Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Encounters"

By Brydon Sinclair
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April 28th, 2376


Lieutenant Commander Rogan Enek found the long stretches of dimly lit and weirdly designed corridors to be a little intimidating—and he wasn’t a man made easily nervous. The Cardassian architecture with its curves and arches, numerous nooks and alcoves was so unlike the crisp clean lines onboard the Claymore that he found the whole place unsettling. The fact that the environmental controls in the habitat ring were still stuck at a level comfortable for Cardassians, but which most other species found stuffy, didn’t help matters. 

Unfortunately, due to technical issues, this dilapidated bicycle wheel was to be his accommodation for the next month. He’d been contacted by his new Captain, Motoko Kimura of the U.S.S. Trident, who told him that the ship needed another few weeks of refit work before she could launch. He had suggested that he could travel to Earth and join the ship there, but she had told him that she wanted his impressions of the Federation-Cardassian alliance on the station, and to keep on top of all the reports that came in about the situation in the former Union. These tasks wouldn’t keep him occupied for a full month, and so he had decided to offer his services to the station’s commander. All he had to do was find her. 

Rogan eventually found a turbolift—Seriously, who designed this place? he asked himself—and ordered it to the Operations Centre; it was as good a place to start looking for her. As the lift climbed upwards he thought over what he would say to her, how he could lend a hand with security or in repairing their weapons—after all, it was what he’d trained to do. He fidgeted with his new red collar, which seemed itchy compared to the gold one he’d worn on the Claymore—even after his field promotion to First Officer, seeing as how he was still Security Chief as well. 

The lift slowed and then stopped at the top of the central core. No doors? That’s unsettling. Stepping into Ops, he looked around the oddly shaped facility, the way the harsh grey metal and black plastics tried to look almost organic as the consoles blended together, with their curved lines and decorative arches. His boots clanged on the metallic grill on the deck. The place was busy, engineers and techs moved around from consoles to open panels and back again, each one held tools, a PADD or a tricorder—an enormous brute of an alien, a species Rogan had never seen before, had all three in one of his four hands. 

He moved further into Ops, looking for the red-skinned Orion commander. He was just about to stop the nearest tech to ask about her when a voice sneered at him from behind. 

“What do you want?” 

Rogan spun around, feeling his body coil, ready to react. He found himself face to face with a grey scaled Cardassian in full military uniform. Rogan fought down the nearly instinctive urge to shove him away. 

“I am looking for Captain Natale,” he replied, doing his best to keep his voice level. 

The Cardassian looked him up and down, his face filled with disdain and revulsion. “And who are you?” 

“Lieutenant Commander Rogan Enek, First Officer of the starship Trident. And you are?” 

“Busy.” 

“Is the captain in her office?” 

The Cardassian stepped closer, squaring his shoulders, puffing out his chest and flaring his neck ridges—like a cobra, ready to strike. Rogan stood his ground. “Do I look like her yeoman?” he hissed, his voice low. 

“No. They’re generally supposed to be young and pretty.” 

There was a flash of anger in the Cardassian's eyes, but before he could do or say anything more, a deep voice interrupted, “Something wrong, Dal?” 

After staring at Rogan for a moment longer, the Dal glanced at the officer who had approached from command table in the centre of the room. “Deal with him,” he stated, then stalked off to the other side of Ops. 

Rogan looked at the strapping human. He had closely cropped brown hair and wore the same uniform and rank he did. Rogan put his age at mid-30s. 

“Lieutenant Commander Kelley, Tactical Defence Officer,” he said, offering a hand. 

“Rogan Enek, the Trident’s new XO,” he said gripping the other man’s hand. They shook briefly, and he was surprised at Kelley’s firm grip. 

“I heard you’re stuck here for a few weeks, whilst they workout the last of the bugs.” 

“Which is why I was here—I though I would offer my services to Captain Natale. You look like you could use all the help you can get.” 

“She’s in a conference call with HQ, Intelligence, and the Diplomatic Corps, so she’ll be busy for a few hours. What’s your specialty?” 

“Security and tactical.” 

Kelley seemed to get very interested for a second. “How good are you at realigning pre-fire chamber phase variance?” 

“Onboard the Claymore I had the variance at less than point-zero-zero-three percent.” 

The human grinned at him. “You’re hired! Grab a toolkit and let’s get going.” 

Kelley grabbed a kit from a trolley and headed towards the lift. Rogan quickly picked up one himself, as well as a tricorder. He looked across Ops and saw the dal scowling at him, as the enormous four-armed alien tried to speak to the Cardassian. Rogan turned away and followed Kelley into the lift.


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