensign's. "It's good to meet you both. This is Admiral Wolf, Fourth Fleet Executive Officer."

Elizabeth trailed behind Jessica, also shaking the two women's hands. "It's a pleasure. I hope we aren't disturbing you," she added, looking over to the screen behind them. About a third of the screen was dedicated to a Starfleet mission briefing, and the rest outlined a gridded path from Earth to the Reliquary.

"Not at all, Admiral. In fact, I think you both might like to see this," Nissa replied as she turned to the control console and tapped a few buttons on the panel. "We're plotting a course to the Reliquary for our first assignment. I was just getting the Ensign here up to speed with the latest report from Admiral Hatch. The Ensign and I met while boarding the Excalibur, and there's a lot to unpack here so we figured we'd get a head start."

Jessica stepped forward and looked around. She analyzed the information before her, but also took in the sheer beauty of the room. "You know, Admiral Wolf built up a lot of anticipation before she let me in here. I'm happy to see it was all worth it," she said smiling back at Elizabeth.

Isabel stood behind Nissa as the Captain and Admiral watched the screen. Unlike the Captain, she was intimidated by the Admiral's gold trim. She received her commission less than a year ago and this was her first posting on a starship. She randomly met her boss on day one, and now, not even half an hour later, she was standing in a room with her Captain and one of the most powerful woman in the fleet.

"I have a feeling you'll be spending a lot of time in here over the course of this assignment, Captain," Elizabeth replied as she smiled back at Jessica. She turned to the Ensign and smiled at her too. "It's good to see the Academy is properly training our officers. When I graduated and earned my commission, I probably wouldn't have known where to begin in a room like this." This, of course, was a bit of an exaggeration. Elizabeth was a trained Operations Officer – rooms like this were kind of her thing – but she knew that her comment might help ease the Ensign's tension.

Turning to the Admiral, Izzy almost froze. Is she actually talking to me? the woman thought. "Yes, ma'am," she replied, almost as a first instinct. "Having a room like this is every science officer's dream," she told the Admiral. "I saw pictures from the schematics, and I worked in astrometrics labs in the Academy, but I never expected anything like this."

"Well, if you think this is cool, just wait until you see the bridge," Elizabeth replied with a chuckle. "That reminds me, Captain, should we move on to our next stop? I think we've taken up enough of the Ensign and the Commander's time."

Jessica turned back to the Admiral and nodded. "It was good to meet you both," she told the women in blue with a nod. "Thank you for entertaining us," she added as she walked back to the Admiral.

"Stop by anytime, Captain," Nissa replied, returning the nod. "When we're finished here, I'll meet you on the bridge and hopefully I'll have a preliminary report ready for you."

"Thank you, but no rush, Commander. We're still here for another few days," Jessica said as she walked towards the exit with the Admiral. "Take some time to relax and get settled, you'll have plenty of time to work when we leave drydock. And that goes for you too, Ensign."

"Of course, Captain," Nissa added before the Captain and Admiral left the lab. As the room went silent, she heard a small exhale from Ensign Ross. "Don't worry, Ensign, there won't be many Admirals where we're going," she said with a chuckle as she took her seat.


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