Restoring Peace & Prosperity
S02E01 "Cold Reception"
Location: USS Musashi-B | Deck 06 | Transporter Room 1
Walking through the doors of the Transporter Room of the freshly painted, redecorated, and re-christened USS Musashi, Captain Zhao wiped the sweat from his brow. The lighting reflecting off his bald blue head. No sooner had he entered the room did the transporter operator come to immediate attention. It was the sort of respect and professionalism that Zhao's command of the USS Musashi brought. Some would say he was admired and respected by the skeletal crew that had been aboard the Musashi with him for the past few weeks, but others would not be wrong in choosing a different adjective for it: fearful. Anyone who served under Zhao long enough understood that the man's iron fist reputation was not a myth.
"Captain Zhao!" the transporter operator shouted as he stiffened to attention. "I was not expecting you to come down here personally, Sir," the young human male, barely passed his teens had stated. "We have two individuals standing by for transport on your orders," added the young man. When asked by the Captain who was requesting transport, the transporter operator responded swiftly, "Doctor Kinaav and a Lieutenant Phelan," and immediately took position behind the transporter console.
Jian stroked his goatee for a moment. "Our Chief Medical Officer and Security Chief," replied Captain Zhao nodding to himself. Both men were interesting in their perspective backgrounds and training. Zhao had been impressed when their personnel files were brought to his attention as eligible officers for assignment to the USS Musashi. "Alright, Crewmen," the Commanding Officer said looking at the man behind the transporters. "Let's bring these gentlemen aboard the Musashi."
Captain Zhao watched the young man's hands at the controls. Nervousness, thought Zhao as he saw the slight tremble of the crewman's hands. It was a mistake that would cost the Crewman in the future. Nervousness is self-doubt. Self-doubt is a weakness that costs lives and resources he thought to himself. As soon as a Personnel Officer and Chief of the Boat were assigned, Zhao would have them evaluate the Crewman's performance and if necessary, have him transferred to another starship, one where his nervousness would not stand in Zhao's way.
The transporter chamber illuminated and two pads lit up as the shimmering form of two Humanoid individuals began to take shape. Zhao knew that neither men were Human, and Phelan in particular had a uniqueness about him. A uniqueness that was highly valuable to not only Captain Zhao, but to the Federation and Starfleet in general. Zhao had to all but sell his soul to obtain Phelan. The two individuals were soon standing there before him, all features discernible and the transporter operator gave a nod of assurance that the transport was a success.
Zhao took a step forward. "Gentlemen, welcome to the Musashi," the half Bolian said taking a deep breath and studying them. "Now that you have been properly rematerialized with all your atoms in alignment, I'll give you a moment to adjust. I am Captain Zhao, Commanding Officer of the USS Musashi, a Federation Shangri-la class heavy cruiser."
Phelan stepped down off the transporter pad, his senses providing information to him as his gaze quartered the room. He recognized his new commanding officer more from the material he'd been provided about the Musashi than from his rank insignia. Bolian and at six feet two inches, only an inch shorter than his own six feet three inches. As he stepped forward, his hands moved with fluid grace. ~Lieutenant Phelan reporting for duty as ordered, Captain,~ he signed and waited.
"Lieutennat Kinaav. Chief Medical Officer," The Tellarite said as he stepped off the transporter pad. Kinaav stood at only 5'7", mid range for a Tellarite, and he was towered over by the two others in the room. His stocky build made him sturdy under pressure, and often helped when he had to hold down a patient. "Thank you for the greeting, Sir."
Captain Zhao was intrigued by Phelan's signing. He himself only knew some basic words. ~At ease, Lieutenant~ was about as complex as Zhao got. ~I am not very good at signing, but I will try~ he added.
Phelan nodded though his hands were moving again. ~I can hear, Captain~ he responded. In point of fact, he heard very well and often, more than people expected though that was not something he generally shared. Hunter and Protector were listed in the Federation database as two of the primary traits of a male Mesni. Phelan thought such narrow descriptions were amusing. What was true was that he saw no need to give away an advantage. ~Though I thank you for the effort.~
Captain Zhao nodded. ~Of course, Lieutenant~ he signed to Phelan. The Mensi make had been a man of few spoken words, but his service records was stellar, and Zhao felt he was highly suitable for Security Chief.
Zhao gestured for the two men to follow him. "We will see to it that your luggage and personal belongings are brought aboard and placed in your assigned quarters" stated Zhao. "Doctor, I am currently working on getting you an Assistant Chief Medical Officer to help alleviate your workload, but the medical staff currently aboard are rather green," explained the Captain.
Kinaav nodded, "Thank you, Captain. I will have to work on seeing how green they are. I will send you a training and medical drill schedule that i would like to run to test them." The stocky Tellarite said in a gruff voice. "I don't need my medical staff messing up at the first sign of trouble."
"Indeed not," replied Zhao. "They don't make nurses and technicians like they once did," noted the Captain. "The greener they are, the more cautious they are. Break them of it by any means necessary, Doctor."
"I can agree on that, Sir," the Tellarite said with a slight chuckle.
There was that in Phelan that would have preferred to walk in front so that what came at them, he would encounter first. But this was a Federation vessel and he was eighteen years past the boy who trusted no one and nothing. Instead, he followed though he listened and watched as he walked, his senses reporting information about this unnatural environment and its crew.
"We are at peace with the Klingons for once in my lifetime," stated Captain Zhao. "The Federation is trying to push towards a restoration of peace and prosperity, an avenue of exploration once more, but this starship was not designed for exploration. We are ready to quell any unrest, sooth sores, and pacify through means of power," explained Zhao. "If it isn't unruly Klingons, it will certainly be criminal Orions and the shadowy Romulans."
A chill went down Kinaav's spine. He hated Romulans. "I will make sure sickbay is equipped with plenty of equipment to heal disruptor burns. Those things are nasty."
Zhao could relate to that chill sent down Kinaav's spine. Though it did not unsettle him in the same manner, he had witnessed first hand the destruction a Romulan disruptor had on individuals unlucky enough to be in its path. "Romulan Disruptors are barbaric and crude," Zhao noted with a crispness to his tone. "Federation weapons may be powerful and lethal if necessary, but we certainly pulled a few punches when designing phasers, punches that the Romulans clearly felt were frivolous to take into consideration."
"Nerve endings are not easy to repair. And that's if they don't tear apart your entire nervous system," Kinaav said in his gruff voice. It wasn't a pleasant thought, but it was the truth, and they all knew it. "If we are going to be dealing with Orions, Captain, I do have a pheromone suppressant for their females. As well as an antidote for the males on the ship. It's somewhere in my crates."
From his position at the rear of the group, Phelan rolled his shoulders slightly and growled reflexively. Just a low, slow rumble in the chest at the mention of Orions. There were times still, so many years later, when he could still feel the bite of the harness, designed to prevent unwelcome shifts, and the heavy weight of the collar on his neck. Beasts of a different sort who marketed his people as intelligent 'pets'. Interesting though, what the doctor chose to bring with him. Pheromone antidote? Interesting indeed.
"Hopefully, we won't be needing it, but it is a good thing to have nevertheless," replied Jian. Captain Zhao saw an Andorian approaching with a militant footfall and a stern expression on his face. Zhao came to a full stop and waited for the Andorian to meet them at the juncture. "Gentleman, Lieutenant th'Koruh, ship's tactical officer," noted Zhao. "Doctor Kinaav and Lieutenant Phelan."
The stern expression turned into a small, wry smile, as Lieutenant th'Koruh came to a stop in front of the group and tucked his hands behind his back. "Greetings, Gentlemen... Welcome aboard." He bowed slightly, his antennae bobbing up and down with his movement. "Pleasure to meet you both." Despite his niceties, Casn was looking both new arrivals over carefully with the practiced eye of someone used to sizing up opponents.
Zhao had noticed the sizing up. "Lieutenant, how goes the loading of our armament? I hope everything is going smoothly and we will be fully equipped before we disembark?"
Casn nodded, dropping his hands from behind his back so he could rub them together. "I hope so too, Captain. Things have been running fine so far. Still missing some items, but I'm expecting them soon. I had a brief moment of downtime." He smiled at the new crew again. "I suppose I should get back to work."
"Doctor Kinaav, I will be stopping by shortly into Sickbay to get my routine physical done. I imagine you'll be backed up on those as more crew are signed. Lieutenant Phelan, I would like you to ensure that the armories are properly stocked on appropriate phasers and meet with your security personnel."
"Still missing two security officers... but the Captain is correct that the armories are indeed stocked and ready for your perusal," the Andorian added.
~Of course, Sir,~ Phelan signed. He found the Andorian's perusal refreshing. Starfleet officers took a great deal on faith and often displayed what to him was an inordinate amount of trust in people they had just met. There were those who had tried to drill into him, over the years, that he was supposed to trust those that wore the uniform, withdrawing trust only when the individual did something... well, untrustworthy. To him, that was backward. And so, Phelan returned the frank gaze of the Andorian, balanced lightly and ready to act if need be. As for Security, the armory officer and he would have a discussion regarding the inventory and maintenance of weapons. Just as he would have a discussion with his security team and set up training sessions and evaluations.
Zhao let out a Mandarin swearing, "bèn dàn," and a shaking of his head braking away from Federation Standard. Essentially, it was directed at neither of the men present, but more broadly at the situation at hand, the lack of arrivals which he had asked for. "Two? That's better than several, but I told Starfleet Command I wanted a full security complement immediately. There are excuses for these delays," the half Bolian said sharply.
"Gentlemen, I will leave you two to find you way around and get acquainted with the ship's facilities and the skeletal crew that we do have presently aboard. I will check in on you both shortly, evidentially, I have a few Admirals to contact," explained Zhao as he excused himself.
Phelan watched the Captain depart and then turned back to Tactical Chief. ~If you will excuse me, apparently, I have a lot to do.~
Casn nodded again to the newest officers and the departing captain. "Welcome aboard."
The Tellarite doctor said nothing as he turned and walked down the corridor to go find sickbay, and see what kind of mess he was walking in to.