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    Cal Everett
    Cal Everett

    //Senior Officer’s Quarters, Deck 2, USS Diligent
    //Episode Day 1, 1430 Hours

    Cal feels much calmer after a detour to their new quarters—more specifically, to the sonic shower. They vastly prefer water showers, but they’re not going to be the first to start using up any water reserves before they even undock.

    They feel clean again, after the walk through the tumultuous and filled Starbase. It was as though all the emotions and thoughts and reaching hands in there had wiped dirt and grime all over their body, under their nails, down their skin; Cal shivers at the phantom sensation, despite being clean. Now, in a new uniform—outfitted with thin black gloves, sorely missed—they feel…put together. Better.

    They take the moment to examine their new home. It’s a nice room, relatively small but it has everything they need: desk, bed, computer. Cal searches perfunctorily through the cabinets and drawers but finds nothing of interest, so they store away their meager personal belongings before heading down to the sickbay.

    Cal’s new workspace is on the lower half of the ship, deck 5; they’re surrounded by the lounge, two transporter rooms, and the security center. Cal takes note of them, and mentally notes that all four areas are hubs within the ship where illness could easily spread. The sickbay itself is smaller than the Immortal’s, but it’s fitted with newer tech and organized differently than what they’re used to. The CMO office is a small central space attached to the main bay, where they’ll be able to see the entire room without issue, including the main surgery hub.

    It’s a good set up. Better than good, actually. The secondary ward is kitted similarly well, and the morgue, while pristine, still makes Cal uneasy. They return to the main bulk of sickbay and find the EMH waiting for them.

    “Doctor Everett,” the hologram says, standing in the center of the bay, near their office. “Welcome aboard. My name is Doctor Chen. I am the Diligent’s Emergency Medical Hologram program.”

    “Hey,” Cal says, smiling. They approach and Chen doesn’t offer his hand; Cal gratefully doesn’t offer theirs. “Call me Cal.”

    Chen doesn’t reply; he’s very steadfast and even in his expressions. Cal can appreciate a man without a heart on his sleeve.

    “How many of the medical staff’s aboard?”

    “Four, Doctor,” Chen replies. “The head nurse has not boarded yet.”

    Cal nods, rolling back on their heels briefly as they turn over the information. They read a brief dossier on everyone in their department when they were assigned; they all seem like sound medical professionals, and Cal is eager to meet them and start getting the department up and running.

    “Well,” Cal says, grinning a bit at the still-stoic Chen. “I’ll probably get pulled away for a briefing or a tour, but for now, I want to go through everything here, organize it.”

    Chen doesn’t balk, but there’s a suspicious expression on his face. “Everything, Doctor?”

    Cal claps their hands, delighted at the prospect of organizing, of seeing the innerworkings of their new workplace. “I have to know where everything is here, don’t I? Best way to do that is take everything out and put it back where I need it to be.”

    Chen nods. Cal is close to bliss right now; they can’t get anything from Chen, emotionally, and it’s a pillar of isolation to hold onto. “Alright. Where do you want to start?”

    Grinning, Cal spreads their hands. “Let’s look at tools, first.”

    Elgor Rae
    Elgor Rae

    A joint post by:

    Elgor Rae and Marcus Bancroft


    // U.S.S. Diligent, Deck 3, Transporter Room 1
    // Episode Day 01, 13:50 Hours

    A bright light illuminated the transporter room followed by the materialization of three men, greeted by a young Andorian crewman.

    Commander Rae stepped down from the pad, followed by his first officer and Commodore Bishops.

    “Welcome to the Diligent, gentlemen,” the commodore began. “Shall we have a look around?”

    With agreement the group left the transporter room, pausing in the corridor beyond.

    “The Diligent comes equipped with ship wide holographic projectors,” Bishops explained. “It allows your EMH to be wherever you need and lets you create tools on demand so long as the computer can replicate their true functionality using the more elementary projectors. It’s also just damned convenient sometimes. Computer, guide us to the turbolift.”

    On the commodore’s command a small, soft orb of light appeared before the group. It moved steadily down the passageway leading them to their destination, waiting for the group if it moved too far ahead. Rae was certain of the lift location but he appreciated the demonstration.

    Deck three contained most of the Diligent’s scientific facilities. Rae was most attracted to the airponic and hydroponic bays; he’d developed a fondness for plant life ever since leaving Halii. There, the cities he called home mingled with the lush greenery of the planets flora. Having found himself mostly surrounded by grey walls and the black of space since joining Starfleet he relished any getaway that reminded him of his origin planet. He made a mental note to check who in the science department would maintain those spaces.

    Bancroft on the other hand seemed to be more interested in the astrometrics lab that they passed. “It’s unusual for a ship this small to have such powerful navigational sensors. They’ll be invaluable in the Delta Quadrant,” he noted. “Without access to Starfleet’s navigational bouy network, It would be a challenge to navigate efficiently, otherwise.”

    “You’re right,” the commodore replied. “Starfleet is spread thin, we need as many explorers out there as we can get and having more modestly sized and crewed ships goes a long way towards achieving that goal.”

    “Well,” Rae chimed in, “back in the early days of Starfleet this ship would be large and luxurious. Nice to see we have the sensors to match.”

    The group entered the turbolift. With a command from Bishops it lifted them two decks. When the doors parted a mostly empty bridge greeted them. A few crewmen went about their business, starbase personnel signing off on the last of their duties it looked to Rae. The turbolift they entered through was at the rear of the deck, giving them a vantage point to see it all.

    “Welcome to the bridge, commanders,” Bishops said.

    Rae stepped onto the deck, admiring the layout of the ship’s command deck. It was more compact than the Intrepid bridge he was used to, but the space was better used here. He moved outward and rested his hand on the arc surrounding the command section. The commander smiled. This was his, his own command. That would take time to sink in.

    “Not bad,” Rae muttered.

    “Join me in your ready room?” Bishops asked the other two, motioning to the door at the front of the deck, opposite of where they entered. “I’d like to discuss your first mission.”

    “Of course,” Rae replied, making his way towards the ready room. He scanned the space with his eyes as he went, noting the conn and ops consoles, the disengaged viewscreen revealing a blank bulkhead, and the center chair.

    Elgor Rae
    Elgor Rae

    A joint post by:

    Elgor Rae and John Simmons


    // U.S.S. Diligent, Deck 1, Ready Room
    // Episode Day 01, 14:45 Hours

    John walked out of the turbo lift onto the bridge, it was not manned yet but that was not necessary yet. He walked up to one of the doors, the door leading to the ready room of the captain.
    before walking in John made sure that his uniform was clean and correct. When he was certain of that, he used the doorcall, asking to be let in.

    “Come in,” Rae said in response to the door chime. His office was tidy, most of his personal effects being delivered to his quarters one deck below. Lt. Cmdr. Bancroft and commodore Bishops had just departed, leaving the ship’s captain free for a moment.

    John saw the captain sitting behind his tidy desk, something that might soon change, as a captain often has a lot of work to keep track of.

    “Lieutenant John Simmons, Reporting in, sir!” John told the captain with his most official voice, while standing at attention.

    “Welcome aboard, Mister Simmons. You’re my Chief of Intelligence. I’ve heard you’re quite the code breaker. You can stand at ease.”

    “Thank you captain, and yes, you could say I have a knack for it, are there any special things you would expect of me as your Chief Intelligence?” John asked the captain as he stood at ease, approaching for a handshake.

    Rae shook the man’s hand and re-took his seat. “We’re heading into the frontier, lieutenant. But Starfleet has been in the Delta Quadrant for years now. Intelligence has a network of resources deployed across known space out there. You have contacts, you have connections, people owe Starfleet favors. If we need access to something, I need you to get me access. If we come across a new ship, a new species, I need you to tell me more than I already know. You do that and you’ll have it covered. And don’t hold back on us, lieutenant. I had a great intel officer on the Athena but she had a flair for the dramatic,” he chuckled.

    Keeping a straight face John simply said “No dramatics from me, sir. It is my job to keep you informed, not to amuse you. If you want amusement, I would suggest a holostory. I myself know quite a couple you might enjoy”. Having said that, John broke a bit of a smile.

    “I will be going to my quarters and then to my office, in case you might need me, sir? Would there be anything else I can do for you?”

    “No, that’ll be all. Thank you for stopping by, lieutenant. You’re dismissed,” Rae finished with a nod.

    The commander returned to the PADD he focused on before. An early draft of the flight plan for their upcoming assignment, forwarded by the logistics office on-base. He would present a completed version of this plan, along with the remaining assignment details, the next day following their departure.

    John nodded and silently left the ready room and took his way toward his own quarters

    Cal Everett
    Cal Everett

    A joint post by:

    Elgor Rae and Cælestis Everett


    // U.S.S. Diligent, Deck 5
    // Episode Day 01, 15:00 Hours

    Commander Rae strode through the turbolift doors and onto the deck. With some downtime as the crew prepared to leave, the commander took a tour of the ship. One of his first stops would be sickbay where his chief medical officer would likely still be setting up.

    The doors to sickbay hissed, admitting Rae to the space.

    // Sickbay

    Cal hears the sickbay doors open before they see it. Since they’re currently sitting within a massive circle of medical equipment, tools, blankets, and other supplies that once stocked the entirety of the sickbay and now lay in organized chaos, centralized around Cal. They peak their head above the biobed to catch a glimpse of who entered, peering above the wild mess of boxes and things that have yet to find a home. Their eyes catch first on the red of a uniform, and then to the insignia of rank: commander.

    Cal brightens immediately, and their empathy distinctly catches on Rae’s mind as he enters their space. They push it out before they can feel anything specific, and stand haphazardly, careful not the knock anything around with their feet.

    “I didn’t expect to meet my commanding officer while my sickbay is in tatters, but I can promise it won’t always look like this, at least,” they laugh, stepping out of the ring of random supplies to meet the commander without that barrier between them. “Doctor Everett. Call me Cal.”

    “Nice to meet you, doctor. Cal,” Rae replied, quietly surprised by the height of the doctor as they approached. Seeing them working amongst the pile of supplies had masked their height. He noted the dark eyes, a trait he was familiar with from the Betazoid officers he had worked alongside in the past. “We’ve all got plenty to straightening up to do before we leave. I take it Starbase Logistics doesn’t quite get your way of organizing things?”

    Cal smiles and shrugs, self-consciousness sliding off them, water on feathers. Their shoulders and back are curling instinctively, minimizing the space they take up. “That’s one way to put it. I have a certain way, that’s all. I’ll have everything stored and categorized before I start setting up crew-wide checkups.”

    Cal realizes, belatedly, they had not shared their plans or priorities of a ship-wide medical rework in any of the paperwork they’d sent over, but they distantly hope the hiccup in routine won’t be too much of an issue with their new captain. They can feel some of Rae’s emotions as they speak, bright and loud to Cal’s sensitivity, but they keep the background noise of the emotional feedback tucked away from their expression.

    Rae shrugged. “It’s your sickbay,” he smiled. The commander stepped into the bay more to get a better view. For a crew over a little over one-hundred this would work well. “You know,” he continued, “I haven’t served closely with another psionic in about five years. I’m Haliian – empathic. Good to know I’ll be in expert hands if I need medical attention.”

    Cal silently curses, but knows Rae will be unable to read the spike of anxiety and annoyance that lances through them—they’ve been told by other empaths and telepaths that they don’t even know Cal is in the room if they’re not visible. Over their years in Starfleet, Cal has gotten good at deflecting the blackness of their eyes, but Rae is the one person they should not lie to about this, greenlight from Starfleet or no. Miki didn’t know, but they were only a nurse then; the field promotion happened so quickly and under such terrible circumstances that Cal just never found the time to mention it. But now is different.

    “Yes, that’s true,” they say, albeit a little more slowly than before. “About that. I’m not—well, due to certain circumstances, I’m not actually up to snuff, so to speak. I don’t really have psionic abilities, beyond a little empathy. I intend to tell anyone else who mentions it that I’m human, since without telepathy, I am. I grew up thinking I was human, so it’s—easier, that way.” A pause. “Sir.”

    Rae paused for a moment, lips pursed, to contemplate Cal’s response. Since being ostracized from his home world the commander craved any opportunity he had to interact with other empaths, Haliian or not. It left him reaching out to sense them more intensely, making it especially hard to hide. For a Betazoid, a true telepath, to seem so disconnected from their own natural abilities – Rae would have to contemplate that for a while. The commander was privy to even the most intimate details of his crew records and wondered before why the doctors seemed inaccurate. He now understood.

    “Very well,” Rae acknowledged, shifting topics. “Well, you seemed to have a great record aboard the Immortal. What made you transfer to a ship bound for the delta quadrant?”

    Cal grasps the shift gratefully. They smile, once more on solid ground. “There’s about as much for me out there as there is here. Too much history on the Immortal, so—may as well go where there’s no history of mine at all, right?”

    They take a long step over the supplies in their way, circling so their body welcomes the commander into the sickbay. “What about you, then?” they ask, their smile easy as they consider Rae’s expression. “You want your name to be one of the ones that goes down in history for settling the next great frontier?”

    Rae shrugged. “Something like that, I guess. We go where Starfleet needs us. I have a particular anthropological interest in the delta quadrant, but that’s just a bonus to the assignment. Not to say I‘m not excited to be on the frontier. I’ve mostly served in the alpha quadrant, I think a change of scenery will do me some good. Anyway,” he continued, “I’m due to take a look at engineering. Is there anything else we can get you to help you get settled?”

    “I hear you there,” Cal agrees. “I think I’m all good here–Chen and I are going to finish up organizing, and once we’re operational, I’ll start arranging check-ups for officers and crew, probably by department. I assume they’ll be an officer’s meeting before we get underway–should I expect to be pulled away at a certain time, or just whenever summoned?”

    “Departure is at zero nine-hundred tomorrow. We’ll have a staff following that. If you need anything else before we leave, just let commander Bancroft know. It was nice meeting you, doctor. I look forward to working with you,” Rae finished with a nod before leaving Cal to their work.

    “Same here,” Cal says as they watch the commander leave. And then with a deep, fortifying breath, returns to their circle of supplies and settles back into the rhythm of categorizing, organizing, and storing the tools of their practice into their place. By the looks of it, Cal will be here for a while.

    Elgor Rae
    Elgor Rae

    A joint post by:

    Elgor Rae and Clara Watson


    // U.S.S. Diligent, Deck 4, Engineering
    // Episode Day 01, 15:30 Hours

    Commander Rae stepped out of the turbolift and strode down the short corridor into engineering. The team working here buzzed with energy, but the acting chief engineer was away. The warp core sat quiet, powered down for final maintenance while the ship took advantage of the starbase umbilical for power. Rae made his way up to the main open doorway leading to the core and stopped to admire the heart of his ship.

    Clara was slightly annoyed, who installed these damn conduits she told herself. She wondered what corps of engineer was going to get a foot in his or her ass? She was yelling nonsense to herself in the jeffries tube next to the engineering bay. The last thing she expected was the Captain to be coming down to engineering. “Mister Smith, are we ready?” She asked, hearing the doors to the jeffries tube opening up. She did not bother to look down the tube. She was installing some new relay circuits.

    “Captain on deck,” Smith called up to Watson before turning his attention back to Rae, who had returned from observing the core.

    “Who’s in charge down here?” Rae asked.

    “Chief Belgu, sir, but he’s on deck six checking on a sluggish thruster we’re troubleshooting.” He turned slightly back and raised his voice “ensign Watson,” he began before lowering his voice and turning back to Rae, “should be able to give you an update. She’s helping while we’re short-handed.”

    Clara almost bumped her head, as she crawled out of the jeffries tube. “Hello Captain.” Clara said, as she snapped to the position of attention. She noticed everyone else was still in the position of attention. She figured the captain was down in engineering, getting a status update.

    “At ease,” Rae said, waving the formality from the room. “I’m just touring the ship before we leave. Ensign Watson, you’re my Chief of Operations, correct? How are things looking down here?”

    “Yes Captain, I am your new chief of operations. And engineering is coming along, having to fix a few relays that the core of engineers piss poorly installed, but we will be ready to launch sir, when you give the order.” Clara said with a calm and relaxing voice.

    Rae grinned, he appreciated the young officers candid nature. “Good to hear, ensign. Well, I appreciate you lending extra time to help around here while we wait for a permanent chief engineer. There will hopefully be someone available on the delta quadrant side soon. Speaking of,” he continued, “you’ve just completed the academy and received your commission. Delta quadrant assignments are usually voluntary for new graduates; why request a posting in Task Force Thirty-eight so early? If you don’t mind my asking, of course.”

    “Fast track, sir. The DQ and the GQ are the only wild frontiers left in our galaxy. I like the idea of adventure, and exploration. But let’s be real Captain, I also would not mind, seeing a few pips on this collar down the near road.” She said with a big grin on her face. This was a golden opportunity. And she was going to take full advantage of it.

    Rae nodded. There was a fine line to walk between showing initiative and trying too hard. Rae expected ensign Watson would stay on the right side. Operations was a challenging department – juggling both bridge and engineering responsibilities – and Watson’s attitude would serve her well there, the commander thought.

    “Fair enough, you’re on the right path for it,” he replied. “Anyway, I need to get back to my tour of the ship. Is there anything else you need down here to get the job done, ensign? Besides a larger engineering crew that is.”

    “No sir.” She said, with a small grin on her face. He had a sense of humor. She appreciated that. She walked over to the warp core terminal, and started to run a diagnostics. Even though the core was powered down, there was still a few systems that had to be checked. Clara was working on the checks. Thinking to herself, when is the damn chief engineer going to check in. She had enough to do, and now she was overseeing two departments, for a short time.

    Rosheen Hughes

    A joint post by T’Laruk and Rosheen

    – –

    Róisín still couldn’t quite believe that she’d got the assignment, but here she was. She and T’Laruk had thrown their names in almost as a joke, but Starfleet had seen fit to send both of them to the Delta Quadrant. What’s more, they’d both been promoted.

    “Have you finished with those K3s yet?” she called over the music.

    “Mostly.” T’Laruk was slotting instruments into their locations according to Rosheen’s filing system. “I’ve also finished the E1s and the K2s.”

    “How’d you manage that?” Rosheen poked her head out of her office to see T’Laruk quirk an eyebrow at her.

    “Starfleet packed the Diligent’s instruments according to the standard filing system – that means your E1s, K2s, K3s, and J4s are all in the same box.” Her filing system was not done to Starfleet standards, which classified tools according to what they were used for – tissue repair devices in one category, stimulators in another, etc. Her system classified things by when they were used – things used when resetting broken bones were classified as B1, for example. This led to an ability to find things needed for any given procedure an average of nineteen seconds faster at the cost of needing to explain the system to every visitng doctor – in other words, increasing efficiency of care at the cost of uniformity of procedure. In most cases this was largely irrelevant, but in emergency situations the extra time was invaluable. “Have you finished uploading your sorting system to the EMH’s databanks? We don’t want a repeat of the Pelican.”

    Rosheen blushed and scurried back to her desk. The Pelican’s EMH had gone into a frenzy reorganizing the instruments by Starfleet’s standards before she’d remembered to add her system to his databanks – undoing that job had taken days, as well as spending countless hours showing the mathematical proof that her system resulted in increased efficiency to an incredibly agitated EMH.

    “I’ll take that as a ‘no’ then.” T’Laruk smirked as he finished sorting the tools.

    “I’ll get you back for that prank you pulled someday, too.”

    “I’m looking forward to it. And I’m still looking for a solution to that problem you asked me about.”

    “You don’t need to do that!” she exclaimed. “It’s a new ship, I’m sure that won’t be an issue for me this time.”

    T’Laruk shrugged and went back to sorting.

    Elgor Rae
    Elgor Rae

    A joint post by:

    Elgor Rae, Marcus Bancroft, Clara Watson, John Simmons, T’Laruk Akaigan, Cal Everett, and Aerith Terovn


    // U.S.S. Diligent, Deck 1, Bridge
    // Episode Day 02, 09:00 Hours

    The bridge of the Diligent was humming with activity when Commander Rae stepped out from his ready room. Departure preparations were underway and the senior staff were on station. “Captain on deck,” announced Chief Grix, the ships acting chief science officer. Rae gave him a nod as the crew went back to their work.

    “All departments report in,” the commander said, taking the center chair.

    Clara was at the operations station, she was observing her station. “Operations is in the green Captain.” She said with a hint of pride in her voice. Deep down, she was a little nervous, she tried to fix all the blunders that the core of engineers made, during there time on the station. She was not sure if she got them all. She could just hope. She got all of the major blunders, that would prevent launch, that only left the minor ones.

    “Science standing by. Primary sensor arrays are online and readings are nominal,” Chief Grix reported.

    Engineering is a-go,” Chief Belgu continued from the station opposite Grix. “Warp core online, output within specifications. Deflector dish online and operational. Standing by to disengage the umbilical.”

    “Tactical systems ready and on standby,” Chief Mora chimed in next.

    “Intelligence is online” John told the captain from his spot behind the console.

    Clara was listening as the departments went around the room. Stating that they are ready. She was eager to get underway. This was her first mission on the USS Diligent, and she wanted it to go by the numbers. She stood at her station, with anticipation of the captain’s go ahead orders. Thinking to herself, this it. Today we leave to explore space, if they are lucky meet a new race soon. She loved the idea of first contact.

    T’Laruk didn’t exactly belong to a relevant department, given that his function on the bridge was ancillary during all but diplomatic endeavors, so he instead gave Commander Rae a polite nod and continued to peruse the data he’d downloaded to his station’s monitor about the species they were likely to encounter.  He’d gone over this data nearly ten times already, but it couldn’t hurt to look it over again.

    He had also asked the Computer to replicate him a yellow shirt in the event that more Engineering staff were required.  He wouldn’t be able to put in the hours to be Chief, but he could certainly lend a hand if required.  The suggestion would be ventured to the Commander later today, assuming the same conclusion wasn’t reached by the same before that time.


    Cal takes a moment to step away from directing the medical team from their final preparations in Sickbay to activate their communicator and say, “Medical is good to go. We’re ready for anyone that needs attention post-departure.”

    They glance quickly around the Sickbay, hoping to catch a glimpse of their Head Nurse, Róisín. They want to touch base before the officer’s meeting and establish schedules for the bay—and, truth be told, divide and conquer Medical’s duties. Cal may be CMO, but they’re far more suited to the clerical aspects of Medical than they care to admit—so if they and Róisín can get ahead of it, they can both settle into a good routine and divide their labor efficiently rather than stepping on each other’s toes. After all, Cal, like aboard the Immortal, still feels like an officer in name only.

    // Bridge

    Lieutenant Commander Bancroft was taking careful notes of the various reports from his station to the captain’s right, alongside reports from all over the ship that were carefully turning the diagram of the ship on his screen from gold to green.

    “All decks and stations reporting in, captain. We are ready for departure at your leisure, sir,” Bancroft reported, voice cool and crisp. Not one for idle chatter, the crew was quickly learning that it was rare for the young, taciturn XO to say more than what was absolutely necessary while on duty.

    Rae grinned, the commander had been awaiting this since he’d been offered the Diligent. “Helm, secure umbilical, bring thrusters online, and take us out.”

    Terovn tapped his fingers across the helm console with vigour. There was a slight turning in his stomach, which he could only associate with the anticipation of launching. He had done it – secured his own position as Chief Conn Officer on a Starfleet vessel. This console was his and this ship was his to fly.

    As he heard the Captain’s call for station reports, Terovn quipped in his own reply amidst the fury of verbal spatter – this confirmed the readiness of his own systems.

    Shortly thereafter, he had his orders from the Captain.

    “Aye aye Sir.” Terovn tapped a few controls, securing the release of the docking umbilici. There was a faint but audible thud as the clamps released the Diligent. “Umbilci released Captain. Powering thrusters and taking us out.” The ship began to move forward synonymously with Aerith’s verbal confirmations.

    Clara kept a close eye on the power levels, as they transferred from the umbilical to the USS Diligent. Everything was going by the numbers. She kept quiet, as the helmsman continued to give a play by play scenario, of his actions. She smiled from her station. Finally the USS Diligent was leaving dock, and would be heading out to space.

    There was not much to do for John during the launch so he took the time to observe the bridge crew. Making mental notes about certain things about the crew. Simply observing and noting down. He kept quiet while everyone was busy with the launch.

    Under thruster power, the Diligent drifted easily out the massive bay doors of the base. After a moment of clearing the distance, the impulse engines glowed to life, and the ship sped away rapidly.

    “Set course for the Fourth of July nebula, warp seven,” Rae ordered from the center chair. “Engage.”

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