Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG


Title: New Beginnings
Location: Pandora's Box
Setting: CO's Office

Back in the Captain's office, the Yeoman briefed him again on the new ACEO who had just arrived onboard and was scheduled to meet in a few minutes.

"Let me go over the files again, sir," the Yeoman said and pulled up an image on the screen. "Lieutenant Commander Piper Shae Chayton. She's human and was born on Earth. She is one hundred percent Native American; Blackfoot. Her parents are both deceased and her Grandfather is something of a Shaman and Tribal Leader on the Blackfoot Reservation where she was born. She was trained by him in her native culture and has been known, on occasion, to perform a rite called 'smudging' in the Engine room. I understand it is a Native American ritual for cleansing." It wasn't clear if the Yeoman approved or thought the new ACEO was bonkers. "Never married, but more than likely to her work. No children. No record of any significant other in her life. Her personality is very down to earth and practical. Exceptionally blunt. Her background is quite thorough. She had a degree in Mechanical Engineering before she ever joined Starfleet. Since then, she's acquired degrees in Cybernetics and Robotics, Advanced Warp Theory, and Warp Drive Physics and Advanced Warp Engine Design. The latter she got at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards while assigned to the Special Projects Division working on none other than Pandora's Box. Her career in Starfleet has been exemplary. She spent the first five years after the Academy on the Cochrane and worked her way up to Assistant Engineer. Then she transferred to the Exeter as their Chief Engineer and gave that up for a billet at Utopia where she spent four years before being reassigned to the Victory as her Assistant Chief. Her reaction to being assigned here TAD will most likely be positive. She loves a challenge and she will see this as an opportunity to have a hands on working knowledge of something she helped to build."

Captain Kamranov tried to take that all in and compare mentally with the notes he had just read that he wrote while he was on the Victory.

The console flashed. "She's on her way up now, sir," the aide said. "Um sir.. the transporter room counted sixteen small parts and tools in her hair to hold it up."

"This is sure to be interesting, " the Captain replied. "Better take inventory of all small parts," he said winking. One thing he did remember in this new identity was some things about engineering and some of the eccentric engineers and scientists he had met.

Ensign Ferweiler quickly made it to the CO's Office with LCDR Chayton. "Here it is. I'll be back, if you like to show you your quarters."

Piper gave her and engaging smile. "That's alright, Ensign. I can find my way when the Captain's finished with me," she told her. Piper had a nice soft drawl to her speech patterns that was quite pleasant to listen to. "I'll more than likely go to check out the Engine room first," she admitted. She smoothed her uniform down. "What's the Captain like?" she asked curiously as she refastened an errant curl back up into the masses.

"Let me get that for you," Molly looked at Piper's hair and waited for permission.

Piper blinked. She'd never had anyone offer to do anything with her hair. She just automatically did whatever she could to get it to stay where she wanted it to be. "If you like..." she was curious.

Molly whipped out a comb and started take the bits and pieces.... of a ship... out of Piper's hair. It was worse than she thought. "Here," she said tossing her comb back in her pocket and handing Piper..."Uh what's this?" she asked.

"Uhhh.... Han..." Piper began retrieving all the bits and pieces Molly removed as the mass of russet curls began to tumble down her back and around her shoulders. She really did have a glorious head of hair; thick and silky and vibrant. She examined the last part she took from Molly's fingers. "Tension spring from a faulty regulator," she answered automatically. "I appreciate what you're doing," she smiled pleasantly at the Ensign. "Really. But I need to put this all back up..."

"I am working on it. It will be much neater...Wow! How much stuff you got in here!" she exclaimed working faster to take out the bits and pieces to comb it and put it back up. She began to pocket the stuff to make it go faster.

"As much as it takes," Piper answered. "Oh, wait, I need that one," she grabbed the small relay from Molly before she could stick it in her pocket.

Molly removed one more piece and Piper's thick russet hair all came tumbling down. It was gorgeous and made Piper look beautiful. "Wow," Molly gasped.' Nice hair."

She began combing it. "First, impressions, " she explained, "can be very important. If not the impression itself, the effort of being concerned about one," she combed some more and checked the time.

"Hmm, no time." she said taking a few more strokes. "This is regulation and fine for meet the Captain and other things just not working. I think it's great and you should go with it."

Piper blinked. "Leave it down?" Clearly, she normally didn't do that. "Are you sure?" She pushed her hair back from her face.

"Ummm.." she started to say. "...Yes," she then said with confidence. "It's always important to make a good impression and it's regulation now. Regulation is important. There isn't any time to get it put up right. ~ And I didn't bring any fasteners,~ she thought.

"Alright, if you say so." She looked dubious but squared her shoulders and stopped her hands halfway on their way to tying up her hair. "Well... In for a penny, in for a pound," she muttered and smoothed her uniform over the swell of her hips. "Thank you, Ensign. Do you announce me? Or do I just knock?" She definitely didn't want to get off on the wrong foot.

"The chime is good," she said. "Oh um, Captain," she started to say. "CO's a good guy with a lot of experience. He knows we have to work hard so he makes sure we get a good rest and some perks when it can all work out. He's flexible but prefers things by the books. He takes seriously the mission and the safety of everyone. The rest he would prefer to tell you himself," she said quickly and smoothing out Piper's last hair.

"Thank you." Piper smiled. "What's your name, hon?" she asked in her soft drawl, taking another moment before ringing the chime.

"Ensign Molly Ferweiler," she replied, beaming that she was noticed.

"Thank you, Molly. I look forward to seeing you again," Piper grinned at her. "I think I can take it from here."

"OK," the younger officer said.

One last pat on her uniform and a hand smoothed over her hair before Piper activated the chime.

"Enter please come," said the Yeoman's voice over the comm.

Piper drew in a breath, smiled at Molly and then stepped into the Captain's Office. "Sir," she stepped over to his desk. "Lieutenant Commander Chayton reporting for duty." Then she blinked and took another look at him. "Commander Dulles?"

Captain Kamranov arose and smiled warmly at her. "Yes, I was. I have an another name and identity but the same face for this assignment. My apologies as when the memory for Captain Kamranov was unblocked, the one as Commander Dulles of the Victory, vhas lost. I don't remember much of the last few months on the Victory. This identity vhas blocked from me while I was there and before that. SI protocols. Please sit. There is much about the ship and your assignment to discuss."

LCDR Chayton was not the only one to be surprised, the Yeoman was shocked by her transformation on the way from the turbolift to the office. Part of him wondered if the relationship between his new CO and the new ACEO that was more than professional to have triggered such a dramatic change in appearance.

"Holy cow.... That has to be disconcerting, sir," Piper couldn't help but reply. She tried to imagine what it was like to be one person one day and then =poof= you're a totally different person with no memory of who you were two minutes ago.

"It has it's ups and downs," he said tongue in cheek. "It's mostly the last few months that are gone. SI couldn't risk a few things back on the Victory, so this was best," he explained.

"If you say so, then I believe it." She didn't think anyone would want that done deliberately unless it was vital to some grander picture. "We used to play the occasional game of pool on the Victory, and once you beat me in a climb to the top of Mount Borah," she told him with a grin. "But I reached Chickenout Ridge first," she added with a light laugh. "We also saw each other in passing in Engineering. " She approached him with her hand extended.

"This can just be a new beginning for both of us. I'm Piper Chayton, Captain Kamranov. Pleased to meet you, sir." Piper was very pragmatic in her approach to interpersonal relationships and things of that nature; out with Dulles, in with Kamranov. She could take that in stride and chalk it up to the nuttiness of SI.

"Thank you very much," he said, feeling better. He knew this was hard on those from the Victory but it was also hard on him to put them through the awkwardness of it and loss of friendship if any to start a new. He thought it great to have someone who saw the situation like he did.

"To new beginnings.. .and new opportunities and welcome aboard," he said, offering his hand. "Pardon the gloves. Accident. Nasty rash. Long story," he said.

She tsked softy. "No need to apologize or explain," she took his hand in hers and then added her other hand in something that was meant to be more comforting than a mere handshake. Her grip was firm but not discomforting. "To new beginnings and new opportunities, sir. It's good to be aboard." She released his hand then and smiled warmly at him. She felt a little sorry for him because it had to be really hard to greet her and the other people from the Victory when he couldn't even remember their faces.

Captain Kamranov smiled. She did a good job at putting him at ease. He returned the warmth of her handshake with his own as it ended. "Please sit," he said. "Do you need some refreshment? There wasn't any time for you to settle in." He had a difficult task ahead to update her on the situation, the ship, the changes on her since she left the shipyards and the mission at hand.

The Yeoman now left the room, having taken careful note of LCDR Chayton's hair worn down, the color of the hair, her science background, love for outdoors and of course... the handshake.

Piper glanced over as the Yeoman left and then turned her gaze back to Kamranov. "I'd love some water, sir. But I can get it," she offered before sitting down.

Kamranov remained standing and waited for her to sit down.

"Would you care for anything, Captain?" she asked from the replicator after calling up a cold glass of water.

"Same," he said.

"Same it is," the young engineer nodded and produced another glass of water. She sat his on his desk before sitting where he'd indicated a few moments earlier.

"Thank you," he said, sitting down. He took a sip. " Quite a lot of territory to cover. First as you know, we needed someone fast to be Acting Chief until the replacement comes. Thank you very much for coming and for applying to SI. This is a critical time in the Federation and having your talents onboard will make a very big difference in our missions."

"Thank you, sir. I appreciate the vote of confidence. Can you tell me what we're up against?" Piper asked curiously.

"A group who calls themselves, 'Nirvannah' has taken control of key elements of Romulan and Cardassian Empires. The Cardassian Empire has rebuilt its military and PsyOps infrastructure. This is not common knowledge.

The control over people and governments are done so in a variety of ways and methods of methods including telepathic mind control of their victims and kidnappings.

We think part of the Klingon Empire may be compromised by this group as well as various Fed governments and the UFP itself.

Nirvannah seems to be preying on and playing a nationalistic tune that resonates with each people to rebuild and defend themselves to never let the past repeat. This natural tendency of people to go in this direction after war losses is being exploited by them. Of course with that new power comes the corollary of expansion and ideas of a manifest destiny and the weakening of others to remain strong by comparison. This is a tool for Nirvannah. Then with this comes a great hunger for resources. One that cannot be satisfied without outside backing- theirs or others behind them," he said.

At present, a violation of treaty and other things have occurred. We believe this was deliberately done to engage the Federation in an all out war. We suspect the strings are being pulled by this one group that maybe answering to some yet discovered race that has the resources necessary and some desire to pit the different governments against each other. We have not been able to figure out yet how all of this is begin funded or why.

We believe this was all instigated by Nirvannah with members placed or controlled in key positions in the governments of different worlds.

We also believe but it is not confirmed that a scientist working on time travel has also gotten involved in this."

Piper took all this in and a frown marred her brow as she looked to Kamranov. "We have to stop them," she stated simply. "So what do you need me to do?"

"Indeed. I need you to take care of the ship and the department. Get current on her and run battle drills as soon as possible for an engagement," he said.

"Morale is rough with the loss of CDR Keffi," he said more gently. The former Chief Engineer of Pandora's Box died in an accident with others before he took command.

Piper nodded. "Consider it done," she assured him. "If you could fill me in on her present condition... "

"Ship and mods," he said. Kamranov tapped his console and her terminal displayed the specs on the ship. "There were several changes on Pandora since you last worked on her," he said. The screen changed to show and highlight them.

Piper's gaze went to the terminal were she studies the specs intently. "Oooooh... Good mod...." she nodded approvingly. "Nice..." She began to scroll the screen only to suddenly stop. "Is that what I think it is?" she pointed to the Temporal Device.

"Most likely," he said. "Very experimental. One of our more delicate and dangerous pieces of equipment. We'll need to use that soon depending. That device and the soon are only for you and a few others to know. The power drain as you can imagine is incredible and may leave us defenseless when we arrive. It should be used with the cloak so we can see what we are really getting into when we arrive. Again another big power draw. I need you to find a way if nothing else that shields or weapons operative when we arrive and decloak. I'd prefer shields first."

Piper let out a soft whistle. "The design modifications allow for very large sections of the ship to shift positions, changing her profile. That's almost scary," she grinned but didn't look scared at all. She liked a challenge. "I'll see what I can do about reserving power for our arrival so that we can have shields. I'll study the specs in more detail and get a first hand look at her."

"Thank you," the Captain said. " I need the drills and the shield power issues worked out ASAP. I don't like more moving parts either especially such large ones with so many pieces and lives involved. Let's hope we don't have to use them at all or any time soon."

"Agreed," she nodded. "We'll do everything in our power to give you what you need, sir," she promised.

"Thank you," he said, smiling. "How much do you know about older technologies? "

"Depends on what they are," she answered. "We had a lot of older tech stuff on the Res where I grew up. Some new stuff too, but mostly old."

"Duotronic enhancers for now. Other things later," he said.

Piper grinned. "The first robot I built had doutronic enhancers in him," she answered. "I couldn't afford isolinear chips. He was a dog. I called Ralph."

"Good," he said, grinning. "We've got two possible time stops that I am hoping to avoid this early on. One is slightly ahead of now and the other is at the end of the 24th century. We've been told there shouldn't be any away missions for those two but I like to be prepared for everything when I can. It's good to know the tech is familiar to you. After you get the drills in place and some ideas going on the power supply problems, vhee can talk more on this. I'll introduce you then to an old technologies specialist. No one is to know about any time hops for now and as you can see on the screen, only a few know about the device at present until orders are given othervhise."

"Yes, sir," Piper nodded. "I'll begin work on the drills and power supply right away. They'll be my top priority," she assured him. "I've never traveled through time before, Captain... Have you? Is it... disconcerting? "

"I can't say," he said with a wink. "Just think of a different time like a different culture with its own set of customs, phrases, food, conveyances, clothing and ... funny hats."

Piper blinked. "Funny hats?" She laughed delightfully and ran her thumb and forefinger along her closed lips as if zipping them. "Gotcha," she grinned. "I like hats."

Captain Kamranov grinned. "Any more questions for now? I know you'll have plenty more after you get a chance to read the specs and get familiar with the ship."

"Just a quick question. Is there any place I'm not supposed to go? I'm going to go explore the ship when I leave here and I don't want to set off any alarms or get Security's panties in a twist."

"Cargo bay on deck thirteen. That vhould do it," he said still grinning.

Piper got an impish grin. "I wonder how good their reaction time is.... Want me to find out?" she asked. "They won't kill me or anything like that, will they?"

Captain Kamranov wasn't grinning now. "Best not to try," he said most seriously.

Piper's grin turned a little crooked. "Right you are, sir. Don't worry. I'll behave. Deck Thirteen.. Cargo Bay.. Off limits.." She was totally cool with that. Let SI have their secrets. She had the whole rest of the ship to explore. And all the new gadgets and modifications to check out. It was an engineer's dream come true. And even more than that, it was a baby she'd had a hand in designing. Granted, they'd had a field day with her, and had done things she'd never expected, but that made it just like Christmas for Piper. She couldn't wait to get started. She pushed her hair impatiently out of her face and gave him a warm smile.

The Captain recognized that look of excitement and opportunity ahead and smiled. "One last thing for now. I'd like Sublieutenant Yunarra to continue her education and assistance in engineering under you when her other duties permit. That's a request not an order. She's made a lot of progress thanks to you both socially and skill wise."

"Yunarra's here? Oh, I -am- glad," she said. "It would be my pleasure to continue her education. She's a delight to teach," she told him.

"Great. Thank you," he said, getting up.

"You're welcome, sir," Piper stood when he did. "I don't know if you had a hand in my assignment here, but if you did I want to thank you very much for the opportunity. "

"You are welcome," he said. "I know you had wanted to leave your last assignment very much and your talents and energy were underutilized. "

Piper smiled a little wryly. "Yes, sir. That's very true," she admitted. "There wasn't much opportunity for me to do the things I do best on the Victory."

Kamranov nodded recalling his notes on not just her but her previous department head. "Well that easily fixed here. We'll see that you get that chance and more. We can help you get the skills and experience you need to reach your future goals. I am all for that when it can work out. What would you like to be doing be five or ten years from now?."

No one had ever asked her that before and she had to think a moment before answering. "I'd like to get more into design," she admitted. "I have some ideas swimming around in my head," she told him with a smile.

"Hmm," the Captain said clearly interested. One just never knew for sure what would be said when that question was asked and the person in front of him felt comfortable enough to speak their mind and heart on the matter. "What kind of ideas?" he asked.

Piper looked a little surprised that he asked, but she was immensely pleased at the same time. "For one, I think that the metaphasic shielding developed by Dr. Reyga and then later adapted by Commander La Forge has not been thoroughly explored," she told him. "And I have an itch to figure out a way to eliminate the resonance traces left by the warp core. I have a niggling idea that it might be possible to use the metaphasic shielding to do that."

"Great areas to concentrate on and they can help keep our crew and ship safe," he said approvingly and impressed. From the tone of his voice and mannerisms it was clear those were very important to him. "This line of work and our mission often have great risk. I'd like to minimize as much that risk to keep our people and the ship as safe as possible. Let me know after you've completed the drills, review of ship's systems and fixed the power draw problem so we work towards starting this research and I'll see what we can do to set this time up for you. I want to be battle ready as soon as possible. An engagement could be very soon," he said.

"Aye, Sir. I'll get started right away," she assured him. "I'll familiarize myself with the ship's systems and then set up the drills based on that. I have an idea about the power draw problem," she told him.

"Great!" he said. "What is it?"

"Long term, I think I might be able to rig up a cascading storage buffer to hold reserve power that we can have available on demand. But I need to take a look at the specs before i can come up with a definite design," she admitted.

"Interesting, " he said. "Additional multiple power reserves to cycle through in case of need... What type of safety issues do you think we are dealing with for this?"

"The biggest one I can think of off the top of my head is feedback. Power buildup that has no where to go," Piper answered. "But I think we might be able to resolve that with a series of storage batteries. Again, I can't be definite until I have a look at the specs and the ship itself," she added.

"All right," he said. "I should let you get to work and take a look at those specs. Do you have any more questions?"

"None I can think of just this moment, sir," Piper shook her head. "Thank you again for the vote of confidence."

"You are most welcome. We are fortunate to have you here," he smiled warmly.

"Thank you sir," Piper returned the warm smile with one of her own. "And don't worry so much about being someone else and not remembering the Victory folks. They'll just chalk it up to crazy secret intelligence stuff," she assured him. "And I can tell you what I know if you need to pick my brain for any reason."

"Thank you for that," he said relieved again. "It is unusual after this happens for me to continue to work with any non SI personnel. I understand that it can be uncomfortable for them and am glad it is not for you. It's great to know there is someone I can ask."

"And I'd be honored if you did," she told him. "You can always make us honorary SI personnel if that makes it easier. Then we can all do the covert, super-spy stuff," she grinned impishly, aiming for a bit of levity. "Can I have a secret decoder ring?"

Nikolai grinned. "That ring has to be earned after a scavenger hunt ((and much eating of grain products with colored sugar)). I'll see what I can do. Joining SI is a serious matter," his face changed. "And not one that can be easily undone. If you are interested later let me know. I know you applied previously but things can change with a person."

Piper's disposition matched his. "This is not a thing I take lightly," she assured him. "I did apply, and I am still interested.. . But I promise you that I will give it new, thoughtful consideration since circumstances have changed. Although I can pretty much guarantee that I won't change my mind now that I'm in the thick of it, so to speak."

"Good to think of it in a new light. Things can change over time. Let me know if you have questions on that later," he said, finishing his water.

"I will, sir," she nodded. "I better go start that scavenger hunt now, hmm?" She was back to grinning.

"Yes, please find the missing power to get your first clue to solve the puzzle," he said grinning again also.

"Aye, aye, sir!" Piper saluted and grinned. "I love puzzles... and riddles... and a challenge... "

"Good," he said, as his Yeoman appeared to update him on schedule changes.

"Captain, Yeoman," Piper nodded to both of them before turning to leave them alone. Her hands were at her hair twisting and securing locks before she cleared the door.

The Yeoman watched her leave. "Hmm,.." he said, still thinking she and the Captain's former identity may have been more than colleagues or friends.

"What hmm?" the Captain asked.

"Nice hair-harr-ied schedule you have," the Yeoman said quickly recovering.

The Captain didn't buy that reply but changed topics. "Busy is good but I need Dr. S'Traht to stop by," he said.

"Restoration period still hard?" he asked.

"Yes. I won't be able to keep this pace the entire day without him," the Captain replied.

"I'll get him again," he looked at the schedule to see where he could fit in the doctor and what could get moved for another day. "Now might be good during lunch."

"Very well," the Captain replied.

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Character Biographies:

CO, Captain Nikolai Kamranov
CMO, Commander Vilotanzia Bounlutay
ACEO,Lieutenant Commander Piper Chayton
COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau
AIO, Lieutenant Peel
VLO, Sublieutenant Yunarra
AIO, Ensign Molly Ferweiler


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