NCC - 81102
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Sugar, and Tea, and Rum

Posted on Thu Apr 1st, 2021 @ 12:17am by Lieutenant Ayanja Tusalo & Lieutenant Commander Bear Jasper & Chief Warrant Officer Javiylah MacArthur & Ensign Mason Dekker

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Starbase 471
Timeline: Backpost

"Well, here she is Lieutenant, your first Command," Turco said as the pair entered the dock, the large boxy craft sitting in the bay. It certainly wasn't the prettiest, clearly the style of a bygone era. Old and weathered by decades in deep space, its paint scuffed in more places than not. It certainly didn't hold a candle to the Venture, or the Challenger, or even the Starbase itself... Still, that didn't matter to the young Betazoid. Aya was practically bouncing from foot to foot as she followed the Pilot into one of the station's auxiliary starship bays. Really she was pinching herself in excitement. Sure she'd been in charge of an away mission here and there... a Runabout when needed. But this, this was a ship... a nearly one-hundred and fifty-year-old ship... but a ship nonetheless. The Huron class was the workhorse of the Federation Merchant Fleet until the early 2330s. In its own way, it was a beautiful representation of the times it came from, and the ideas behind how ships were built. Function over form.

Even the mission itself wasn't going to get her down, the simply supply run and back of the Freighter to the USS Odyssey. It was going to be quite the voyage, without the amenities that she or the others were used to; and yet she was still excited to do it! Really the only thing she wasn't so sold on was the name... Insufficient Postage clearly the Commander of the vessel had quite a bit of fun with the name. She'd have to ask the others if they wanted to keep it.

"Ship's going to need some work too it looks like?" Aya noted, Engineering crews already swarming around the craft.

"Nothing too major, she's spaceworthy, but only just. Captain recommended taking along an ops contingent to affect any repairs along the way. It's not like we're going anywhere fast in the old girl."

"That's alright, warp six will get us there in just a couple of weeks."

The petty officer in charge of the Operations team who had been checking out the vessel stopped by the lieutenant, "Status check completed, Lieutenant. All yours, Ma'am." He pointed back over his shoulder, "We'll get out of your hair, so to speak."

"Appreciate it, anything of note on your checks?" Aya asked skimming a PADD the man handed over.

"Other than...just be careful, she's old?" The man grinned for a moment before shrugging. "Nothing really of note, Engineering was doing the deep dive."

"Piece of crap," muttered Mason as he stood looking up at the old ship. He mumbled something incoherent under his breath and kicked the floor with the toe of his boot, clearly not demonstrating an overtly joyous sense of excitement at this assignment.

"Probably fall apart on us before we get anywhere near the rendezvous," the pilot continued, his attention focused more on the craft than the people around him. There was real resentment coating his tone now. "I'm not taking the blame for it for when we crash and burn, or if we just coast right out into nowhere..."

"C'mon now, you're really not even a little bit excited?" Aya asked, turning from the others to their senior pilot. "How many others can say they've flown a ship like this, she's living history."

"Right, feel free to contact Main Operations if you need anything else, Lieutenant," The petty officer commented before he headed out with his team, finding it prudent to leave the area.

"Living dead more like," Mason grumbled, mostly to himself. Honestly, his issue wasn't with the hunk of retro junk before him, or the milk run delivery job he'd been assigned. Mustering up what was definitely not a smile, but was at least slightly less of a frown, he turned to regard Lt Tusalo. "Not even a little bit," the pilot confirmed for her benefit. "But you look excited enough for us both, huh?"

"When am I not?" The Betazoid said with a wink, Mason's sour mood doing nothing to dent her excitement. "It'll be fun! Get away from the station for awhile, see some space and then relax on DS9 until Odyssey is done with it. Easy peasy."

Mason rolled his eyes, but had the decency to do that in the direction of the freighter rather than directly to Aya. It wouldn't really make any overall difference of course, she'd know how he felt.

The hatch behind the two opened to show Javi and Mara, both carrying PADDs with the reports from the Engineering and Operations team. “There’s a few things we were asked to put eyes on, Ma’am” Mara explained, the Senior Chief Petty Officer stopping briefly by the Lieutenant,” Shouldn’t be long.” She then went after her boss, who was almost out of sight.

"You really think they'll let us relax on DS9?" Mason asked, turning back to face the Betazoid with the faint hint of hope in his gaze. If they did that, he might be able to catch up with some news from home, or at least send some messages back there. "They seem keen," he added, as Javi and Mara wandered off to work.

"Javi's always on the job." Aya said with a soft smile, though she could feel the hint of a frown on her lips. Even on their recent 'vacation' she and Mara had both had trouble reminding the woman that she was supposed to be relaxed. Regardless, they'd eventually got her relaxed... ish. But they were back and she couldn't falt either of them for jumping right back in. And she felt far more comfortable with Javi and Mara looking things over than any of the other crews.

"Hopefully we don't have to be. The Captain was rather light on the details, but she did mention that we wouldn't be heading right back. Can't imagine what else we'd be up to."

Mason nodded, then frowned, then slowly exhaled a pained sigh. A workaholic and the most enthusiastic LT ever. Great. This was just the Best Mission Ever.

"Yeah, I'm not sure I wanna imagine," he threw back, a little more unkindly than he needed to. "Maybe they're just trying to get rid of us all for a few weeks, or..." Mason gave the ancient ship another derisory stare. "Permanently."

"I mean I guess? Seems like quite the effort just to get rid of us?" Aya said with a shrug. Mason could be such a downer sometimes, but she'd learned to live with it. Once they got him out to space she was sure he'd calm down... or hoped anyway. "It's not the worst assignment if a little boring since the explosion. But maybe this'll liven it up! Especially if the ship has its quirks. I know Javi will be elbow deep by now. "

Right after, a very loud sound reverberated out of the docked ship, making some passing personnel jump in surprise. A second crash followed, causing personnel to look at the vessel in alarm.

Aya's head whipped around at the first bang, her eyebrow quirked high as she looked at the old freighter. Slowly turning back to Mason the second crash made her jump. "C'mon!" She called, hustling toward the nearest hatch. While she hadn't expected everything to be smooth, she also didn't expect large crashes and booms before they even got out into space.

Two large, and rather rusty, pieces were on the deck of Engineering. Right before the group entered, another piece landed with yet another crash. Mara peered over from the upper rail and waved at the two people below, "Good timing..." Javi was busy loosening something else, finally resorting to hammering on the joint with her spanner, completely oblivious that they had company.

"Ma...? Javi? What..." Aya quickly had to jump back as another piece of piping fell to the deck as Javi finally got the joint to come loose. "Mara! Javi's breaking my ship!" she yelped, practically pleading for things to make sense again.

"Breakin? More like fixin..." was Mara's rather amused response as she and Javi surveyed the pipe in question. "I think this might need to be completely replaced." She chuckled at the grunt Javi gave her in response. "Sorry about that, Lieutenant. This vessel needs...some significant work. Like this pipe..."

"I mean, yeah I just didn't think... The other team didn't make it sound this bad." Aya's cheeks flushed a bit, embarrassed by her outburst and the state of Engineering.

"In all fairness....they didn't want to touch it. That's why they contacted us for a more in-depth inspection," Mara explained, waving at the mess below. "We'll get it cleaned up, no worries, Lieutenant." She finished by climbing down and walking over to the three pieces on the floor, picking one up and heading for the disposal.

"Alright, I guess as long as it's needed."

He'd dutifully followed Lt Tusalo onto the freighter and through to engineering, but that was where Mason halted. Just inside the wide and long internal space, his back pressed against the door, hands firmly over his ears to deaden the sheer volume of the apparently necessary works going on in here. Swearing under his breath - not that anyone would likely have heard him anyway - Mason raised his volume several notches as Mara moved to junk the discarded parts.

"HELL, NO!" He shouted, waving both hands before him to solidify his decision. "This bucket is NOT ready to fly. I'll come back when it is..."

"Give us an hour and we'll have this all sorted," Mara commented as she finished putting the discarded parts in the recycler. "This is the only thing that needs to be completely replaced. Otherwise, it's maintenance."

"See Mason, nothing to worry about," Aya said to the man trying to keep a positive outlook. "Javi will have us up and running in no time."

Mason sighed and exhaled as if they were asking him to work three double shifts in a row with no sleep. This whole mission was a vast chore, he really didn't need any more women telling him what to do and, yet, here he was. Bumped down to Ensign and cursed with this delivery run. There was no way out now.

"Sure," he muttered, and faked a smile in case that helped. "I'll go see what's left of the bridge..."

Mara watched the ensign leave before she shrugged. "Ah...weel...we'll get it up to standard as I said, Lieutenant." She smiled at Aya, "And don't be too hard on the previous crews, please."

"Don't worry Chief, I would want the best of our people on this job too," Aya replied with a soft smile looking between the two women. She hoped that Mara was saying it to say it, not that she'd given the impression that she was going to come down on the initial team. "Is there anything I can do to help? I imagine there's quite a bit to get done before we launch."

"Not really, we just need to get that rusty piece out and a new one in," Mara grinned, having to speak in between renewed banging from above them. "I'd say that the Chief is well on the way with that."

"That she is," Aya grinned watching Javi immediately return to work. "Well, I'll let y'all get to it and then check-in before launch." Aya lingered for a few moments just watching the woman work. Eventually, though she faded into the background and returned to touring her ship.




On the freighter's bridge, Mason stood alone and stared at the viewscreen for the longest moment. This was about to be his home for a couple weeks and it felt... lonely... there were some long shifts ahead for sure, but looking down at the consoles, the pilot mustered up a momentary smile.

Old rust bucket had an auto-pilot function, and he had a bunch of audiobooks and movies he could disappear into. Maybe it wouldn't be all bad, so long as this crate kept moving, and if he kept up his sullen default they might just mostly leave him the hell alone.

"Think I can snap this thing in half if I give her a barrel roll?" Turco asked with a grin as she popped out from a service hatch underneath the helm console.

"No," snapped Mason, glowering at her. "And you better get off," he added, pointedly. "I think we're leaving soon."

"Oh we are. But I'm afraid you're not riding of me that easily, I get to.tag along on this little jaunt too." The woman sat back against the console. "I'm the relief pilot, probably your roomie too considering the state of the quarters here."

A classic eye roll was followed by an overly exaggerated exhale and shake of the head, then Mason simply stared at the female pilot and considered if he wanted to verbally address this unexpected development or not.

"Great," he muttered. "Just great. Typical overzealous management of a simple situation." He looked back to the console and fiddled with the settings a little, personalising some menus and shifting some colours. "I'm not sharing quarters," Mason said, without turning back around. "No one said anything about that."

"Better hope that Mara and Javi got the life support operational on both crew decks then..." Aya announced herself as she entered the bridge. Giving Mason a wry grin she was about to keep speaking when her combade chirped.

" O'Sullivan to Tusalo, we're just about done down here," Mara reported from Engineering, some sounds of work being done in the background. "We'll have a sitrep for whomever you have along in Engineering or Ops just in case. O'Sullivan out" The channel cut off with a bit of a crash.

"Sounds like we're going to be getting out of here soon. I suggest the two of you figure out who's getting top bunk." With another wide grin Aya ducked back out the hatch and made her way to Engineering to get the good news and maybe, just maybe get this voyage underway.

 

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