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A Living Relic?

Posted on Thu May 16th, 2024 @ 3:32am by Captain Takami Karibuchi & Commander Hikari Karibuchi & Yulena Shastakar & Lieutenant Commander Ashlynn Regan

2,535 words; about a 13 minute read

Mission: Season 1, Episode 0: "A Time To Heal"
Location: USS Yorktown (NCC-91781), Deck 17
Timeline: Shortly After "An Unorthodox Examination"

"Sciences was a bit trickier for us to incorporate, as by that point the planners were running out of space," Takami explained as she led Hikari and Yulena through the (surprisingly cramped) labyrinth of corridors of Deck 17, a small vial containing Yulena's biological samples in her hand. "There was supposedly some back-and-forth discussion about ditching the Emporium entirely in favor of more dedicated scientific facilities on Decks 6 and 7, but ultimately, some careful ergonomic planning allowed us to incorporate the bare minimum into Decks 17 through 21; stellar cartography, astrometrics, aeroponics, an arboretum, Cetecean Ops, aquatic labs, wet-labs, variable-gravity labs, multidisciplinary labs, xeno-marine biology, xenobotany..."

"That's the minimum?" Hikari gawked in disbelief.

Takami winked. "What can I say? We live in an era where miracles are possible now."

Meanwhile, Ashlynn Regan was in her office writing a new report for the Yorktown's new Commander, who would be arriving any minute. At least she was supposed to be. She was actually asleep in her chair in her office, with the report laying on the desk. In fairness, the report was nearly done but couldn't be finished until the few in her department at the moment reported in. Since the Yorktown was still in drydock, besides keeping equipment and reports in check there wasn't much for a science department to do, besides some small side projects and random stellar cartography or astrometrics searches. That was when any of those systems were online and in working order. However her slumber didn't last long when she was awaken by the sound of one of her junior science technicians, a Cadet on her senior cadet rotation, paged her on the comm.

"Cadet Ryla to Lieutenant Commander Regan"

Ash had been started awake from the voice, nearly falling out of her chair. She groaned before reaching for a cup of coffee that had been sitting on her desk since before she had entered her office a few hours before. She took a sip and nearly spit out the caffeinated beverage, which was now cold and bleak. She slid the mug back onto her desk and frowned before tapping the the button on the comm panel on her desk. "Regan here" she said.

"I have an update to the science provision manifest ma'am" the cadet reported.

"Understood cadet. I'll be right there. Regan out" the Chief Science Officer said before closing the channel. She hastily picked up the cold coffee and set it into the replicator and set the function to recycle it. As the drink dissapeard, she set the replicator to create a new, hot cup of coffee. Seconds after it materialized, she swiped it from the bay and took a sip of the hot beverage. Much better. She quickly transferred the drink to an insulated travel mug that was lab safe. After that, she picked her incomplete report off of her desk and left the room in a flash for science lab one.

Upon seeing Ashlynn enter the science lab the Cadet stood at attention before the Commander motioned for her to stand at ease. "I have the report here for you ma'am" she handed the CSO a another PADD.

Ash smiled slightly. "Thank you Cadet" she said as she accepted the report and began to examine it for herself. Seeing as everything checked out -she figured it would since the Cadet had proved to be trustworthy- she began to transfer everything to her own report to give to the inbound CO.

before she had the opportunity to complete that task, however, the doors to Science Lab One snapped open and a tall, slender brunette poked her head in, tailed closely by a second, shorter brunette, and a silver-haired woman whose physical features were distinctly... non-human in nature.

"Ah, Commander Reagan!" the taller brunnette called out. "Just the person I was hoping to see; we just finished taking some samples of General Shastakar up in sickbay, and we were hoping to give them to you and your department for further analysis."

Ash jumped slightly before turning around to see three other women, one was an alien who appeared to be the General, and the other two wore Starfleet Command Red. One had three gold pips and the other had four. She recognized the Commander as the Yorktown's new CO, but only because she had read the file of all of her new colleagues. She didn't recognize the Captain however, which made her a little uneasy that someone knew her but she didn't know them. To be fair, it was more so paranoia due to her time with Starfleet Intelligence, and Captains had access to most records anyways.

Shaking off the feeling internally, Ash regarded the group. "It's a pleasure to meet you sirs" before continuing she looked at the cadet briefly who was standing very still at attention with a terrified look in her face. She looked back at the three other officers. "We can certainly take a look at the General's samples Captain-" she asked, unsure who the woman with four pips was.

"Oh, dear, where are my manners?" the taller brunette chuckled. "Captain Takami Karibuchi, commanding officer of the USS Hornet. This here is your commanding officer, Commander Hikari Karibuchi..." -she gestured towards the shorter brunette- " well as our Special Representative for the Annexari, General Yulena Shastakar."

"Pleasure to make the acquaintance, Commander," the shorter brunette, Hikari, greeted, offering Ashlynn her outstretched hand.

Ash accepted her new CO's hand before releasing. "The pleasure is mine ma'am" she smiled before speaking to the General and extending her own hand to greet the woman. "It is also a pleasure to meet your acquaintance General."

The Annexari stared awkwardly at Ashlynn's outstretched hand, evidently not understanding the gesture.

"Er... forgive her, Commander," Takami interceded. "There's a great many thing's she's still learning about our customs."

"Ah... my apologies" she said before slightly dying internally. Ashlynn's diplomatic skills were a little bit rusty. Continuing, she looked at Takami. "You said you had a sample for my department and I to analyze ma'am?"

"As a matter of fact, I have it right here," Takami stated, furnishing the vial and handing it to Ashlynn. "Doctor Zephyrin reports that there doesn't appear to be any overly-complicated biomarkers that would prevent you from synthesizing her blood- or at the very least, a plasma analog in case of an emergency. She's hoping to conduct some more comprehensive testing at a later date, but for now this should contain enough genetic data to give us a very basic roadmap of the Annexaris' biological makeup."

Ash accepted the vial and carefully examined it up close with her own eyes as she listened to Takami carefully. She temporarily placed the vial in a storage device on one of the lab counters while she pressed a button on the countertop, which would reveal a device which rose out of the counter that could be used to examine the sample. The small door opened to the device and she put the vial in a slot that was in the device before closing the door and pressing a button on the small LCARS panel on the top of the device which started the process.

"The initial scans should take no more than a minute. The scans will then be analyzed by the device first and then my team. If you need the sample for anything else we should be fine without the vial since we'll have the scans" she said to the Commander, Captain, and General.

"Oh, but of course," Takami nodded. "I'll be sure to pass the information on to Doctor Zephyrin before I leave."

"Thank you Captain" she said before trailing off. A few moments later, the machine beeped and the compartment opened, revealing the sample, and emitting a data chip out of the side. Ash extracted the sample and the chip and handed them to the Command Officers. "One sample and one scan sirs."

"Much appreciated, Commander," Takami smiled as she took both items and tucked them away for safekeeping. "Well, this exchange has been relatively brief, so... if you've got time to spare, perhaps you could tell Hikari here a little more about yourself?"

"Oh, but of course!" Hikari agreed. "I'm always a firm believer in getting to know my crew on a more personal level, so that I'm in a better position to offer advice where it's needed."

"That's a smart idea ma'am" she smiled briefly. "I don't have anything else at the moment besides a few reports, so I can give some insight on myself" she stopped and realized that Cadet Ryla was still at attention and appeared as if she was about to pass out. "I don't know that my Cadet here can take much more of this for the moment however" she chuckled.

"Oh, dear," Hikari chuckled, before shifting her attention towards Ryla. "At ease, Cadet, please."

"Aye ma'am" the cadet said before relaxing her arms behind herself and taking a breath. Being that the ship was in drydock, the cadet rarely saw officers higher ranked than Commander Regan. In fact it had been since before she left for her cadet cruise that she saw a Captain, or a full Commander. Ashlynn was only a Lieutenant Commander.

Ashlynn gave a look of reassurance to Ryla before turning to look at the Yorktown's new CO. "Before anything ma'am, I should warn you that there are things on my record that must be discussed in private, given the differences in security clearances of those present" she said, hoping she wasn't coming off too uncivil.

"Security clearances?" Hikari repeated, evidently perplexed as to the need for such a drastic measure.

"Let's just say that Commander Regan has done some fairly high-profile Intel work for us on the side," Takami explain for her sister's clarification. "I'm not exactly at liberty to specify the nature of her assignments, but she's probably seen more in her 21 years working with Starfleet Intelligence than most of us will see in our lifetime."

Sadly, she thought. In all of her intel assignments, she had seen serious things, and endured much harder during her time there. She would never wish it on anyone she knew. She also never considered how long she had been in Starfleet. Humans in this time aged longer than the 21st Century, but even still, 21 years was a long time to serve. Yet, she didn't see herself quitting anytime soon. She chuckled," 21 years, where has the time gone?"

"You're telling me," Hikari joked. "21 years ago, I was..."

She paused for a second to run the numbers in her head. "...prepubescent?"

She shook her head. "Sorry about that, Commander, didn't mean to make you feel old. Anyhow, where were we?"

"It's alright ma'am" she chuckled. "I believe you were wanting to discuss my service record?"

"Ah, of course," Hikari replied. "Do continue."

Ash nodded. "Well to start, I majored in Science and Intelligence at Starfleet Academy. During that time I caught the eye of a starship Captain working for Starfleet Intel, and that happened to be my first posting" she began, not being able to say more in regards to the Valiant, since most of the ships record was classified.

"After that, I served on Earth for a while before I transferred to the USS Endurance as her Chief Science Officer. I served there for seven years before I transferred to the Horizon, also as her Chief Science Officer" she continued. "I served in one more assignment after that before I took a leave of absence before coming here" she said, not really wanting to elaborate on too much, due to the classified nature of things and the fact that mentioning the Horizon brought back old wounds.

"I must say, it's relatively uncommon to come across a Science Officer who dabbles in Intel work on the side," Hikari admitted. "Nothing wrong with that, of course, but based on my experiences, it's still relatively uncommon."

"It certainly is. As a cadet it definitely appealed to me. Now, I definitely wouldn't recommend it unless those doing it are dead set on it. It's not for the faint of heart" she said sadly.

"I can only imagine," Hikari replied. "So, if you don't mind my asking, Commander... what led you into the field? Presuming of course that you're at leisure to say."

"I suppose it sounded interesting to me at the time. I got good marks in Intel, and I was put on the radar of that Captain I mentioned. That being said, I realize now that there may have been more- emotional reasons to join Intel alongside Sciences..."Ash smiled sadly.

"Oh?" Hikari's look shifted to one of concern.

"It- regards an old friend" she said. "It also brings up some negative memories. I'd rather discuss anything related to that in private ma'am, if that is acceptable?" While Alpha Three was public knowledge, she felt that it wasn't the best place to bring up her scars that weren't caused by intel, due to the fact that the Cadet, Captain Karibuchi, and the General, were still present. While reluctant to bring it up at all, she knew it was her duty to inform Hikari, since she was her CO, and it would be ideal for her to know what could cause her to be emotionally compromised if the situation arose. Hopefully Ash wouldn't get to that point. She swore to herself that she wouldn't

"Oh, of course!" Hikari obliged. "Whenever you need to talk, Commander, my door is open."

"Thank you ma'am" she said before recollecting herself. "Is there anything else you'd like to know ma'am?"

Hikari momentarily weighed in on Ashlynn's offer, but ultimately shook her head. "No, I think that covers everything, Commander; I'm still in the process of touring the facilities, so anything that wasn't brought up here can be discussed in a more private setting."

Ash smiled lightly. "Thank you ma'am" before looking to Takami and General Shastakar. "And thank you for your time Captain, General" she nodded.

"The pleasure was ours, Commander," Takami smiled. "Now, if you'll excuse us, I think we'd best be getting back on the tour."

She nodded before returning the smile. As she watched the senior officers leave she turned to the Cadet and smiled. "Are you alright Cadet?"

Ryla took a deep breath. "I am now ma'am. That was terrifying."

Ash chuckled. "It gets better Cadet. I have a fond memory of my first time meeting a high ranked officer that wasn't academy staff. Maybe I'll tell you about it sometime."

After a few minutes more Ash told the Cadet to carry on before retreating back to her office with haste to continue working.

Posting by (In order of appearance):

Captain Takami Karibuchi
Commanding Officer, USS Hornet (NCC-42025)

Commander Hikari Karibuchi
Commanding Officer, USS Yorktown (NCC-91781)

General Yulena Shastakar
Annexari Special Representative

Lieutenant Commander Ashlynn Regan
Chief Science Officer, USS Yorktown (NCC-91781)

Cadet Ryla
Science Officer, USS Yorktown (NCC-91781)


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