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A First Assignment

Posted on Sun Sep 5th, 2021 @ 5:56am by Lieutenant Niles McCulloch Lt. & Ensign Trevor Andrews Ensign & Captain Emmalyn Marcus & Lieutenant T'Ponga Shemara & Lieutenant Sykon Son of Sran. Son of Kanok & Lieutenant Angelus De'luvia & Lieutenant JG Travis Ryson
Edited on on Tue Sep 7th, 2021 @ 10:46pm

Mission: The Road From Atlantis
Location: Bridge and Briefing Room
Timeline: Md1 - 0630hours
Tags: Tag , Mr. Sykon.


[0630Hrs - Bridge]

As Delta Shift's watch was ending an urgent message came in from StarFleet Command.

The duty communications officer opened the channel.

=^=USS Montana, this is Starfleet Operations. On the orders of Commodore Reynolds, Federation Liaison division, have Captain Marcus assemble her command staff for a mission assignment briefing at oh-eight-thirty hours ship-time =^=

The officer acknowledged and contacted the Captain.

[Captain's Quarters]

"Good morning Ma'am" He passed along the message. "That was all they said, just for you to stand by for a mission briefing at eight-thirty. But the Commodore would like a short word now"

"I am sorry to hear about the passing of your XO." Reynolds started "It is rather unfortunate. However I see you selected a new one. That's good because you are going to need him on what I am about to tell you."

Marcus gazed at the man. Her first real orders as he explained.
"We have received a call for help. The planet is one that was unknown, called Amithian. The planet is based almost entirely underwater though its native lifeforms are relatively similar to us.

Their sun has gone red giant leaving them only six months until their water drains and kills what little is left of them. We need you to find a Class M planet suitable for their needs. I'll have more details for you at oh-eight-thirty"

"Acknowledged sir." Marcus replied

[Deck 4: Big Sky Lounge]

Trevor had finally caught-up with the Chief Science Office as he sits down at a table with his cup of coffee.

"Science Officer, Ensign Trevor Andrews, reporting for duty, Sir." Trevor formally introduces himself to Ryson. Standing at parade attention saluting, as he awaited a reply.

"Welcome aboard Ensign. And welcome to my rather small Science department." Travis chuckled.

"Thank you, Sir." Replies Ensign Trevor Andrews, as a message comes over the communication system.

=^= This is Captain Marcus, all command and senior staff are to assemble for a Mission Assignment Briefing at oh-eight-thirty hours ship-time, in the Bridge, Briefing Room. That is all =^=

Hearing the intercom, Ryson picked up his own cup of coffee. "Sorry to cut things short Ensign, but duty calls. Just give me a shout if you need anything."

Being an Android, Andrews has no trouble keeping pace with Ryson, " I don't like shouting, Lieutenant Ryson, but is this briefing just for officers only?" Ensign Andrews asks politely.

"As far as I know it is Ensign. However, if I need aide in anything, I'll let you know" Travis replied honestly. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the Briefing Room" He said in a polite tone.

"Aloha, Lieutenant Ryson" Ensign Andrews says as Ryson hurries away from the Ensign.

"There is more than one to 'skin an onion' or get into a Briefing." Andrews said out-loud, to himself.

=^=James, this is Andy, come-in, Please.=^= The android Ensign said into his communicator. He repeated, =^=James, this is Andy, come-in, please =^=

Also in the lounge were McCulloch and T'Ponga.
"Oh sorry about the rant, found a problem in the dilithium frame hatch. Bloody base engineers don't know their asses from their elbows. Had to replace the hatch coupling before getting here" T'Ponga said calmly. "You were saying?"

"I was about to ask you how you were after that little rant, T'ponga." James said politely.

"I guess the question is now, was it anything major...", James was cut short by the same announcement that interrupted Trevor and the CSO.

T'Ponga answered anyway, "No, not really just an easily repairable Starbase Repair Crew screw-up. Luckily It was nothing dangerous.", She finished assuredly.

"I guess we better - " They both say together, with James Politely letting T'ponga finish it," - get going. See you at the Briefing, James." T'Ponga says with smile and laughing as she quickly flashes the traditional Vulcan hand gesture and saying: "Live Long and Prosper.”

T'Ponga set off in a different direction than James, adding "I have something I have to attend to, first."

As they separate, James, says loud enough that he knows her Vulcan ears can hear "See You at the Briefing."

Reflexively giving the same 'gesture', which he knows by she can't see, by the way she's going.

[0820Hrs - Bridge - Briefing Room]

Sykon arrived, he set down a steaming mug of Vulcan Spice Tea and took a seat at the table. Steepling his fingers, he closed his eyes to meditate for a moment before the others arrived.

ACSO McCulloch arrived, nodded and otherwise acknowledged exchanges of greeting to those that are in the room as he take a seat.

Looking around he notices that neither Ensign Andrews or Commander T'Ponga Shemara are present yet, either.

Suddenly James get an in-coming message signal on his communicator, which he answers promptly.

=^=James, this is Andy, come-in, please.=^= He knows something is up, because Trevor doesn't call himself "Andy" unless there is!

=^=What's up, Trev?=^= James asks covertly as he palms his communicator.

=^=CSO, says your party is Officers only, James.=^= Trevor replies matter-of-factly.

=^=Yeah, so why aren't you here? Ensign is the junior commissioned officer rank, you Know=^= Quietly replies James.

=^= Duh!?!=^= Answers Trevor, as he left palms his forehead. =^=I'll beam right there, immediately =^= Trevor says, calmly, as he simultaneously accesses the ship's computer and nearest transporter controls; beaming himself to a point in the Briefing Room just behind an empty chair next to James before he can say anything-else.

Travis walked into the briefing room with a cup of coffee in one hand and his PADD in the other. He took the next available seat and set his coffee and PADD down on the table.

As he sat down, Science/Engineering Officer, Ensign Trevor A. Andrews beamed himself to a point in the Briefing Room just behind an empty chair next to James before anyone can say anything.

James did not say anything as replaced his communicator, chuckling under his breath.

Andrews, politely addresses the startled Chief Science Officer, "Ensign is the junior commissioned officer rank, Sir." Then sat down and awaited a possible reply from Ryson.

"I am aware Ensign. My apologies if I caused any trouble" Travis said simply.

"Ahem," Sykon looks over at Andrew's unconventional arrival, eyebrow raised, the unauthorized transporter use interrupting his medication. "In future Mister Andrews, please use the door like everyone else, is that understood?"

Ensign Andrews, acknowledged Sykon, by quickly standing and saluting, saying, "Understood and noted, Lieutenant Sykon, Sir. Will use the door from here on, Sir." Then he slowly retook his seat, as T'Ponga entered the Briefing Room.

After T'Ponga made sure her people were continuing their work, she took the turbo lift to the briefing room. Racktajino in hand, she entered and gave the traditional Vulcan greeting, "I come to serve" and took her seat.

Sykron nodded "Your service is welcome"

Angelus gave a little bit of a stretch before stepping into the briefing room. Giving a nod to those already in there and moving to take a seat.

Nyimbo was the newest of the new she had served on brand new ships but not the best of what Starfleet had researched, she was a little nervous at first walking up to the Briefing Room, this would be her first meeting as a Department Head but she managed her breathing to calm her as she entered the room.

"Hiya," She said nervously "Doctor Babangida-Onyejekwe, Nyimbo just call me Nimble" She said with a smile then quickly took a seat.

"Good morning Doctor" Sykon acknowledged their new medical officer as she sat down.

Marcus ran into the room like she was the Queen of some ancient kingdom. She took the chair at the head of the table, seat then gazed at the screen. Now they were able to start.

At Eight-Thirty precisely the briefing room screen flickered to life, the familiar Starfleet logo was quickly replaced by the image of a Human male Commodore and a female Human in civilian clothing but wearing a Federation Diplomatic sash, they were also at a table, but many light years away.

"Captain Marcus, I'm Commodore Reynolds, Starfleet Federation Liaison" The man said and introduced his companion "This is Miss Bentley of the Federation Diplomatic service"

I understand you're recovering from a recent attempt on your life, but we have an urgent mission for the Montana, I hope you and the crew are up for the challenge.

“I believe we are” Marcus responded, eager to hear what the ship was being assigned to do.

“Good, well I'll let Miss Bentley give you the background" Reynold passed over to his companion.

The woman spoke. "The Federation has recently been contacted by a newly warp-capable civilization, the Amithadites.

They are a humanoid-amphibian species, but their world is facing an extinction level crisis. Their sun is dying and as it becomes a red giant it has caused catastrophic drought and climate change on Amithain. The situation is getting worse by the day.

They once had oceans over seventy-seven percent of their world, but over the last four hundred years that has shrunk to less than ten percent.

Their entire civilization is based on water, from food to fusion power. But the drought and water loss has caused famine and starvation, they have lost millions and are down to less than seven thousand survivors, with maybe six months before the last of their water is gone.

They have only two warp capable ships and are desperately searching for a new world. A month ago, one of them encountered a Tellerite ship, who informed the Federation and they have now requested our help.

At a special session of the Council we have elected to assist the Amithadites in their search." She turned back to Reynolds.

"Which is where Starfleet and the Montana come in Captain." Reynolds picked up "We are assigning you to assist the Amithadites in their search.

At the conclusion of this Briefing you will make all speed to Amithian. On arrival, you are to meet with their leaders, they have found three potential planets to move to. You will help them select and explore the most promising one.

Meanwhile, I will be assembling a convoy of transport ships to relocate them to their new planet, once you have helped them select one.

I don't need to stress that this mission is urgent and that their entire species is at risk here. I understand you have a new ship and crew, but can you handle this mission Captain?"

"This is what I signed up for when I joined Starfleet. So yes sir, we can manage." Marcus replied confidently.

Reynolds nodded "Good, I'm sure you and your command staff have questions. Miss Bentley and I will do our best to answer them"

Angelus found that a little curious, and since that seemed like an opening for questions, Angelus spoke up. "What other species territory is that close to? Just in case."

"Amithian is not far from the Azure Nebula" Reynolds replied. "The closest major power would be the Klingons"

"And they don't like us, nor do they like us being near their territory. Also if it's going to be abandoned they may see it ripe for the taking to expand." Angelus gave a bit of a hefty sigh.

"It's probably far enough from them that they are not interested, since the Amithadiates have not reported any conflict" Bentley replied.

"With their Sun going Red Giant there won't be much left within a few months either" Reynolds added. "But I agree, it is wise to be cautious Lieutenant, the Klingons are not ones to turn down an easy attack on an undefended species"

"That is particularly why I said that. Openings are openings. They will take it if they want to." Angelus concluded.

Marcus found the courage to speak up after allowing the previous officer speak. "If you don't mind my asking who exactly is this contact. So we know who to look for" She asked.

“Their leader is called Anderin, he is their First Speaker” Bentley replied
“They have a world parliament, but have lost many of their leadership along with the population. They will be expecting you in about five days”

"Do we need to make any special arrangements for bringing the Amithadites on aboard?" Sykon asked

"Their atmosphere and environment is within the usual Humanoid Class M range, although they do prefer a higher humidity" Bentley explained.

"As they spend around fifty percent of their time in water, they will need access to a pool"

"A pool?" Sykon raised an eyebrow. Not many starships came with swimming pools

"We thought you could perhaps convert a cargo bay" Reynolds added. "Their seas have a higher salinity and mineral level than most oceans, we can send you the chemical composition"

Sykon looked over T'Ponga, McCulloch, Andrews and Ryson. "I believe Cargo Bay Three is mostly empty. If you and your team can construct a suitable tank Chief Engineer, I'm sure Mister Ryson can fill it with the correct type of water, yes?"

"Of course, I see no reason why not. Approximately how much water are we talking about?" T'Ponga asked.

"As large a tank as feasible in the space, should be sufficient" Sykon replied, glancing to Reynolds. The Commodore nodded.

"Transparent Aluminum should do the job. The cargo bay is big enough to hold enough water for them to swim in," T'Ponga stated.

Sykon nodded "That sounds very suitable, thank you. How long to build it?"

"As soon as I have the transparent aluminum delivered, we can construct the pool. Should take.... Oh maybe twenty four hours, all shifts working rotations" T'Ponga stated.

"Thank you Commander" Sykon acknowledged. “Please requisition the supplies as soon as we conclude the briefing”

McCulloch and his sometime "Adjutant" Ensign Andrews looked at each other knowingly, winking and nodding.

"Captain Marcus, Sir." said Ensign Andrews as he stood back-up, "May I suggest a simpler solution? To bring the Amithadiates' planetary search party aboard and providing a perfect salinity point water for their pool, at the same-time Sir." Andrews asked.

"It is a solution preformed, by Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, on Earth, a while ago. It involves not just beaming up personnel, but also with the water they are in." Andrews, paused for effect, then continued, "In his case It was Humped-Back Whales"

"Yes, hence the use of transparent aluminum. It’s the tonnage that is required to be exact," T'Ponga added

Andrews wished he could smile but finished. "Do you require the details, Captain Marcus?"

"I do not I think so, it has all been explained" Marcus explained. They were all well aware of the Enterprise’s recent time-travel mission to save Earth from an alien probe by bringing whales into the present to communicate with the probe.

Andrews remained standing awaiting an answer.

"You can retake your seat Mister Andrews" Sykon instructed him "It is not necessary to stand whenever you are speaking at a briefing"

"While your suggestion has merit, unlike whales, this species is amphibian and not aquatic. Are you therefore presuming that the delegation will be fully immersed at the time of transport?

And should the standard welcoming party also be immersed when the delegates arrive? For all we know they may swim naked and what of their clothes, luggage and other equipment?" Sykon observed the android, curious about it's lack of logic in not thinking through the problem fully.

"One, Lieutenant Sykon, The ship has more than one transporter. So, their gear be can brought up separately, if It does not need to be Immersed in any fashion.

Two, a Semi-Aquatic civilization of their "Age", most likely would wears some kind or form of clothing, that is appropriate for their chosen lifestyle.

Three, It would solve getting the receiving pool's salinity, chemical and mineral make-up absolutely correct. Would It Not?

Fourth, and possibly finally, it would be an appropriate gesture of greeting given their present situation. Also, it would show that we are damn serious about helping them find an appropriate new Home World. Sir." Andrews answered, still standing.

"Plus, as far as interfacing with them is concerned during this mission, their pool should have an appropriate observation deck, for us to work with them in and out of the water.

Thus, creating a maximum level of comfort for them. For us a maximum window of interface time with them, in assessing the data collected to help them pick their appropriate new Home World.

Also, an easy access for us to enter the pool with them should that become necessary. Sir." The android continued as he sat back down. Politely looking in both Sykon and Marcus’s direction awaiting any possible comment or question.

"With all due respect Andrews, I like your idea but I'm going with Sykon on this" Marcus commented.

"If I may respond to the Ensign's points" Said Bentley from the screen. "The Amithadiates are fully aware we are serious about helping them. After all, they know we are sending you to assist them." She smiled.

"They have also informed us they are preparing a welcoming ceremony for your arrival. I doubt the six member party will wish to be directly transported aboard until that is complete.

Furthermore, they return to the water primarily to eat and sleep. And, we are advised, they do indeed undertake these functions without clothing

Like any number of other species, the Amithadiates, have no social restrictions on nudity!

They will also be bringing their own food supply aboard. Various aquatic plants and kelps, plus their main protein source, a form of hibernating fish roe, which hatches out once immersed in water, of the correct chemical balance.

The salinity and mineral balances will need to be monitored and corrected as time goes on, so even if you brought up an initial pool full of their water, it would not last for more than a day or two, without needing additional chemical infusions.

Essentially, the main requirement for the pool will be for their food and sleep, rather than work. The rest of the time they will be perfectly able to move around the ship and interact with the crew, as any other land-based lifeform.

They are amphibian humanoids, with arms and legs, not mermaids with tails, Ensign Andrews.

I think that should clarify things" Bentley concluded

"Indeed, thank you." Reynolds nodded to her and turned back to the briefing room. "Captain, any final questions from you or your officers?"

"I know that they spend fifty percent of their time in their water. No one knows how long this going to take. Having their water exact is important and any artificial recreation of It will never be exactly complete. One wrong or missed element could make all the difference in having them in and out of the Sick Bay." Andrews stated plainly

"Besides I still say it's not that hard and would make a very good welcome-aboard gesture. In any case I already have a design for a tank for the Cargo Bay. We could have the computer and transporter system assemble it, but I thought you all would rather do that yourselves. So, it's up to you how to build It and fill It." Andrews finished.

"I appreciate your enthusiasm Ensign" Reynolds replied

"However, I think we have explained the requirements clearly.
The chemical formula we are sending you is the one supplied by the Amithadiates themselves. It is the system they use on their own ships.

Therefore I think we will allow the Amithadiates to know what is best for them! We will be following their instructions. Is that understood Ensign?"

"Yes! Fully Sir." Andrews replied.

McCulloch just looked at Andrews and sighed to himself under his breath, "He's always got to be the ever-helpful- Android."

He continued with a question of his own, "Do we have data in Starfleet files on the three candidate planets, to review, Sir? If you don't we’ve got a tank to build."

James awaited an answer and poured himself a glass of water from one of the pitchers on the Briefing Room's conference table.

Turning to answer the question, Reynolds said. "The Amithadiates have shared the locations with us, they are not previously recorded in our stellar body data base. So, we have no other information about the planets at this time.

As I said earlier, they will discuss the three with you on arrival and you will together determine which one the Montana will explore; while their two ships check out the others." The Commodore finished and awaited any other questions.

"As far as maintaining the delicate balance of salinity, I can have a pump and recycling unit made up to do the job. It should not be a problem as the specs are already in my database," T'Ponga said calmly.

Sykon nodded to the Engineer. "Good, thank you Commander.”

He turned to Babangida-Onyejekwe. “Doctor, please assist Commander T'Ponga and Lieutenant Ryson with ensuring the correct chemical balance, once we have the details"

"Aye sir," Nyimbo said but she began to wonder why she was given this task she wasn't an Engineer but making sure any rads won't escape is better than running medical drills.

McCulloch turned to Andrews saying, "I know you mean well, Andy, but next time keep it, shorter; more concise and to the point. I know you're going, to say you are detailed in your remarks to keep down the confusion. But it just adds to it."

James paused and looked at Andy, who was sitting silently staring back at James and awaiting orders.

James just sighed and said "You go help Lieutenant Ryson make the Amithadiates' pool water. T'Ponga and I, will be able to help guide Engineering in making them the pool, when this Briefing is finally over. Thanks for setting it up for us."

"My pleasure, James." Andrews replied and stares directly at Ryson awaiting orders.

Andrews remained seated awaiting orders directly from either Ryson or Marcus. While waited he programed into the ship's replicator system a request for a supply of Earth style saline sea water in a volume required to fill the pool he designed. Programing into the request the adjustment requirement capability, that will require, before Its fabrication. In short, the ability to change mineral, chemical, basic and trace elements, or otherwise as needed; to control the mixture and measurement.

Also, at the same time, slightly exciding authority, but as James' part time assistant, he sents an appropriate message to Engineering, and the quarters of Engineering Personnel, off duty; plus the lounge that all non essential Engineering Personnel assemble in Cargo Bay Three immediately.

"Oh! Sirs!" He said standing-up to make himself noticed, "In setting up the Replicator water supply requirements, pre-Amithadiate adjustments, there is one important thing you and I forgot to consider!

That make beaming up the Amithadiates' native water necessary. It’s their native waters' Biome. The living things microscopic and non microscopic, that make their native water, their native water

He paused for effect, continuing, "Without It for at least long haul purposes and re-establishing a complete home world transfer. You need to at least, to beam-up a Large enough sample to recreate their Home Planet's water biome. Because the Replicators can't make exact living Duplicates can It?"

Andrews said casting his eyes around toward the people on the view screen and pertinent ship's Officers in the Briefing Room, as he awaited an answer.

There, he goes again. Thought James, Pointing-out the obvious. Then mentally sighing That's out of my "Wheel-House". Dudes & Dudettes, that your job

Also, knowing by now that Andrews would have already had the Engineering Crew available and headed toward Cargo Bay Three, his little-grey-cells, as his favorite Agatha Christie detective, next to "Miss Marple" would say, And my job is to make sure the tank is built.

James gives T'Ponga a knowing covert 'High Sign' signally, in short,Time is of the essence. I'm headed to Cargo Bay Three now. You can bring further details when all the talking is over. Okay, Boss?

So, given his size and physical overwhelming physical presence, he tried to leave the Briefing Room as un-noticed as possible. He would have wished he could have had Andrews beam him out but, Sykon had spoken concerning that form of exiting a room, especially a Briefing Room.

“Sit back down Mister McCulloch” Sykon instructed the Engineer. “You will be dismissed when the Captain says so, not before”
"This is a time Sensitive Mission, Mister Sykon, and I have a job to do and Will not talked To Like First Grader by ANYONE!" James says gritting his Teeth, " Now Rephrase that more "politely" or I'm Leaving, to do my Job."

“And Mister Andrews, you will also retake your seat” Sykon turned to look at the Andoid. “Again we do not stand in Briefings.”
"I will stand if that's what it Takes, to be listened to." Andrews says politely, to Mr. Sykon. " I may be an Android and only an Ensign, but I'm am a Crewperson, aboard this Ship. And Like Lt. McCulloch deserve to be treated like One."

Once both had sat back down he continued. “You point about the Amithidates’ aquatic biosphere is correct. However, had you been paying attention you would have heard the Commodore clearly stating that we will not be replicating anything. We will use the formula as supplied by the Amithidates, as they sue on their own ships, not your own concoction.

The Commodore also stated that he is assembling a convoy to transport the remaining Amithidate population to whichever planet is selected. That will bring along any relevant supplies of indigenous biological flora and fauna as the Amithidate may themselves select as being suitable for transfer to their new planet.”

Reynolds looked over at Andrews. “When I was a young Ensign Mister Andres, I learned to offer suggestions to senior staff when requested and to listen carefully to their instructions. You should learn that habit son”

Alright, if that's all, we will hand over to you Captain" Reynolds finished from the view screen. "I will have the course and all other data sent to you directly."

"Thank you, sir" Marcus replied. “Briefing dismissed!”

"Ok time is wasting and I have a tank to build. I also have to manufacture a pumping system that can include the exact chemical balance of their water and marine life in the water as well. I gladly accept the help from science and medical in that area," T'Ponga said as she stepped away from the table.



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