NCC - 81102
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Handing over the Reins

Posted on Mon Aug 24th, 2020 @ 9:36am by Ensign Alex Dalton & Lieutenant Aurora 4827/A

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Bridge & Various
Timeline: MD 7

The doors to the ready room closed behind him softly disguising Alex's sigh of relief. He'd overcome the first hurdle next would be the First Officer, the rest pf the senior staff and of course those on his department. Some, he knew may hold some grudges against his fresh young face but Alex was quietly confident he could put those doubters to rest soon enough.

For now, he needed to make his presence known and crossed directly to the Ops station for an update from the officer stationed there.

"Try that now," Aurora said from across the bridge at the engineering station to ensign Jiro at Ops. They had been trying to track down a bug in one of then ancillary internal sensor nodes that had been reported by Security. Without properly functioning internal sensors an intruder could get away with anything, or a wounded crewman could go unnoticed.

"And...we have our blind spot!" Jiro said with a relieved smile. Crewman Ch'chetrer ("Chet" to his friends) had gone from zone to zone and their job had been to 'ping' him. Finally a pattern had begun to emerge.

"It's software," Aurora said with a sigh. She turned just as the Captain's ready room doors swooshed open and she recognized the ensign from his file. Could...could it be...? It was!

"Ensign Dalton!" she exclaimed, causing Jiro to jerk and spin around in his chair to see whom she was speaking to. Others on the bridge turned and regarded Aurora curiously at the outburst.

The young man flinched at the outcry, any chance of being subtle of evaporated in an instant. He looked toward the woman who'd called his name wondering how she knew him, yet the Captain needed reminded. Perhaps he had bigger fish to fry.

Owing to her uniform and bridge station Alex knew immediately she was a member of the engineering team an no doubt was keen to off load something onto him following his delayed appointment. Half dreading the tidal wave that was about to break upon him he crossed over to her.

"Did you need me for something, Lieutenant?" he asked softly.

"Need?" Aurora smiled, she felt almost giddy as she approached the man, "Oh, I might need a few naps, but I'm fine! Oh, lieutenant Aurora, Chief of Engineering. I'm just...so glad to meet you."

Should she give him a hug? Probably not. Not in public, anyway...

"Been tough going huh?" he asked without thinking trying not to become distracted by her attractive silhouette as they drew closer. "Well I'm here now, why don't you bring me up to speed?"

Aurora's eyes rolled, "That would take a dozen of me!" she giggled and stifled it, "This ship was sitting in some dry dock somewhere for, well, a long time. I think people had been secretly scavenging it for parts. Little bits, here and there. And the software had not been adequately updated, and the crew was grabbed at seemingly random from everywhere in the Federation."

She motioned for him to follow, tossing Jiro a PADD, "Let Chet know his work is done, all right? And now forget I exist!"

Frowning at her parting words to the other crew member Alex followed Aurora as she continued to explain the current situation. "What happened to the test data when the Odyssey was pulled from dock? Surely it would have raised a few question about her space worthiness before now? What's the hurry to have her re-instated?"

The turbolift doors swooshed shut and Aurora said, "Deck four," to Dalton she said, "This entire mission is strange, Alex. I can call you Alex, right? You can call me Aurora. The crew assignments, where this ship was kept and the circumstances on why it was mothballed in the first place...it's certainly all enough to generate one interesting holonovel, that's for sure."

The doors swooshed open, Dalton saw a duplicate Aurora walking briskly down the corridor, several crewmen following her. The Aurora with Dalton said, "And the mission! Kidnapping someone possessing official secrets, or something like that. I swear-"

The second Aurora hopped into the turbolift and shouted, "Doors close!" the doors swooshed shut in the faces of the crewmen.

"-I half expect I am actually stuck in some holo-adventure right now," the two Aurora glanced at one another, in one voice they glanced at the ceiling, "Computer, end program!" When nothing of note happened they gave a relieved sigh in stereo.

The young man blinked heavily at the second Aurora who'd joined them in the lift car. It was highly unusual to have a twin in any case, let alone, here on the same ship. Judging by the gaggle of personnel who'd been following her they two sisters were popular mostly eye candy for the male he suspected, noting she was as stunning as her sibling.

His lip curled with amusement at their combined effort to end the fictional story they hoped they'd become entangled in. "I've not been bought fully up to speed on the mission," Alex explained.

The one who had been with Dalton had green eyes, the newcomer's were violet. Violet said, "Deck six," to Dalton violet spoke as if they were both familiar with one another, "We are kidnapping someone. Or arresting them. It all sounds terribly exciting and mysterious-"

The turbolift doors swooshed open and a third Aurora clad in mustard colored coveralls, sporting a tool kit and gray eyes were waiting for them. "-especially since the Captain has some history with the person."

It was becoming increasing hard to concentrate now, especially since the lift car contained three versions of Lieutenant Aurora, each somehow seeming to know what the other was one saying or even thinking. This had crossed the line of a biological family connection, Alex had decided. Triplets with that much integrity? Yet clones were so unethical and they had subtle difference - the eyes.

He couldn't ignore the massive elephant of a question forced its way into the lift with the third version of Aurora any longer.

"There's three of you?" he stated dumbly speaking to the original woman he'd met on the bridge. This was properly a conversation she'd had with every member of the crew so far already, he hoped she'd divulge one more time. "I assume you're not triplets?"

"You assume correctly," the new one replied with a grin, "Clones..."

"...three bodies," the violet eyes one added.

"...with one mind," green eyes finished, "The brains linked via a quantum network. It's why I thought I could handle two departments at once. It seems I underestimated the full ramifications of running Operations."

Glancing between the three women as they spoke in turn Alex scrambled for words momentarily. He was in awe at her uniqueness, beauty, intelligence and ambitions all at once. "Wow, I'm impressed that's quite something to even attempt." he gasped. "A lot of things to juggle, even with your three bodies it must have been tough."

Green grimaced, "Yes, well sometimes one's reach exceeds one's grasp."

"Pride goeth before the fall," Violet added.

"Insert pithy quotation here," gray suggested with a grin."

The young man chuckled lightly: "Well you don't have to worry exceeding your grasp any longer, I can take over from here, though I'd appreciate a detailed report before you focus your attention on engineering."

Green nodded and said, "Deck four," as the turbolift headed up, "I have prepared detailed report, detailing everything I that was addressed, problems that need seeing to and any potential issues that might require our...sorry, your attention. I was tempted to write detailed notes regarding which personnel require the most hand holding but that seemed..."

"Vindictive," Violet added with a slight smile.

Considering how poorly things had started off with Inahri earlier Dalton suspect he'd assign someone to hold his hand instead. "Thanks, I'm sure I can work out the personnel issues providing they can stomach taking orders from an Ensign."

"Oh, I don't think that'll be a problem," Green said. The doors swooshed open and gray cautiously poked her head out. The coast being clear, Green continue as the trio led Dalton down the corridor, "There aren't any officers higher in rank than ensign. I think they raided this year's graduating class. Oh, but you have some very experienced non-commissioned officers. They have been trying to help, but the kids need so much hand holding!"

They reached Dalton's office. Violet let out a squeak and began to frantically wipe at a stain.

"Drool," Green said with a wince, "I...sort of passed out there..."

Alex bit back a sigh. No wonder the Captain had been laying it on thick, if Aurora was correct he'd soon be wishing he had multiply clones too judging from the lack of experience on board and the lengthy snag list ahead. Maybe Inahri should run a sweepstake taking bets to how long till Dalton cracks? Days, weeks? Christ knows, with a surprised around every corner the doubters would bet on the number of hours not days.

Shaking his head slightly at Violet's hurried cleaning: "Don't worry I've seen worse," he replied. "Sounds like we have some bigger issues to worry about that a small stain."

"I am more than happy to lend a hand," Green assured the ensign as gray reached over to the wall over the desk where a row of PADDs rested in slots. As she handed it to Dalton green explained, "That's the technical to-do list, I've also a list of personnel issues. Nothing personal regarding personnel, mind you; I mean shift issues, bunk assignments, things like that."

He scrolled through the data momentarily nodded slightly as one of her versions explained: "Any personality clashes on the horizon in the team I should be aware of?" Alex asked.

"Not that I have seen," Aurora green replied after a moment, "Although I think once everyone had a target they might have set aside any possible grievances to focus on me. I also think the NCOs might have been doing their job and making sure any crewpersons who required 'extra attention' were kept in line."

Violet managed to finish cleaning the desk as gray murmured, "Computer, alter communications protocols. All Operations personnel are now allowed to contact the Chief Engineering Officer." Immediately the three comms began chirping. Green sighed and murmured, "Might have done that too soon..."

Aurora certainly had a unique version of multi tasking Alex humoured as the three versions carried out severs things at once. He wondered how hard it must be to keep all three busy constantly and how each thought and action was shared between the bodies. A discussion for another day he reminded himself despite his curiosity.

"Thanks for the update, I'd hate to find myself caught up in a row before I could make head or tail of anything," Alex slide the data PADD into the depths of his uniform. "Thanks also for keeping things together before I arrived. I'll pick up your bar tab next time you go."

Green left the room, murmuring at her comm badge while violet said to Dalton, "I'll remember you said that. You might regret it," gray winked and added, "I can run up quite a tab."

 

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