USS Excelsior Logs and Narratives
||The brave crew of the USS Excelsior posts their official duty logs and creative personal logs along with intriguing stories for history to review. Excel Website|
|Captain Michael Holden, SD|
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JDL: Rear Admiral Katera & Commander Carishai<
Rear Admiral Rointa Katera sat in the office assigned him aboard the U.S.S. Relentless. He was a humanoid male in his late fifties with blonde hair and no signs of greying. He had recently been promoted and was under the direct purview of Admiral Daniel Landers. He was just slightly nervous about the assignment that had been handed to him, but this was to be his area of space to watch over. He had been watching Excelsior's progress on the search for the missing crew of Starbase 382, so he knew they were in this area. It was a bit of a shock when Landers had called him and ordered him to come out here personally. He knew the top brass were not happy with recent events.
Commander Carishai had settled quite comfortably into the center seat of the Relentless. Streaking across the sector at warp 9 didn't offer much in the way of scenery on the screen and Roi, Admiral Katera, and she had discussed the situation at Starbase 382 before they pulled out from Deep Space Six. She wasn't surprised that while investigating the disappearance of 382's crew the Excelsior had run into the avian species that many merchants on Deep Space Six called "The Dirty Birds" because both their behavior and attitude left something to be desired by local standards. She was used to dealing with them and it wasn't their nasty habits that concerned her, even considering their usually quarrelsome demeanor, she highly doubted that the avians had anything to do with the missing the personnel from the base.
Carishai rose from the command chair and made a circuit around the bridge, checking in briefly with each station. No one on there was in need of micromanagement or babysitting, but she savored her role as Captain of the Relentless and liked to acknowledge the contributions of each crew person at least once a shift. She also enjoyed spreading a little cheer, some officers seemed to find it difficult not to become stiff and sour when monitoring space for hours on end. When done, she sank back into her chair feeling that her mission had been a success it was particularly pleasing to see a slight upturn at the corners of the mouth of the Vulcan ensign at the Engineering station.
A couple of taps on the built-in PADD brought up the personnel records of the Excelsior's Command staff. She found it peculiar that despite a plethora of qualified officers, the ship had been operating with both an acting CO and XO for several years. She wondered if Roi knew why that was the case.
"Ms. Wabols, what's our ETA to the Excelsior?" She asked, hoping she might have enough time to satisfy her curiosity/
"Twenty minutes," the helmsman replied without consulting the console.
"Captain," the science officer called out. "Long-range scanners have detected a fleet of five unidentified ships also inbound to the same system."
"Oh how fun! I just love a big party." Carishai replied cheerily. The bridge crew of the Relentless knew her well enough to realize that her seeming cheer was mostly a facade. "So, just how far out are our uninvited guests?" She asked. "And when can we expect their company?"
"The fleet is traveling at about warp six and are still two days out of the system," reported the science officer. "Also, Sir, Excelsior has moved into the system and is currently by the moon of the planet."
"That's ...interesting." She replied stroking the ridge on the left-side of her face thoughtfully. NOW what is Holden up to? She said to herself. "Wabols, you have the conn. I'm going to check in with the Admiral. Keep an eye on both those ships and the Excelsior. If tha second."
"Aye ma'am, I'll keep both eyes on them and will call for yellow alert first, then you and the Admiral if they change approach speed."
Carishai stood and gestured cordially. "Feel free to enjoy the comfy seat." She said with a chuckle. "At least as comfy as it can be with a mystery fleet heading our way."
Carishai tried her best not to fret or overthink the situation as she made her way to Roi's temporary office. When she arrived, she activated the chime.
"Enter," came the reply from within the office. The door slid open. Katera was seated behind the desk, the computer monitor activated. His eyes narrowed, having expected Carishai to have remained on the bridge. "What is going on, Captain?"
Seemingly oblivious to the Admiral's disapproval, Carishai casually strolled over and plopped down in the chair across from him. "If I didn't know better, I'd think that little bar Starfleet added to your collar weighed as much as that hideous Hor'ghan you gave Wujen and I as a wedding gift." She made herself at home, leaning forward and resting her elbows on his desk. "I came to tell you we're going to have company. Long range sensors detected five unidentified vessels traveling at warp 6, heading in the same direction we are. And that the Excelsior has re-positioned itself and is now in the system, near the planet's moon."
"What is the matter with the command of that ship?" Katera blared. "Do none of them have any respect for the Prime Directive? Or, maybe they feel they haven't violated it enough! I at least thought Holden could hold back."
The Denobulan woman didn't budge. She took in several deep, cleansing breaths before attempting a reply. It was a technique she learned from her mother. Taking a few breaths gave a person both a chance to formulate a calm reply in a heated situation and it often subconsciously prompted the other party to breath in a similar fashion, which gave them the chance to regroup mentally.
"You're right, given his squeaky clean career record, Captain Holden has never shown himself the type to pull a Kirk. Finding out what they're up to is EXACTLY why we're going to be arriving there in about fifteen more minutes. At that point you can beam over and ask him personally." I'll be wearing earplugs for the duration of THAT conversation. She thought.
"No," the admiral said almost instantly. "Holden will be beaming over here and you, personally, will be escorting him to this office. When we arrive at the Habris System, take the Relentless in to Hidargo. Follow whatever route you can to ensure we aren't detected by the Hidargo sensing systems. Bring us alongside the Excelsior. Then have your OPS officer send the message for Holden to transport over."
Well, mother's little trick didn't work. SO not good! Carishai mused inwardly while smiling and nodding enthusiastically. "Will do!" She smiled, then reined herself in. "I mean, understood Admiral. We'll be sidling up to the dark side of their moon. Nauriarus and Talarius have put together a special soundtrack to broadcast for the Hidargans to mask our presence and communications. All they will hear is slightly elevated levels of cosmic background noise. What do you make of the mystery fleet? Do you think the "Dirty Birds" are up to something other than their usual beak-beating?"
Admiral Katera grimaced. "I have no doubt of it. And, I don't like it. From what I've heard of the DBs, they don't usually travel in flocks, so five of their ships in one place is cause for concern. So, I want to wrap this up before they get within hours of the system."
"Other than an occasional visit to Six where they seem to enjoy giving our...your... telepaths headaches and messing with the merchants, there isn't much more that we have learned about them. Even when asked relatively politely they've never seen fit to tell us what their species is called." She sighed and sat back. "Permission to return to the bridge sir? We should be arriving in the Habris system shortly."
Katera nodded. "I'll be monitoring things from here. See you when Holden comes aboard."
"He'll be dragged in by his ear if he doesn't move fast enough." Carishai said with a wink. "May I speak freely?" She asked as she stood to go.<
Katera gave her an exasperated look and a motion to go ahead.
"Roi, Holden has always been an exemplary officer. Actually, in many ways, he reminds me of you. Please try to keep that in mind and listen. Sir." She gave Katera a two-fingered mock salute and scooted out of the door.